From cooking on TV shows to writing culinary books, Ching-He Huang has been revealing how to eat Chinese food the healthy and traditional way.
Perfect for businesswomen on the go, like herself, Ching-He talks to us on how she maintains a healthy diet, despite her hectic schedule.
Although meal prepping and eating healthy can “be hard if you are time short”, Ching-He sticks to this simple rule: “the easiest thing to remember is to tr toy eat 10 pieces of fruit and vegetables into the day and drink at least 8 glasses of water – if you fit everything else around these principles you are ok. I have a 4-3-3 rule – so 4 portions of fruit in the morning – apple, banana, blueberries, orange in the morning…or whatever is in season. Then 3 portions of vegetables with your lunch and dinner – including leafy greens most”
Sounds a little too complicated?
We find out exactly what a day in meals looks like for Ching-He and how she puts her 4-3-3 rule into practice:
Ching-He kicks start’s her mornings with lemons water. But this varies depending on the day ahead.
“It depends on what I am doing, if it’s an early morning TV appearance then I just have hot lemon water and pack toast and avocado to have in the car.
If I have a long day ahead I make sure I have something filling like porridge with banana, blueberries and honey.”
And when she’s over-indulged the night before?
“If I had a heavy dinner the night before I will have a green Ching-He’s smoothie (blueberry, banana, spirulina, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, unsweetened almond milk), which I whack in the blender – it takes 5 minutes.
Otherwise, I might not eat until lunchtime.”
Lunch varies too for the chef, depending on what she’s working on that day and where she’s at.
“If I have a project and have to recipe test, I will test in my kitchen and eat whatever I’m testing or shooting as I hate waste! If I am with a client on location, I will be with the chef testing recipes in their kitchen. Or if I am teaching, I will eat whatever we have made with the students.
I also have lunch meetings so if I am at a restaurant in London somewhere or if in another city, I try to have something new and at a local restaurant.”
Her favourite go-to’s? “I love Chinese, Japanese, Italian or French.”
“If I am at an event, I will eat out afterwards with friends or colleagues at a restaurant but I try to be at home with my husband in the evenings, it’s the only downtime we have to catch up.”
Interestingly, the healthy cook opts to cook vegan food when home – “my husband is vegan for health reasons, so we try and make something wholesome.”
Ching-He’s 6 must-have ingredients
If there’s anything stocked in your fridge at all times, Ching-He suggests these ‘fresh ingredients which are good for the body and fight bacterial infections’:
Garlic and ginger are antifungal and helps prevent colds and flu. Whilst, broccoli and spinach are rich in iron and protein and lemons are rich in Vitamin C.
P.S. you can use all of these basic ingredients to make a simple stir-fry; Ching-He’s favourite meal-prep dish – ‘you can make you easy, healthy stir-fries every day of the week.’ Try out her easy and healthy vegetable stir-fry:
Chinese Crispy Vegetable Stir Fry
- Groundnut oil 2 tbsp
- Garlic 2 cloves, finely chopped
- Ginger 2.5cm fresh root, peeled and grated
- Carrot 50g / 0.11 lb, cut into julienne strips
- Babycorn 50g / 0.11 lb, sliced in halves
- Water chestnut 50g / 0.11 lb, drained
- Broccoli 80g / 0.17 lb, trimmed and cut into florets
- Mange tout 80g / 0.17 lb
- Bean sprouts 80g / 0.17 lb
- Vegetarian mock fish cakes 80g / 0.17 lb, halved (optional)
- Low sodium light soy sauce 2 tbsp
- Vegetarian oyster sauce 2 tbsp
- Cornflour 2 tbsp
- Rice vinegar 2 tbsp
- Vegetable stock 200ml /0.85 cup, cold
- Toasted sesame oil 2 tbsp
- In a small jug, mix the light soy, vegetarian oyster sauce, cornflour, rice vinegar, vegetable stock and stir well. Set aside.
- Heat a wok over high heat until the wok starts to smoke, and add the groundnut oil. Add the garlic, ginger and mock fish cakes, and then stir-fry for one minute. Add the remaining vegetables and water chestnuts and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Stir the sauce mixture into the vegetables. Stir-fry for a further minute or so, until the liquid has thickened and the vegetables are glazed but still crisp. Season with toasted sesame oil. Serve immediately.
Ditch the take-out. Sign up to Ching-He’s website for more healthy and wholesome Chinese recipes.