Eating around the world – China

map So China was the country of choice for this week.  I could really see this one pushing the boys.  In fact from the moment he woke up The Fireman started saying ‘I don’t want Chinese food’, I just nodded and smiled.  It took a little bit of sourcing ingredients, but luckily we have an oriental shop not too far away.  For the braised beef I used the slow cooker, going through a slow cooker phase at the moment and served it with prawn and pea rice. braised beef We also had hangzhou aubergines, I love aubergines! But sadly I have no photos of them, they were gingery and sweet and salty. crackers I also picked up a box of prawn crackers that you need to deep fry, this was fun, watching them sizzle then pop up into little prawn cracker boats 🙂 For dessert we had toffee and sesame bananas,another BBC Good Food recipe, yum, yum! With homemade vanilla ice cream, of course 😉
PicMonkey Collage

We did a little craft, not too much as they are already so tired after a day of preschool and made Chinese fans, they really loved this. The Farmer coloured his with various leaves and petals from the garden, but then sadly got VERY upset because he thought it was going to be an accordion and was sorely disappointed with it’s lack of music.
PicMonkey CollageThey did try everything, although quite reluctantly, especially the aubergines, but didn’t seem to mind the tofu. The strangest thing was The Fireman not liking prawn crackers, this I do not understand!

Here is a recipe for the braised beef


  • 500g beef diced (we used rolled sirloin, but a cheaper cup would work well in the slow cooker)
  • 1tbsp flour
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
  • bunch of spring onions, white parts chopped
  • 1-2tsp chilli bean sauce
  • 2 tbsp of Shaoxing wine
  • 2tsp sweet fermented sauce
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 1 star anise
  • 2-3 stick of ‘bamboo’ tofu

PicMonkey Collage
Coat the beef in the flour and fry in a little oil until browned then remove from the pan. Fry the ginger, garlic and spring onions for a few minutes until they start to soften then add the chilli sauce, I added 2tsps and it was quite hot. Add the wine, fermented sauce and beef stock and slowly bring to the boil.

Soak the tofu in boiling water for 5 mins, until it is less brittle to chop.  Once soaked chop into 2cm chunks and add to the beef mixture.

Transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8hours.

Next week Brazil!