Posts Tagged ‘tasty’

Chinese Cookery School – Sweet Mandarin Is Proud of Her Students and Vice Versa

January 15, 2009

group“As family meals seems to have become pushed aside by a barrage of ubiquitous fast food and drive-thru restaurants, Lisa Tse of Sweet Mandarin emerges with a welcoming food philosophy of cooking healthy delicious meals and gathering the family back to the table. Operating from her modern wok fired restaurant, Sweet Mandarin in the Northern Quarter, Manchester, Lisa Tse continues a popular series of cooking classes that seek inspiration from a bevy of local world-class producers. The masterclass may well begin a session with a literal and culinary trip to the Silk Road learning how dim sum was created before actually learning the secrets of making dim sum. There was also some delightful party tricks to take back to the home kitchen. From the hands-on task of preparing the produce, learning knife skills, calculating the food budget and wok technique, a number of succulent stir fries and Chinese dishes were miraculously russled up during the masterclass.”


Patrick Swayze – A Fighter Against Cancer – A Dish to Remember (Thanks Mum)

January 7, 2009

patrick-swayzeRemember Your First dance. Your First love. The time of your life. And that famous phrase “No-one puts baby in a corner”?  Heart-throb, actor Patrick Swayze, the Dirty Dancing star has told of his fear as he battles pancreatic cancer.

“Yeah, I’m scared. Yeah, I’m angry. Yeah, I’m (asking), ‘Why me? You can bet that I’m going through hell, and I’ve only seen the beginning of it.”

But the Dirty Dancing star said he would beat the cancer: “Watch me! You watch what I pull off!”

Patrick, you were my hero during my teenage years when I sprouted an afro perm, pastel huge glasses and a tracksuit. I will be praying for you and writing a series of recipes to help you battle cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumour of the pancreas.  Each year in America, about 37,680 individuals are diagnosed with this condition and 34,290 die from the disease. In Europe more than 60,000 are diagnosed each year.



The National Cancer Institute estimates that roughly one-third of all cancer deaths may be diet related. What you eat can hurt you, but it can also help you. Many of the common foods found in grocery stores or organic markets contain cancer fighting properties, from the antioxidants that neutralize the damage caused by free radicals to the powerful phytochemicals that scientists are just beginning to explore. There isn’t a single element in a particular food that does all the work. The best thing to do is eat a variety of foods. The following foods have the ability to help stave off cancer cell growth or reduce tumour size.



The recipe I want to share with you today is one of our rustic home cooked favourites – Tomato Soup – also helps you to dethaw as we approach -10 degrees celcius in freezing Manchester. (Don’t forget if you don’t want to venture out, we do home deliveries – order online

Tomato Soup

Why Tomato Soup Is Good:

Canned tomato soup provides a concentration of vitamins C, K and A, along with the antioxidant lycopene, found to be protective against a growing list of cancers including colon, breast, lung and pancreatic cancer.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidantthat attacks roaming oxygen molecules, known as free radicals, that are suspected of triggering cancer. It appears that the hotter the weather, the more lycopene tomatoes produce. They also contain vitamin C, an antioxidant which can prevent cellular damage that leads to cancer. Watermelons, carrots, red peppers also contain thsese substances, but in lesser quantities. It is concentrated by cooking tomatoes. Scientists in Isreal have shown that lycopene can kill mouth cancer cells. An increased intake of lycopene has already been linked to a reduced risk of breast, prostate, pancreas and colorectal cancer.

Why Red Tomatoes Are Green:

Organic tomatoes (even canned ones) are the greener choice when making soup. These tomatoes are grown on healthy soil without the use of harmful synthetic pesticides, toxic runoff and using agricultural practices that help sustain the land for future generations.

Mum’s Tomato Soup

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans organic crushed or chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup cream or milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1. Heat the butter and the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and carrot and cook, sweating the juicy goodness from this base and continuously stir for 3 minutes. Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered, about 35 to 40 minutes, until the soup begins to thicken.

2.  Cool the soup to room temperature (if in a hurry add four ice cubes). Process the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Pulse until soup is pureed. Return to the pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cream/milk and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Oprah’s Ten Weight Loss Recipes – No. 3 Egg Drop Soup – By The Sweet Mandarin Cookery School

January 4, 2009

200901_omag_cover_2203This series of blogs is addressed to Oprah and all those out there battling the bulge and excess weight. I am often asked by my clients to prepare for them a special detox meal over a period of a week to a month. The following recipes are just a sample of our offerings and are unique to Sweet Mandarin ( If you would like a one-to-one consultation, contact me, Lisa Tse on .

