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Recipe: Three basic Chinese dishes to make at home


Tofu Renaissance-9975

Stir fried tofu in chili tomato sauce. Photograph by Anurag Banerjee

In most Indian kitchens, Chinese dishes are made with a desi twist. Odds and ends from the pantry make it to the pan and the result is a masala-laden version that is nothing close to the authentic stuff. Of course, you can find the real deal at fine dine establishments in your city, but eating out on the regular is neither healthy nor economical (all the more now, with the demonetisation cash crunch). As a solution, we’ve got chef Sahil Arora, executive chef at Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel and Marriott Executive Apartments, Mumbai to share some recipes. The ingredient list is quite basic and all you’ll need is a good quality soya sauce to rustle up some fabulous Chinese dishes at home.

Stir fried tofu in chili tomato sauce

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 7-15 minutes
Serves: 4

480g silken tofu, cut into cubes
6 nos medium size red tomatoes
7-8 nos garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tsp light soya sauce
1 white onion, chopped
1 tbsp Kashmiri chili paste
60 gms spring onion cut into diagonal strips
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp refined oil
Salt, to taste

In a deep bottomed vessel, boil water and add tomatoes to blanch. Once the skin shrivels, remove from water and cut off the heads. Peel the skin completely and allow it to cool. Grind in a mixer grinder or blend in a food processor till it forms a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a pan, sauté garlic and chopped onion until light brown. Add tomato paste, light soya sauce, salt and Kashmiri chili paste and stir continuously until mixture is well cooked. Add sugar and if required add ¼ cups of water to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add the silken tofu and stir slowly to prevent the tofu from disintegrating. Check the salt and add if required.

Sprinkle the spring onion shoots on top and remove from heat. Serve hot.


Golden fried prawns

prawns Renaissance-9965

Photograph by Anurag Banerjee

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 11-15 minutes
Serves: 4

26 pieces tiger prawns
4 tbsp corn flour
6 tbsp refined flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp white pepper powder
250ml refined oil for frying
2 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
Salt, to taste
In a medium sized bowl add refined flour, ¾ of corn flour, salt, and white pepper powder, 2tablespoon of oil and ½ cup of water.

Use your fingers to mix the above ingredients well. The batter should be thick with a creamy consistency. Keep aside.

Wash, remove the shell and de-vein prawns retaining the tip of the tail. Pat dry prawns thoroughly with a paper towel. In a bowl, mixoyster sauce, soya sauce, white pepper powder, salt – mix well. Add prawns to the marinade and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a deep bottomed pan. Hold prawns by the tail and dip them the batter. Transfer the batter coated prawns to the pan and deep fry for 2-3minutes on medium heat, turning occasionally till prawns turn crisp, with a golden coating.

Remove from oil and place the prawns on a kitchen towel to soak the excess oil.

Serve hot with sweet chili sauce


Crispy fried mushroom in black pepper sauce

mushroom Renaissance-9970

Photograph by Anurag Banerjee

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 7-15 minutes
Serves: 4

600g medium button mushroom, washed and and cut into halves
30g chopped onion
30g chopped garlic
15g chopped chili
½ cup stock water
2 tsp crushed black pepper powder
3 tsp soya sauce
2 tsp corn starch
250ml refined oil
40g chopped spring onion
30g mushroom oyster sauce
Salt, to taste

For the batter
6 tbsp refined flour
4 tbsp corn flour
¼ tsp baking powder

For the batter
In a medium sized bowl add in the refined flour, corn flour, salt and baking powder. Add ¾ cup of water, 2tbsp oil and mix well with fingers to form a smooth, creamy texture. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan on a medium flame. Dip mushroom halves in the batter and fry. Use a ladle to separate the mushrooms as they are frying. Fry for another 2 minutes, until the mushroom coating turns golden brown and crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and sauté chopped onion, garlic, chili till light brown. Add oyster sauce, ½ cup of water and soya sauce, mix well and cook for 30 seconds.

Thicken the sauce with corn starch, add the fried mushroom, sprinkle with crushed black pepper, add in the corn and toss well to mix.

Add spring onions and toss well with all the ingredients. Remove from heat and serve hot.