Top 10 tips for healthy Chinese cooking

Celebrity chef, Ching-He Huang, was taught the basic philosophies of Chinese cuisine at a young age, and champions the importance of using fresh ingredients and healthy cooking techniques. Here, Ching-He shares her passion for nutritious Chinese cooking and passes on her tips for making your own healthy and authentic dishes at home...

Top 10 tips for healthy Chinese cooking

1. Stir-fries

This popular cooking technique retains the nutrients of the ingredients due to the quick cooking method. You only need a small amount of oil, lean meat or fish and lots of seasonal veggies for a delicious supper. By eating within the seasons we are eating what is optimally nutritious. Food that has travelled miles will not be as fresh and therefore, may have lost some of its nutrition. Like it hot? Throw in spices too.

Ingredient focus... ginger

2. Use plenty of garlic, ginger and chilli

There are massive health benefits to using this tasty trio - garlic is good for the heart, ginger aids digestion and chillies are full of vitamins. Stir-fry for a few seconds with your favourite ingredients and give your immune system a boost.

3. Dim Sum

These bite-sized portions of deliciousness are not only simple to make using bought wonton skins or by making a simple dumpling dough, but they're healthy and look so elegant served in their bamboo baskets. Opt for the steamed variety.


Quick & easy hot-and-sour chicken noodle soup 4. Healthy soups

Healthy broth soups are easy to make and are delicious. All you'll need for a light but filling supper is boiling water, organic vegetable bouillon, dried Chinese mushrooms, spring onions, chicken thighs, and your favourite seasonal veg.

5. Make sauces from scratch

Learn how to make your own black bean sauce from fermented salted black beans, light soy and stock. It's healthier than shop bought and you can control the amount of sodium (salt) and sugar that you put into it.

6. Tasty tofu dishesGinger sweet tofu with pak choi

You don't have to be vegetarian to embrace tofu as an ingredient. Made from soya beans, it's not only high in protein and calcium, but it has an exceptional ability to absorb flavours through spices and marinades, making a truly tasty addition to a stir-fry.

7. Flavour enhancers - dried ingredients

To deepen flavours and enrich stews and stocks, Chinese tradition champions dried ingredients, such as mushrooms, shrimps, clams, herbs and spices. These are great natural flavour enhancers, avoiding the need for MSG, which some Chinese foods have been known to contain.


Steamed sea bass with black bean sauce 8. Basic and natural food sources

When you buy food, keep it natural. Food should never come out of a box - even your sauces. For example, black bean sauce is made from fermented black beans, soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans and salt, chilli bean paste is made from fermented chillies, soy or broad beans and salt. Knowing what is going into your food, and therefore your body, is very important.


9. Ying and Yang

Be aware of what you're eating, and keep it balanced. Sugar, salt and fats are OK in small, balanced amounts - but don't overdo it. Get your sugar hit from fresh fruit, buy lean poultry and sustainable fish and shellfish. Watch the amount of red meat you consume and always buy organic meats if possible. These options are good for you, and will make your meals taste great too.

Minced soy pork with rice noodles
10. Noodles and rice

Choose rice noodles or mung bean noodles if you want to watch the amount of carbohydrates you consume and opt for fibre-rich brown rice over white refined rice.

Find out more about Ching-He Huang on her website

Try out Ching-He's tips in our favourite Chinese recipes

Comments, questions and tips

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Andre Beluchi
15th Dec, 2015
Oh, the soup is one that my wife sure enjoys when it comes to cooking Chinese food. Ever since she got back from her work trip to Hong Kong, she's been fascinated about cooking with several Chinese ingredients. Once a week we now go to several Chinese restaurants nearby just for to try out the food and get the recipe for them.
30th Jun, 2015
Roxanne, it seems like you have a passion for eating healthy chinese food. Hey, my and I enjoy doing it too especially in eating healthy since she is vegetarian and I'm a meat lover. We often find it hard to find a specific chinese dish that has one course with the same ingredients instead of being a mixture of something else.
16th Apr, 2014
Hi Ching-He Huang I am an oldie who has 2 heart attacks and stents fitted 2 years ago. I am fine now but look forward to viewing recipe for those in a similar position as myself Easy to cook & realy healthy. I love bamboo shoots water chestnuts and the like . the more vegies the better, Regards Russell
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