Cheeseburger Takoyaki

Ordinary takoyaki are great, but if you’re making them at home it is a great opportunity to mix things up a bit. The first time we made these they were an instant hit – strangely more with the adults than the kids (who prefer the regular takoyaki). They’re a must-have now for any takoyaki party we have.


Makes about 50 takoyaki


250g beef mince (cheaper mince, preferably – see tips below)

¼ tsp salt

2 tbsp oil, for greasing the pans

1 cup tenkasu (tempura batter bits, see page XX)

¼ cup dill pickles, finely diced

½ red onion, finely diced



½ cup shredded American cheese

¼ cup spring onions, finely sliced

¼ cup Otafuku takoyaki sauce, to serve

¼ cup tomato ketchup, to serve

¼ cup American-style mustard, to serve

½ cup Japanese mayonnaise, to serve

2 tbsp aonori (dried bright green laver), to serve

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds, to serve

a handful of bonito flakes, to serve


Bonito stock (optional)

a good handful of bonito flakes


Takoyaki batter

250g plain flour

1L bonito stock (see above), other stock, or water

2 eggs, beaten

½ tsp soy sauce

¼ tsp salt



Season the beef mince with salt and mix well. Mold into small balls around the size of a large marble (but make sure they will fit inside your takoyaki pan). Heat a frying pan over medium heat and fry the balls on both sides, pressing down on them to flatten them into patties. They will cook in just a few minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

To make the bonito stock, bring just over a litre of water to a simmer and add the bonito flakes. Boil for a few seconds then turn off the heat and allow the pot to stand for 10 minutes. Strain to remove the bonito flakes.

To make the batter, combine all the ingredients with a whisk and whisk to a very thin, watery batter.

Arrange the fillings and toppings near your takoyaki grill and heat the grill (or ableskiver pan) until it is hot. Brush with oil, then ladle in the batter, completely filling the holes in the pan as well as the surrounds. Drop a beef patty into each hole, and scatter the whole of the pan liberally with tenkasu, pickles, red onion and cheese. As the batter starts to firm, draw lines between the holes with a skewer, as if marking out a grid. Insert the skewer to the base of each whole and roll over the ball to create a sphere. Cook for a further 5 minutes or so, rolling the balls over periodically until they are firm and crisp on the outside.

Remove the balls from the pan and arrange on a plate. Drizzle liberally with Otafuku sauce, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise, and scatter over the aonori, spring onion, sesame seeds and bonito flakes.

Tips for Cheeseburger Takoyaki

  • Cheap beef mince tends to have a much higher fat content than more expensive lean mince. This makes it great for making things like burgers and dumplings.
  • For a recipe for making regular takoyaki, check out this post.
How to Make Takoyaki

A takoyaki party is a brilliant way to entertain at home, particularly with kids. Gather around the takoyaki pan and make your own. You can vary the fillings as you wish. I’ve made ones filled with crab, prawns, cheeseburger ingredients, with squid ink batter – the possiblities boggle the mind. We always finish our takoyaki parties with a round of sweet aebleskiver (Danish apple pancake balls).


1 medium octopus (about 800g, but this will leave extra octopus for other purposes)

¼ cup oil, for greasing the pan

1 cup tenkasu (tempura batter bits)

¼ cup benishouga (red-pickled ginger), finely chopped

½ cup finely sliced spring onions

1 cup Otafuku sauce, to serve

1 cup Japanese mayonnaise, to serve

2 tbsp aonori (dried bright green laver, also called sea lettuce), to serve

a handful of bonito flakes, to serve


1 piece kombu (about 10cm square)

a good handful of bonito flakes

Takoyaki batter

250g plain flour

1L dashi (see above), other stock, or water

2 eggs, beaten

½ tsp soy sauce

¼ tsp salt


Remove the beak of the octopus and clean inside, discarding any innards. Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer, then lower the octopus into the water slowly (the legs should curl as the octopus is being lowered). Simmer for 30-45 minutes. The amount of time you cook the octopus will depend on the size of your octopus. A smaller octopus simmered for 45 minutes may be too tender so if in doubt, err on the side of caution. Remove the octopus from the pot and, if you like, rub the dark red skin from the octopus while it’s still warm. You can leave the skin on the octopus of course, but it is just a matter of preference. Cut the octopus into 1.5 cm cubes, reserving all but about 50 cubes for another purpose.