Best wishes and Sweet Dishes to You and Your Family





The basic recipe for Egg Drop Soup (also called Egg Flower Soup) is very simple; I’ve included a few variations below. Serves 3 to 4.

Traditionally, the broth for Egg Drop Soup is rather bland, allowing the egg flavor to stand out.



           4 cups chicken broth or stock

           2 eggs, lightly beaten

           1 -2 spring onions finely sliced

           Salt to taste

           A few drops of sesame oil (optional)


In a wok or saucepan, bring the 4 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Add the salt, and the sesame oil if using. Cook for about another minute.

Very slowly pour in the beaten eggs in a steady stream.

To make shreds, stir the egg rapidly in a clockwise direction for one minute. To make thin streams or ribbons, gently stir the eggs in a clockwise direction until they form.

  Garnish with spring onion and serve.


Nutritional Breakdown – 4 servings

Each serving contains: Calories 81, 2 g Carbohydrates, 8 g Protein, 4 g Total Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 106 mg Cholesterol, trace Fibre, 866 mg Sodium


Egg Drop Soup Variations

These would be added after the seasonings. After adding, let the soup cook for a few more minutes and then add the beaten egg.

**1/2 cup frozen peas (defrosted).

**1/2 cup sweetcorn and finely diced chicken breast meat (cooked) – this makes Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup.

**If you are preparing the soup for someone who is ill, try adding a slice of fresh, grated ginger. Among its many benefits, ginger is believed to be helpful in treating colds and flue.


Egg Drop Soup is frequently thickened with cornstarch in restaurants. To add a cornstarch thickener, mix 2 – 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/2 cup water. Just before adding the beaten egg, stir in the cornstarch/water mixture, remove the soup from the heat, and then add the beaten egg.


Oprah’s Ten Weight Loss Recipes – No.1 – Mabel’s Claypot – By Sweet Mandarin Cookery School

January 4, 2009



This series of blogs is addressed to Oprah and all those out there battling the bulge and excess weight. I am often asked by my clients to prepare for them a special detox meal over a period of a week to a month. The following recipes are just a sample of our offerings and are unique to Sweet Mandarin ( If you would like a one-to-one consultation, contact me, Lisa Tse on .

Best wishes and Sweet Dishes to You and Your Family




Instead of meat try ordering the tofu – it is made of soybeans, high in protein and not too high in fat and calories – it soaks up the flavor of the foods that it is cooked with. Avoid dishes using fried tofu.




This is a family favourite of my mother, Mabel. It evokes home cooking at its best and will draw you to the warmth of the family table after tasting this delicious and nutritious dish. The story behind this dish stems from when my mother was only a child of seven and immigrated to the UK. She felt so home sick and hated the rainy cold weather, the fact that she couldn’t speak of word of English and had no friends. Her mother made her this dish, and it immediately transported her back to the warm climate of Hong Kong to a place where she felt safe and secure. This claypot was her comfort dish – her comfort food – and helped her transition to a new world.



•           1 packet of firm Tofu

•           1 1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) dark soy sauce

•           1 ½  teaspoons (7 mL) Chinese rice vinegar

•           1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) salt

•           ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) sugar

•           3/4 cup (187.5 mL) chicken or vegetable stock

•           1 teaspoon (5 mL) cornstarch mixed

•           2 tablespoons (25 mL) water

•           1 tablespoon (15 mL) vegetable oil

•           1 tablespoon (15 mL) sesame oil

•           2 spring onions sliced in one inch pieces

•           2 baby bok choy, cut into rough squares

•           Quarter Chinese sausage (lap cheung) finely sliced – or replace with salami (optional – don’t add if vegetarian)

•           1/2 onion, sliced.

•           1 tablespoon (15 mL) grated ginger

•           1 teaspoon (5 mL) garlic

•           1 large shallot, chopped

•           5 Chinese mushrooms from can or if dried, soak until soft

•           2 sprigs cilantro

•           2 cups (500 mL) jasmine rice




1. Pre-heat oven to 360–375˚F

(180–190˚C or Gas Mark 4–5).

2. Soak mushrooms in hot water for one hour (alternatively use ready-to-cook tinned

Chinese mushrooms).

