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Ok - in winter I like a good roast beef trditional English dinner


Beef from the Guilin Lu market.  rub salt into the beef and then put garlic into the beef (cut small holes in the beef and insert). Then I smother in olive oil and Dijon mustard with a little bit of mixed herbs. Oven cook for the required time


Together with roast and boiled potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, carrots and peas.


Gravy I make with gravy powder I have brought from home but I am sure it is available here somewhere. I like the gravy thick and full of the juices from the beef together with a little bit of red wine


have a good bottle of red wine and hey presto!



Yum! Somehow makes the cold winters ok!

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Wu Xiang Ji or Five spiced Chicken- my version anyway!

2-3 chicken breasts, 2 small red and two small green peppers

marinade should contain:

2 garlic cloves, one chilli, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons five spice powder and one teaspoon sugar


slice the chicken breast into small cubes and do the same with the red and green peppers

put the diced chicken and peppers in a bowl and leave to one side

Mix the ingredients for the marinade in another bowl- adding or subtracting your preferred taste!

Pour the marinade over the chicken and peppers and leave for an hour

After marinading, put the food in a wok and cook until ready to eat!

serve with rice.

It's sausage-and-mash weather again but, crucially, they should probably come with some rich onion gravy.

The recipe

Lightly brown a couple of decent butcher's sausages per person in a little fat or oil in a heavy pan. Push them to one side and cook a peeled and quartered onion for each person, broken into layers, on the other side of the pan. Keep the pieces of onion quite large. Once they are deep gold and caramelised, sprinkle over a generous dusting of flour and allow to brown very lightly. Pour in about 125ml of rich stock per person, bring to the boil, season, then simmer for 20 minutes. To make the mash, boil the potatoes in lightly salted water or steam them till tender enough to mash. Use a thick slice of butter per person, and beat till light and fluffy. Serve with the sausages and onion gravy.

The trick

Cooking sausages slowly will stop them splitting and allow a good, sticky coat to develop on their skins. Once the sausages are nicely browned you can let them finish cooking in the gravy. After crushing the potatoes with a potato masher, beat them again with a wooden spoon to incorporate some air and make them light and fluffy. Keep the onions in large pieces and let them cook slowly, allowing their edges to caramelise before adding the flour.

The twist

Stir a little grain or smooth Dijon mustard into the sauce. Use Madeira or dry Marsala in place of some of the stock. Add a couple of sage leaves to the sauce. Mushrooms, quartered and fried off in a little butter and stirred into the gravy, would be something to consider, as would a little grated horseradish root

Ginger Beef


1/2 lb. beef (well defined grain is best)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

 2 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp soy sauce

1/2 cup beef broth (1/2 cup hot water, 1 tbsp beef bouillon powder)

2 tsp cornstarch

6 green onions - cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

1 carrot thinly sliced diagonally

1 green pepper cut thinly into strips

1 red pepper cut thinly into strips 


Cut the beef diagonally across the grain into very thin strips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients. When everything else is chopped, sliced, minced and/or grated, heat the oil over a medium-high heat and saute the ginger for 2 minutes or until tan coloured. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the beef; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.Stir in the soy sauce. Stir together beef broth and cornstarch until smooth. Drizzle over beef mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until thickened. Add the vegetables and crushed red pepper; cook for 1 or 2 minutes (depending on how crunchy you want your vegetables). 


Serve over a bed of hot rice. 



Try this and let me know if you want more recipes. 


Richard, how come this isn't in its own Group?

Good point Chris. We are considering making an actual recipes book from all the expat contributions, so keep posting...

Chicken in Lemon Vegetable Sauce

(serves 4)


 8 chicken pieces (thighs or legs)


2-4 Chicken thighs w/legs attached. 

3 tbsp of oil

1 large onion (minced)

1 green or red bell pepper (diced)

4 stalks of celery (sliced) (the big celery, not that small diam. stuff that's used for jiaozi)

4 medium carrots (sliced)

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 medium parsnips (or potatoes) (diced)

3 cups of chicken broth

black pepper (to taste)

salt (to taste)

juice of a whole lemon (or 1/4 cup of concentrated lemon juice)

1 slice of lemon peel (or skip if using conc. lemon juice)

3 tbsp of chopped parsley (or 2 tbsp of dried parsley flakes)

2 tbsp of cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup of water.