To make the dashi, place just over a litre of cold water in a pot and add the kombu. Bring to a simmer, removing the kombu before the water simmers (when the kombu is soft enough for a thumbnail poked into it will leave a mark). When the water simmers add the bonito flakes. Boil for a few seconds then turn off the heat and allow the pot to stand for 10 minutes. Strain to remove the bonito flakes. Alternatively you can use instant dashi, any other stock or even water. Allow the dashi to cool to room temperature.

To make the batter, combine all the ingredients with a whisk and whisk to a very thin, watery batter.

Arrange all the fillings and toppings on the table and heat the takoyaki grill (or ableskiver pan) until it is hot. Brush with oil, then ladle in the batter, completely filling the holes in the pan as well as the surrounds. Drop a cube of octopus into each hole, and scatter the whole of the pan liberally with tenkasu, benishouga and spring onion. As the batter starts to firm, draw lines between the holes with a skewer, as if marking out a grid. Insert the skewer to the base of each whole and roll over the ball to create a sphere. Cook for a further 5 minutes or so, rolling the balls over periodically until they are firm and crisp on the outside.

Remove the balls from the pan and arrange on a plate. Drizzle liberally with Otafuku sauce and mayonnaise, and scatter over the aonori and bonito flakes.

Tips for Takoyaki

  • All of these specialty Japanese ingredients are readily available at Asian grocers in Australia – bonito flakes, benishouga, tenkasu, Otafuku sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and aonori. If you can’t find a few of them, just improvise. You can use chicken stock instead of bonito stock, pink or yellow pickled ginger instead of benishouga, puffed rice instead of tenkasu (or just leave them out), make your own Otafuku sauce by mixing tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a bit of mustard, or chopped chives instead of the aonori.
  • Takoyaki are best when they are well browned on the outside and crispy.
  • Try adding cheese or any other fillings you might like. The world is your oyster.


This recipe appears in my new cookbook, Destination Flavour: People and Places (2018) which follows my travels across my SBS television series of the same name. The book covers Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Singapore and China.

Family Fried Noodles

The most common problem with making stir-fried noodles at home is one of volume. You want to make enough for a whole family but your wok sadly isn’t up to the task. Don’t blame the wok or the stove, it’s not their fault.

If you look at fried noodles anywhere – from hawker centres to busy Chinese restaurants – nobody is making enough for a family of four in one hit. Fried noodles are best made in single or double servings even in huge woks over jet-powered gas stoves, and trying to load four serves into a wok at one time is a recipe for disaster.

You have two options. You can make the noodles one or two serves at a time, but that can mean people are eating at different times. Or you can slightly change your technique to make a big pot of noodles ready to feed a crowd. This recipe serves 4 with 1kg of noodles, but I’ve done this with 6kg of noodles before with perfect results, all on a domestic stove.

Family Fried Noodles


4 chicken thigh fillets, sliced into bite-sized pieces

4 tbsp peanut oil, or other vegetable oil

2 thick slices of ginger, bruised

5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

4 thick spring onions, white part sliced, green part cut into 5cm lengths

6 large leaves of Chinese cabbage, sliced

2 carrots, cut into matchsticks

1 bunch choy sum, cut 5cm lengths

12 large peeled and deveined raw prawns

2 squid tubes, scored and cut into pieces

1kg fresh egg noodles (sometimes called Hokkien noodles)

2 cups beansprouts

1 tsp cornflour mixed into 2 tbsp cold water or stock (if necessary)

fried shallots, coriander and sliced chilies, to serve



2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp Cheong chan caramel sauce, kecap manis or dark soy sauce

1/2  tsp caster sugar (optional)

1 cup chicken stock


Chicken marinade

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Shaoxing wine

1 tsp cornflour

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1/4 tsp white pepper



Mix the meat marinade ingredients together with the chicken and set aside.