3. Cut tofu into bite-sized pieces.

4. Mix the marinade ingredients (salt, sugar, Chinese rice wine and corn starch) in a large

bowl, add the tofu pieces and stir gently.

5. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

6. Place wok on high heat. Add the oil, stir in the ginger and garlic, and cook until golden.

7. Drain the tofu (reserve the marinade). Stir-fry the tofu until it’s cooked through.

8. Add spring onions, mushrooms, lap cheung and bok choy. Stir-fry for three minutes until the vegetables soften slightly.

9. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and salt.

10. Add chicken /vegetable broth and marinade and bring to a boil.

11. Add cornstarch mixture and mix well until consistency thickens.

12. Switch off heat. Pour the tofu, vegetables and stock into a clay pot.

13. Cover and place the pot in the oven.

14. Bake for 5-10 mins until mixture is bubbling.

15. Serve with fragrant jasmine rice.



Each serving includes:  Calories 269, 26 g Carbohydrates, 21 g Protein, 10 g Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 50 mg Cholesterol, 4 g Fibre, 330 mg Sodium, 420 mg Potassium. An excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and niacin. A good source of fibre, vitamin E, vitamin B-6 and folacin.


Chinese Black Mushrooms – No need to visit the Chinese pharmacist for these – you’ll find bins of Chinese black mushrooms packed to overflowing in any Chinese grocery store. Used in soups stir-fries and braised dishes, they are thought to be helpful in lowering blood pressure.


Ginger – Besides being appreciated for its distinct flavor and ability to diffuse other strong odors, ginger has long been used as a digestive aid. Thought to get rid of air in the body, it is used to treat both stomach acidity and motion sickness. In China, women customarily drink a mixture of ginger cooked in wine and sesame oil shortly after giving birth.

To learn more about the Sweet Mandarin Cookery School – To book your place on the course or to order specific detox menus – email Lisa Tse on

BBC Films The Sweet Mandarin Cookery School and Lisa Tse

January 3, 2009


I was recently filmed for the tv series Inside Out on BBC One which featured Sweet Mandarin and the story behind our restaurant/cookery school. The director, Lawrence and presenter Andy Johnson were brilliant fun and got stuck into the cooking (and eating) at the Sweet Mandarin Cookery School.  You can see the programme on (Home Page).

The Internet is a wonderful thing.  The revolution allows me to reach out to all my students around the world. Now, thanks to the Internet, I have the ability to post my recipes online, making them more accessible to viewers and chefs.  This leaves no excuses—get cooking today!

Best wishes and Sweet dishes to you and your family


Testimonials – Sweet Mandarin Cookery School

January 3, 2009

Francine loves to entertain her friends and family. Prior to joining Sweet Mandarin’s Cookery School, Francine found a Chinese menu somewhat bewildering – too much choice and uncertainty as to what all the flavours would taste like. Sweet Mandarin’s Cookery School gave Francine an introduction to a new  type of cuisine and an understanding that at the end of the day, good food is delicious especially Chinese food.  It was a pleasure to welcome you to our home, Sweet Mandarin. May you and your family have many Sweet dishes for 2009!  Here is a summary of Francine’s thoughts after the class.


Sweet Mandarin is a Chinese restaurant in the Northern Quarter, Manchester. It was my first time visiting Sweet Mandarin and its a place with people with big hearts who welcome you to their kitchen to cook and enjoy their stories as you dine on your own cooking.

Lisa is as eager to teach as you are to learn. Each lesson filled with fresh local ingredients and lots of laughs!

If it’s about the food and the culture of China, this is the ticket. I felt well informed and always at ease – oh and the spring rolls were absolutely delicious – what more could you ask for?”



Do you want to try Chinese cuisine and learn to cook Chinese cuisine? If so, contact Lisa Tse on  For more information go to

Welcome to The Sweet Mandarin Cookery School

January 2, 2009
Lisa Tse - head chef of the Sweet Mandarin Cookery School

Lisa Tse - head chef of the Sweet Mandarin Cookery School


I’m Lisa, the head chef at Sweet Mandarin. I can’t wait for you to join me at our Sweet Mandarin Cookery School. This blog is designed for you to answer all those questions you have about food, cooking and healty living.

Imagine this – A New Year – A New You

My friends and clientele tell me they want to look better, feel better, and live happier, more fulfilling lives – but they also like to eat. I believe that food is an essential part of a happy and fulfilling life, and I’m committed to showing you how delicious healthy living can be.

Wishing you Best Wishes and Sweet Dishes to You and Your Family