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5 recipes to help you celebrate Chinese New Year

18th February 2015

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Chinese New Year begins on Thursday 19th February, and what better way to celebrate than by cooking up a big dish of Chinese nourishment for your family, friends and/or flatmates?

From hoi sin spare ribs to beef chow mein to pork stir fry, all these recipes are courtesy of our friends over at Waitrose. Thanks Waitrose!

Chinese Vegetable Soup


Serves: 4


5 slices fresh ginger

5 chopped salad onions

2 peeled, bruised garlic cloves

1 tbsp chopped coriander stems

1–2 tbsp soy sauce

1½ tsp caster sugar

1cm piece of peeled fresh ginger cut into matchsticks

75g shiitake mushrooms

100g bean sprouts

1 large carrot cut into matchsticks

100g finely sliced mange tout

2 pak choi, bases trimmed and leaves separated

1 tsp sesame oil

A scattering of mint leaves


Pour 1.5 litres weak chicken stock, 5 slices fresh ginger, 5 chopped salad onions, 2 peeled, bruised garlic cloves and 1 tbsp chopped coriander stems into a large pan. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain the stock into another saucepan and stir in 1–2 tbsp soy sauce, 1½ tsp caster sugar, a 1cm piece of peeled fresh ginger cut into matchsticks, and 75g shiitake mushrooms.

Cook for 1 minute, then add 100g bean sprouts and a large carrot cut into matchsticks, 100g finely sliced mange tout and 2 pak choi, bases trimmed and leaves separated. Simmer for 2 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.

Remove from the heat, stir in 1 tsp sesame oil and serve with a scattering of mint leaves


Chinese Salad


Prepared Oriental Chinese Stir-Fry vegetables, found in the chilled fresh vegetable section, can be used to replace this salad. Simply toss with the dressing.

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4


For the dressing:

1cm root ginger, peeled and diced

1 clove of garlic, crushed

Maldon Sea Salt

1 tbsp Waitrose Light Soya Sauce

2 tbsp dry sherry

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

100ml sunflower oil

2 tbsp Waitrose Toasted Sesame Oil

For the salad:

250g pack beansprouts

½ Chinese leaf, finely sliced

227g can water chestnuts, drained and sliced

1 red pepper, cut into strips

3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


To make the salad dressing, place the ginger and garlic in a jug with the salt, soya sauce, sherry, vinegar and the sunflower and sesame oils. Either blend with a hand-held blender or place all the ingredients into a screw-top jar and shake together until thoroughly mixed.

Place the beansprouts, sliced Chinese leaf, water chestnuts and red pepper into a large bowl with the toasted sesame seeds and mix well. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.

Cook's tips

To toast the sesame seeds, place them in a very hot dry frying pan and heat, stirring, until the seeds start to jump in the pan and begin to brown.


Chinese Spare Ribs With Hoi-Sin Sauce And Roasted Baby Potatoes


This barbecue favourite needs little preparation - just cook over charcoal or in the oven.

Preparation time: 10, plus marinating

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes to 2 hours 20 minutes

Serves: 4


2 packs Waitrose British Pork Spare Ribs (approx 500g-600g per pack)

½ x 300g jar Sharwood's Hoi-Sin Sauce

2 tbsp clear honey

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

2 tbsp sesame seeds

½ x bunch salad onions

½ x 20g pack fresh coriander, roughly chopped

For the roasted potatoes:

500g pack baby new potatoes, halved

Waitrose Cooks Ingredients A Spray of Olive Oil for Cooking

1 tbsp butter


Place the ribs on a large piece of double-thickness foil. In a jug, mix the hoi-sin sauce, honey and ketchup and pour over the ribs, coating them well. Scrunch up the foil loosely and twist to make a sealed parcel. Marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Toast the sesame seeds in a small, hot non-stick frying pan for 2-3 minutes, stirring all the time until just golden brown.

If cooking on a barbecue, make sure the coals are glowing red under a thin layer of ash. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Place the ribs in the foil on the barbecue or in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Open up the foil and cook for a further 25-30 minutes until the meat is thoroughly cooked.

Meanwhile, spray the potatoes with oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in a large sealed foil parcel to barbecue, or on a baking tray to oven roast. Barbecue or roast for 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Pour any remaining sauce in the foil over the ribs and serve, scattered with toasted sesame seeds, coriander and half the salad onions. Top the potatoes with the remaining salad onions and serve with a crisp green salad of Romaine lettuce.

Cook's tips

Vary the marinade by trying a sticky barbecue sauce instead. Marinate the ribs up to 24 hours in advance in the fridge until needed.


Beef Chow Mein


Warren Zevon's surreal 1978 ditty won BBC Radio 2's 'Greatest Opening Song Line' vote with its arresting start: 'Saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand/ Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain/ He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's/ Going to get a big dish of beef chow mein.' Perhaps this recipe would have kept him satisfied.

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus marinating

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes, plus marinating

Serves: 4


½ tsp clear honey

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp Chinese rice wine

2 tsp cornflour

250g Chinese egg noodles

300g sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into strips

50ml chicken stock

¼ tsp white pepper

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp fresh root ginger, in thin strips

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

3 salad onions, finely chopped

100g shiitake mushrooms, quartered

125g pak choi


Mix together the clear honey, ½ tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp rice wine and 1 tsp cornflour. Use this to marinate the steak for at least 30 minutes. Cook the noodles in boiling water for 20 seconds, stirring. Drain and moisten with the remaining ½ tsp sesame oil.

Mix the remaining sauces, rice wine and cornflour with the stock and white pepper; set aside. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a flat-bottomed wok. Add the noodles and cook for 5–7 minutes until the underside is golden. Flip the noodle 'cake' over and cook for about 3 minutes, until pale gold. Place on a warm plate.

Add 1 tbsp oil to the wok, heat until just smoking and add the steak. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then tip out onto a plate with any juices.

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil; add the ginger, garlic and salad onions; after 30 seconds, add the mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the pak choi, stir-frying until wilted. Throw in the reserved sauce mixture, bring to the boil, and return the steak to the pan. Tip over the noodles and serve.


Sticky Chinese pork stir-fry


Total time: Ready in 15 minutes

Serves: 2


100g fragrant jasmine rice 3 Duchy Originals from Waitrose organic British thin-cut pork loin steaks, trimmed of fat ½ tsp Bart Chinese five spice 2 tsp Waitrose wok oil 160g pouch Waitrose Szechuan pepper stir-fry sauce 300g bag Waitrose super bright pan-fry vegetables


Cook the rice according to pack instructions and drain.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the pork steaks into strips and sprinkle with the Chinese five spice. Heat a wok until smoking hot. Add the wok oil and the pork and fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Add the sauce and warm through for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the pan-fry vegetables to the wok with a splash of water and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Return the pork to the pan with the sauce and warm through for 1-2 minutes. Divide between 2 bowls and serve with the rice.


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