Heat a large, heavy casserole pot until it is very hot and add in the oil. Add in the ginger first and then after a few seconds, the garlic and white part of the spring onions. Stir for a minute or two until the garlic starts to brown and then add the chicken. Fry the chicken until it starts to brown, then add the Chinese cabbage, carrot, choy sum and spring onion greens. Fry for a few minutes until the vegetables are softened.

Loosen the noodles in their packet by poking a few holes in the bag and massaging them to loosen. Microwave the entire bag for 2 minutes.

Add the seafood, then the sauce ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then taste the sauce forming in the bottom. It should taste strong and flavourful. Adjust for seasoning.

Add in the noodles and bean sprouts and stir to combine. Continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Pour over the cornflour mixture if there is any liquid that hasn’t been absorbed, fry for a further 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Allow to stand for a few moments and then transfer to a plate. Scatter with crispy fried shallots, and serve with your favourite chilli.

Tips for Family Fried Noodles

  • The key for this dish is the flavourful sauce made from the juices released from the ingredients, plus the seasonings added. This sauce will be absorbed by the noodles and define the flavour of the dish. Make sure you taste it, and that it tastes strong and delicious.
  • Use any combination of ingredients you like. Pork works well, as do fried fish cakes. You can even flavour the noodle sauce – a dash of ketchup or even a spoon of curry powder will give a very different flavour.
  • These make a great picnic dish. Secure the lid on the pot with a strong elastic band or plastic wrap, then drop the whole pot into an insulated shopping bag to make it portable and keep it warm for hours.
Typhoon Shelter Salmon

Typhoon Shelter is a Hong Kong style of serving usually fried crab or prawns, but this baked salmon version is perfect for home cooking. It may seem like a lot of garlic, but it really isn’t overpowering at all. This is a firm favourite in our household. An added bonus is that it leaves you with a fair bit of delicious garlic oil to use later.

Typhoon Shelter Salmon


Serves 4

1 cup vegetable oil

3 heads garlic, cloves peeled and finely chopped

4 salmon fillets, scaled

salt and pepper, to season

8 spring onions

2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced

1 tbsp salted black beans (available from Asian grocery stores or some supermarkets)

a good pinch of sugar

1/2 cup loosely packed picked coriander leaves


Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over low-medium heat and add the garlic. Cook the garlic for about 15-20 minutes, stirring reguarly until it is lightly golden brown and then remove the garlic from the oil with a wire mesh. Reserve both the fried garlic and the garlic oil.

Heat your oven to 200C. Place the salmon fillets skin-down on a layer of baking paper on baking tray. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer the baking paper with the salmon still on top directly to a serving plate.

While the salmon is cooking heat 2-3 tablespoons of the garlic oil in the wok (reserve any leftover garlic oil for another purpose) and add the spring onions and chillies. Toss for about a minute until the spring onions start to soften then sprinkle over the sugar and toss for a further minute. Pour the mixture over the salmon, then scatter the garlic and coriander leaves on top and serve immediately.

Tips for Typhoon Shelter

  1. The garlic becomes delicious and mild when it’s toasted so don’t worry about the garlic being overpowering.
  2. If you don’t want to use your oven, you can easily pan-fry the salmon instead.
  3. The extra garlic oil is delicious when used in salad dressings, for frying steaks etc. I often make this dish just to get the garlic oil!
Chicken Manchurian

Chicken Manchurian is one of the most popular Chinese dishes in India. Often also made with cauliflower or paneer, it uses readily available sauces combined with Chinese cooking technique to make a very delicious dish.


300g chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite sized pieces

1 egg

2 tbsp cornflour

2 tbsp plain flour

1 tbsp cold water

a pinch of salt

1-2L canola oil, for deep frying

½ red capsicum, cut into bite-sized pieces

½ green capsicum, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 spring onions, finely sliced with white and green parts separated


1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp grated ginger

2 tbsp soy sauce

¼ cup tomato sauce

2 tbsp chilli sauce

¼ cup stock or water

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water


In a bowl, combine the chicken, egg, cornflour, plain flour, cold water and salt, and mix well to combine. The mixture should form a thick, smooth batter that coats the chicken. Combine the ingredients for the sauce, except for the garlic, ginger and cornflour mixture, in a separate bowl and stir to mix.

