Taste Explosion: Chinese Takeaway in 5

Kwoklyn Wan, professional chef, restaurateur, a regular on radio and television and friend of Gravitas is set to launch his 'Chinese Takeaway in 5' Cookbook, 80 of your favourite

dishes using only five ingredients...Published by Quadrille, on the 21st January 2021, £15.

We take a sneak peek!

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Very yum and not invented by a chap named Tom. Tom Yum soup is a type of hot and sour seafood soup originating in Thailand. Tom refers to the boiling process while yum (or yam)

refers to a Thai spicy and sour salad. Sumptuously rich and heartily filling and a definite favourite of mine. 


1X 400ml (14fl Oz) Can Coconut Milk

6 Tbsp Tom Yum Paste

1 Courgette (Zucchini), ends trimmed, halved lengthways and then cut into thin half-moons

175g (3½ cups) Beansprouts

270g (9oz) Cooked Mixed Seafood (defrosted if frozen)

Salt and Pepper





Pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan, fill the empty can with water and add that too. Stir in the tom yum paste and bring to the boil, then add the courgette and beansprouts, allowing to simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the cooked seafood and bring back up to the boil. Remove from the heat and check the seasoning, adjusting to taste if required with a little salt and white pepper. Serve and enjoy.

 Photography ©Sam Folan



Nothing screams Cantonese cuisine like the aromatic combination of garlic, ginger and spring onions. This recipe embraces all three flavours and when mixed with the perfect textures of crispy chicken skin wrapped around juicy thigh meat and served on top of lightly seasoned fried rice, it is in my opinion an all-singing, all-dancing mouth sensation.


1 Bunch of Spring Onions (Scallions)

4 Skin-On Chicken Thighs

2 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced

Thumb-Sized Piece of Ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks

1 Packet of Pre-Cooked Basmati Rice

3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

Salt and Pepper

½ Tbsp Light Soy Sauce


Prepare the spring onions by slicing the green ends into 5cm (2in) lengths and the white parts into fine rings. Put the chicken thighs into a large bowl with the garlic, ginger and the spring onion greens along with 2 tablespoons of the oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Massage the mixture into the meat, then cover and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour (or leave in the fridge overnight).

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Put the marinated chicken on to a baking tray and roast for 30–40 minutes, or until cooked and the juices run clear. Remove from the oven and allow to rest.

Heat a non-stick frying pan or wok with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Once the oil begins to smoke, add half the spring onion whites and fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the rice and use the

back of a wooden spoon to break up any rice clumps. Continue to fry for 3–5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Once the rice is fully heated, add the soy sauce and mix well. Divide the rice between 2 plates, top with the cooked chicken thighs, garnish with the remaining spring onion whites and enjoy.


Tofu has been used in China for well over 2,000 years. As a staple ingredient for vegetarian Buddhist monks, Buddhist chefs often shape and cook the tofu to resemble meat. Black bean fried tofu can be found on many Cantonese restaurant menus and is still one of the top ordered vegetarian dishes.


4 Tbsp Fermented Chinese Black Beans

340g (12oz) Firm Tofu, Cut into Bite-Sized Pieces

2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped or Grated

1 Bag of Ready-Prepared Stir-Fry Vegetables

5 1 Tbsp Cornflour (Cornstarch) Mixed With 2 Tbsp Water

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

½ Tsp Salt

¼ Tsp White Pepper

1 Tsp Sugar

2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce


Soak the fermented black beans in 120ml (½ cup) water for 10 minutes, then drain in a sieve and set to one side. Heat the oil in a wok over a medium-high heat and fry the tofu for 6–8 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper and set to one side.

Reheat the oiled wok over a medium heat and gently fry the garlic and black beans for 45 seconds until fragrant. Add the stir-fry vegetables, increase the heat to medium-high and fry for 2 minutes. Then add 120ml (½ cup) water, the salt, pepper, sugar, soy sauce and fried tofu and bring to the boil.


Give the cornflour mixture a stir and slowly pour into the sauce, stirring constantly, to thicken. Serve immediately.

For more recipes and demonstrations, check out Kwoklyn's YouTube Channel 

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