If using chicken thighs with legs attached, skin, de-bone, and slice the chicken into chunks (size doesn't matter, in this case ;-)  ). Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough, place the chicken into the pan and cook on each side until the surface of the meat turns white. Remove to a bowl. Add the onion to the hot oil in the pan and cook until the oil is reheated to a sizzle. Add the peppers and other vegetables one by one, each time waiting for the oil to reheat before adding the next. When the potatoes are slightly cooked, return the chicken and its juices to the pan. Add the seasoning, lemon juice, and broth, and turn the chicken until coated in the mixture.  Cover and simmer on low heat, turning the chicken pieces midway through the cooking process until tender (about 25-30 minutes). Remove the chicken.  Add the cornstarch and water to the vegetable juices. Bring to a boil, adjusting the seasonings to taste, and pour over the chicken. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley. Serve over rice.


Note: The amount of vegetables is flexible in this recipe. I like to use chunks of peppers instead of diced peppers, therefore I will usually use both a red and green bell pepper. I also like potatoes, so I will use more than what is recommended. As well, instead of pouring the mixture over the chicken, I will put the chicken back in and stir everything up before serving.


Cautionary note for the gentlemen: Be forewarned ... if you cook this dish for your wife or girlfriend (and/or their parents), the chances of you ever being able to leave the kitchen again are very slim. Her parents may not let you out again until you promise to marry their daughter!!!  If this happens, you cannot hold me responsible ! 

To go with the blog on Pasties. Here is the recipe

Makes 6 pasties

12oz (350g) plain flour
3oz (90g) margarine
3oz (90g) Trex vegetable fat
12oz (350g) beef skirt
3-4 medium sized potatoes
2 onions
1 egg beaten
Salt and pepper
A few knobs of butter

Fan oven 180C. Non fan ovens 200C.

First of all make your shortcrust pastry. Whizz the flour, margarine and Trex in a food processor until you have a breadcrumb consistency. Tip it into a bowl and as you cut with a knife, add enough drops of water to make a soft dough which leaves the edges of the bowl. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place it in the fridge for half an hour to rest. This prevents the pastry shrinking when you cook the pasties.

Cut the skirt into small pieces. Dice the onion and peel the potatoes. Divide the pastry into six. With a rolling pin, roll it our into six round pieces, less than a quarter of an inch thick. Chip the potato into very small pieces and divide between each pasty. Season. Add an equal amount of beef to each one, and season again. Then you add a small amount of diced onion. Season. And then add a small amount of potato on top of that and two small knobs of butter to give it a bit of juice. Final seasoning.

Pull edges of the pasty together, dust your hands with flour and crimp the edges together. Brush with beaten egg and cook for 35 minutes. Ten minutes before the end, brush again with some more egg to make ensure the pastry is very crispy. Cool on a wire rack.

There is a video here:

Trex Vegetable fat ... is that a type of lard, Richard?

Chris - yes it is

Over here then I suppose butter is ok to use

Thanks. I was just wondering because a lot of people don't like to use lard because of the saturated fats.

Cheese, bacon and onion pancakes

make the pancakes to taste with milk and eggs - I like mine thin then just warm some milk and put in grated cheese (cheddar is fine but one can experiment) to create a cheesy sauce. Chop up the onions into small pieces and put into the sauce for a few minutes. meanwhile, lightly fry the bacon, chop it up and put into the sauce.

Add black pepper and salt to taste and put into the pancakes and roll up. serve with a light salad of fresh lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions with a french dressing - simple and very tasty


Lemon Chicken

Ingredients :

4 Chicken Breasts

0.5 cup  Cornstarch 

3 tablespoons of water

4 egg yolks 

salt and pepper to taste

1 spring onion 

Lemon sauce :

0.5 cup Lemon juice

2 tablespoon chicken stock 

2 teaspoon  cornstarch

2 tablespoon honey 

2 tablespoon brown sugar 

1 teaspoon ginger

1 cup water

Ok lets make the food!
1. Combine  the ingredients for the Lemon sauce in a pan and stir  over a low heat until it  thickens

2. Chop the chicken breast into small cubes

3. Put the cornstarch in a bowl and add the water. Mix well and then add the egg yolks. Continue  to stir and add a little  salt and pepper. 

4. Add the chicken to the cornstarch mixture.

5. In a wok, heat oil until it is very hot. Fry  the chicken until it is lightly browned  and put on a plate. 

6. Pour  the lemon sauce over the chicken. Add some chopped spring onion. Serve with rice.

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