Heat the oil in a wok to 170C. Fry the chicken pieces in batches for about 3 minutes per batch, until the batter is golden and the chicken just cooked inside. Drain on a wire rack. Skim and discard any batter pieces in the oil while the chicken is frying. Add the capsicum pieces to the oil and fry for about a minute until slightly softened.

Remove the oil from the wok, leaving about 2 tbsp in the base. Add the garlic, ginger and spring onion white parts to the wok and toss for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the mixed sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Check the consistency of the sauce and add a little of the cornflour mixture, stirring until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken and capsicum to the wok and stir to coat in the sauce, toss through the spring onion greens and serve.

Tips for Chicken Manchurian

  • The batter is not intended to stay crisp after coating with the sauce. The batter helps the sauce to stick to the chicken and gives it a delicious, silky texture.
  • Adjust the heat of the dish by the type and amount of chilli sauce you add.
  • Pay attention to the balance of sweetness and sourness of the dish. You can reduce the sweetness by reducing the amount of ketchup or sugar, reduce the sourness by reducing the vinegar, or increase the savouriness by adding more soy sauce.



THE BEST Pancakes

If you want to make good pancakes my #1, sold-gold, absolute best piece of advice I can give you is to make the batter the night before. It allows the gluten in the batter to relax (giving you fluffier pancakes) and also saves a huge amount of time (and cleaning up) in the morning. It really is a fairly simple process. You just need a good recipe, and this is definitely it.

I put this recipe up on my Instagram a while ago and it was hugely popular…

… so finally here is the recipe. (I decided to make a YouTube video of this as well, and you can check that out below.)

If you want to follow me on Instagram, you can do that here:

This may seem like a lot of pancakes (this recipes makes about 12), but pancakes for us are generally a special occasion. The batter will keep easily for about 4 days in the fridge. If it’s just us, this recipe feeds our family of 4 for two days of breakfast pancakes (1-2 per person), but if we have guests (which is when we usually have pancakes) this is the perfect amount.


Makes about 12 thick pancakes

4 cups (600g/22oz) self-raising flour and 2 tsp baking powder

(or 4 cups plain flour and 3 tbsp baking powder)

3 eggs

3 1/2 cups (875ml/30oz) milk

½ cup (125g/4.5oz) sugar 

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

To serve

butter, whipped cream, and real maple syrup, or any other preferred toppings


Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large bowl and stir through the sugar to combine. Make a well in the centre. Mix the egg (see tip), milk and vanilla together and pour into the well. Whisk to slowly incorporate the dry ingredients together with the wet until just combined, then add the egg whites and stir to a smooth mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight).
Heat a non-stick pan over low-medium heat. *DON’T ADD ANY BUTTER OR OIL TO THE PAN* Add a half cup of batter and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes. When the pancake is golden brown and the uncooked surface is covered with bubbles, flip the pancake and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, wiggling the top of the pancake with your fingers (see video) to see if the batter inside is cooked. Repeat for the remaining batter. 

Tips for Pancakes

  • Lately there has been a popular trend to separate the egg yolks and whites, adding the yolks together with the milk and then mixing the whites in after the mixture has been passed through the sieve. With most pancake recipes this helps as it reduces the protein from the egg whites binding with the gluten from the flour. In this recipe you can do that if you like, but as there is very little gluten developed in this mixing process (and the batter rests overnight, further relaxing the gluten) the improvement in texture is negligible.
  • You don’t need to add butter to a non-stick pan when cooking pancakes. Butter and oil will just form beads in a non-stick pan and make the heat from the pan uneven.
  • Don’t cook the pancakes too fast. Low-medium heat is best, as they are so thick that they will take a little time to cook. On my induction stove I set the stove to 6 (out of 12), dropping it to 5 after I’ve cooked a few pancakes.
  • If this all sounds too difficult, a simple ratio of 1 cup self-raising flour, 1 egg and 1 cup of milk makes a great pancake, too. But you should definitely still make the batter the night before. That’s a game-changer.



As close cousins, takoyaki and okonomiyaki are two of the most loved Osakan dishes, both in Osaka and around Japan. They use many of the same ingredients, and can be adapted to played with to create new flavour combinations. This recipe shows my favourite combination of fillings – pork, prawn and shredded cheese – but you can use just about anything. Experiment!


