Hot and Sour Dressing

Time for another recipe: this one is from Kylie Kwong’s “My China – a Feast for the Senses” – it is a really amazing book that describes her journey through some of the provinces in China, meeting and sharing in the life stories of the local people and cooking the specialties from that region. It’s a coffee-table book, a photo-journey and a recipe book all blended into one.

This Hot and Sour Dressing is used as a delicious dressing for a salad of steamed chicken, but it can be used with prawns, fish, beef, pulses, vegetables – basically anything. I’ve used it with chicken, fish and prawns, and all work equally well and are very tasty. This recipe comes from the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province, which is known for its love of spicy flavours.

Dressing ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander [I use a big bunch of stalks and leaves – no need to measure!]
  • 5cm piece of ginger, cut into thin strips (or finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons trimmed and finely sliced spring onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, finely sliced [Remember to remove the seeds if you want less heat!]
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light soya sauce [I add extra soya sauce if I want to make the dressing go further]
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil

Combine all ingredients except peanut oil in a heatproof bowl. Heat peanut oil in a small heavy-based pan until the surface shimmers slightly, then carefully pour over the ingredients in the bowl. Stir to combine and set aside, uncovered.

Prepare whatever seafood or meat or veg you are going to use, and when ready, arrange on a platter and spoon the dressing over the other ingredients and serve at room temperature.

Last night I used this dressing over Steamed Chicken Rissoles and a bed of leeks and Chinese wilted greens.

Chicken Rissoles

  • 2 large chicken breasts, minced in a blender
  • 2 chopped spring onions
  • a small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon light soya sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon potato flour
  • salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients into the minced chicken and leave to stand for a few minutes. Shape chicken mixture into small balls and place in steamer basket + wok for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.


  • 1 leek, sliced
  • a bunch of Chinese greens, pak choi or spinach
  • a few tablespoons of chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil

Heat the peanut oil and stir-fry the leeks until soft. Add the greens, toss to mix and pour in a few spoons of the chicken stock. Cover and allow to simmer for a few minutes, until leaves are just wilted.

To serve: drain the leek and greens and place on a platter. Arrange the chicken rissoles and pour over the hot and sour dressing.



4 Responses to “Hot and Sour Dressing”

  1. 1 chick from africa
    April 10, 2011 at 00:47

    Sounds wonderful – guesswhat is on my menu for next week!!!!

  2. 3 saigon shopper
    April 10, 2011 at 17:41

    Looks amazing. Will you make it for me next time I visit? Please?

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