We ask our favourite Chinese restaurants to share their recipes for some classic dishes loved by China’s iconic figures

With the National Day long weekend fast approaching, booking a table at a harbour view restaurant to enjoy the firework display sounds like the usual plan for most people. But if you don’t want to pay the inflated prices of a National Day menu, why not try cooking up your own celebratory feast at home? To help you go off the beaten track, we travel through history and look for the most iconic foods enjoyed by China’s most important national figures, and then asked our favourite Chinese restaurants in town for recipes to recreate the dishes. such as Buddha Jumps Over the Wall.

Chinese cabbage in clear water

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Ingredients (serves four):

250g lean pork

250g pork spareribs

1 hen

75g Jinhua ham

6 pcs baby Chinese cabbage


1. Place the lean pork, pork spareribs, hen and Jinhua ham into 1.5 litres of water and simmer for at least 4 hours.

2. Remove the meat and strain. Keep the broth.

3. Simmer the baby Chinese cabbage in the broth for one hour. Serve the cabbage in the broth.


Twice-Cooked Pork 

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Ingredients (serves two): 

125g pork belly, sliced

65g bitter melon, thinly sliced

30g each green and red bell pepper, sliced

30g dried tofu, sliced

155g leek

15g spring onions

15g sliced garlic and ginger


For the sauce 

½ tsp preserved black beans

½ tsp black bean paste

½ tsp sweet miso

½ tsp rice wine

½ tsp chilli bean paste

½ tsp sesame oil 

1. Heat a frying pan with one tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced pork and stir-fry until half-cooked.

2. Add the bitter melon, green and red bell pepper and dried tofu slices and continue to stir-fry.

3. Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl, then add to the pan. Toss well to coat the ingredients in the sauce.

4. Add the leeks, spring onions, sliced garlic and ginger and stir-fry briefly, until the leeks are tender. Serve.


Buddha Jumps Over the Wall 

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Ingredients (serves one): 

150g soft shell turtle, sliced

240ml superior broth

1 pc ginger

1-2 spring onions

1 pc canned abalone

10g fish maw (pre-soaked)

10g sea cucumber (pre-soaked)

10g deer sinew (pre-soaked)

1 pc conpoy

20g chicken, briefly boiled and drained

35g Jinhua ham


1. Heat up a wok and stir-fry the soft shell turtle. Cover with water and simmer briefly, then drain the soft shell turtle and set aside.

2. Double-boil the soft shell turtle in 80ml of the superior broth with the ginger and spring onion for half an hour. Drain and keep the broth aside.

3. Pour the reserved broth and remaining 160ml superior broth into a steamer pot. Add the abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber, deer sinew, conpoy, Jinhua ham and briefly boiled and drained chicken. Double-boil for four hours and serve.


Shanghainese pork balls with crab roe

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Ingredients (serves two): 

40g fore hock (front leg of pig), minced

20g pork belly, minced

50g egg, beaten

100g Shanghai cabbage

75g hairy crab roe

A pinch of salt, sugar and pepper


1. Mix the fore hock, pork belly and egg together and season with salt, sugar and pepper. With damp hands, divide and shape the mixture into balls.

2. Steam the meatballs until fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, blanch the Shanghai cabbage in boiling water until tender, to use for garnish.

3. Cook the hairy crab roe with some seasoning in a small pan to make a thickened sauce.

4. Lay the blanched cabbage on a plate and arrange the steamed meatballs on top. Drizzle over the hairy crab roe sauce and serve. 

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