½ a head cabbage, finely chopped (about 500g)

2 tbsp benishouga (red pickled ginger)

½ cup tenkasu (tempura batter bits)

Okonomiyaki batter

2 cups plain flour

½ cup potato flour (or cornflour)

1½ cups bonito stock (see page XX), chicken stock, or water

2 eggs


1 cup raw prawn meat, roughly chopped

200g pork belly, skin removed, cut into 1cm pieces

½ cup grated cheese


1 cup Otafuku sauce, to serve

½ cup Japanese mayonnaise, to serve

1 cup bonito flakes (katsuoboshi), to serve

2 tbsp aonori, to serve


For the Okonomiyaki batter, mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and stand in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.

Mix together the cabbage, tempura and benishouga in a large bowl with the pork and prawns, and mix through the batter. (Alternatively, you can make a few different flavours of okonomiyaki by dividing the cabbage, tenkasu, benishouga and batter mixture equally between 4 bowls and mixing different fillings into each bowl separately.)

Lightly oil a hot teppanyaki plate or large frying pan, scoop one eighth of the mixture onto the pan and gently spread out to a circle of about 15-20cm diameter. Add the cheese on top and top with another eighth of the mixture. Do not press the mixture down. Repeat the process 3 times to create 4 okonomiyaki. (I will often do one okonomiyaki at a time in two separate frying pans, and then repeat that process.) Fry on low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, moulding the cake around the edges to create a circle until the bottom is browned. Flip the okonomiyaki over, press it down firmly and poke a few holes in the top of the pancake to allow steam to escape. Fry for a further 5 minutes until the thick pancake is cooked through, then transfer to a serving plate.

Brush the each pancake liberally with Otafuku sauce and drizzle lots of mayonnaise over the top. Scatter with aonori and bonito flakes and serve.


  • To create an attractive pattern with the mayonnaise, cover the okonomiyaki with Otafuku sauce first, then squeeze the mayonnaise from the bottle in parallel lines about 2cm apart. Draw a chopstick across the top of the okonomiyaki in long strokes 2cm apart, perpendicular to the lines of mayonnaise.

You can find this recipe and more like it in my book, Destination Flavour: People and Places published by Hardie Grant.

Check it out HERE.

The BEST Japanese Fried Chicken

Kara-age is one of my favourite Japanese dishes and can be found on izakaya menus everywhere. A flavourful soy-based marinade sits underneath a very light flour coating which gives the dish it’s name. Kara-age means “empty fry” or “naked fry” which refers to the chicken being fried without a thick batter. Frying the chicken in three short blasts at high heat with rests in between produces a crispy outer coating, while the inside cooks gently from residual heat for tender and succulent meat.


600g chicken thighs, skin-on

3 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp sake

1 tbsp grated ginger, juice only

½ tsp sugar

¾ cup potato flour (or substitute cornflour)

about 2L canola, sunflower or other vegetable oil, for deep frying

Japanese mayonnaise, to serve

lemon slices, to serve

shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice), to serve (optional)


Cut the chicken into 5cm pieces. Combine the chicken with the soy sauce, sake, ginger juice and sugar and stand for 10 minutes.

Place the flour in a tray or large bowl. Pull the chicken out of the marinade with chopsticks and drop it into the flour, one piece at a time. Adding the pieces one at a time stops you from pouring in too much of the marinade, and stops the chicken from sticking together. Shake any excess flour from the chicken and place in a tray in a single layer. Allow the floured chicken to stand, uncovered for at least 5 minutes before frying.

Heat the oil to 180°C in a wide saucepan. Add the chicken to the oil in batches. For each batch, deep fry for 1 minute then remove the chicken to a rack and rest for 30 seconds. Return the chicken back to the oil and fry for 30 seconds, and then rest on a rack again for 30 seconds. Transfer the chicken back into the oil for one last blast of 30 seconds to a minute, and then rest for a two minutes on a wire rack.

Serve the chicken with a lemon wedge, and a little Japanese mayonnaise scattered with shichimi togarashi (if using).


  • Allowing the chicken to stand for 5 minutes before frying allows the flour to absorb the flavour of the marinade, and then dry slightly. This little resting time is the secret for producing crispy and flavourful kara-age.
  • Having fillets with the skin on is very important for this dish. Skin-on fillets can be hard to find, so if you’re having trouble you can debone a few chicken thigh cutlets or use wings instead.
  • Place a rack above half of your frying pot. It will help reduce mess when transferring the chicken in and out of the oil, and the radiated heat from the oil will continue to warm and cook the chicken. If you don’t have a rack placed above the oil, you may want to extend your cooking time by just 30 seconds or so to ensure the chicken is cooked through.
  • You may notice that the chicken starts to spit and sizzle more on the third fry, this is because the chicken is cooked and is now contracting and squeezing out the juices from the meat (the watery juices contacting with the oil is what is causing it to spit). If this is happening, the chicken is done and you can remove it from the oil immediately.
Simple Teriyaki Salmon

Although teriyaki might be popular with chicken or beef in the West, in Japan it is almost always made with fish instead. If you’re looking for a way to eat more fish at home, this is a 5-minute recipe that is very simple and tastes amazing.


(Serves 4)

600g salmon fillets, scaled and pinboned

1 tbsp cornflour or potato starch

2 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 – 3/4 cup Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

2 tsp grated ginger

1 spring onion, finely sliced


Cut the salmon fillets lengthways into smaller 2cm wide fillets and with a pastry brush, dust the salmon on all sides with the cornflour.

Heat a frying pan over high heat until very hot. Add the oil and reduce the heat to medium, Add the salmon fillets (in batches if necessary) and fry for about 2-3 minutes per side until the salmon is just barely cooked through. Remove the salmon from the pan.

Blot most of the oil from the pan with a piece of kitchen paper, then add the teriyaki sauce to the pan and squeeze in the juice from the ginger. Bring the sauce to a simmer and simmer for about 2 minutes until the sauce thickens and becomes glossy. Add the salmon back into the pan, turn it once and then spoon the thickened sauce over the fillets for just a minute. Remove the salmon to a serving plate and scatter with the spring onion.


  • Don’t turn the salmon too often in the pan. Just one flip is enough. If you flip the salmon too often you risk it breaking apart.
  • You can use any fish that can be pan-fried for this recipe. In Japan yellowtail (buri) is a very popular teriyaki fish.
  • Instead of adding the ginger to the sauce, you can serve this with a small pile of raw grated ginger instead.


Chicken and Kale with Oyster Sauce

It may not be commonly used in Chinese cooking, but kale is a fantastic ingredients to stir-fry with. It cooks quickly and doesn’t release much moisture when it cooks, so it stops the common home-cooking problem of have a wet, stewing wok rather than one that is frying on high heat.


1 bunch kale, washed

440g boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 thighs)

6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra if needed

1 brown onion, peeled and sliced

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tsp Shaoxing wine

about ½ cup water or stock

1 tsp cornflour mixed with a little of the water or stock


Chicken marinade

1 tsp cornflour

1 tsp Shaoxing wine

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil


Prepare the kale by removing the thick stalks from the leaves with a knife and tearing the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Slice the chicken into large pieces (about 6 pieces per thigh) and combine with the marinade ingredients.

Heat your wok over high heat and pour the oil around the sides of the wok. Add the onion and garlic and toss for a minute or two until the garlic is lightly browned and fragrant. Remove the onion and garlic from the wok and add it to the kale, leaving as much oil in the wok as possible (although you can add more oil to the wok if there is too little remaining).

Return the wok to the heat, and when the oil is hot add the chicken. Fry for about 3 minutes until browned but not yet cooked through. Add the kale, onion and garlic to the wok and toss to coat the kale in the oil. As the kale starts to wilt, add the oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine and a few tablespoons of water or stock. Toss for a further 2 minutes until the kale is softened, adding more water or stock if needed to form a thick sauce to coat the chicken and kale. If the liquid is looking too thin, add a little of the cornflour mixture to thicken the sauce to a consistency that coats the chicken. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.


  • Don’t cut the garlic too small, or it will burn and have a bitter flavour.
  • This will work well with pork or beef, too.