Cooking with Kwoklyn: Master Chinese Takeaway Recipes at Home

For Kwoklyn Wan, cooking has always been part of his DNA. Having grown up in the kitchens of Chinese takeaways and restaurants, this third-generation restaurateur has plenty of passion and knowledge when it comes to perfecting Chinese recipes.

Because of this, he is eager to share some of his culinary secrets – proving that it really is possible to perfect a delicious Chinese-takeaway banquet from the comfort of your own home.

Today, Journal Magazine is entering Kwoklyn’s virtual kitchen to find out how to cook Chinese food like a pro and discover more about the man behind the menu: Kwoklyn Wan.

Where it all began

From the very beginning, food was a major part of Kwoklyn Wan’s life. His parents ran a restaurant, and he and his siblings found themselves helping out wherever they could from a young age. Whenever their parents asked for a hand, help would come. “Now that could be answering the telephone, it could be opening the door for customers walking in, or very often be in the kitchen, either peeling carrots or washing up…” The list goes on, Kwoklyn explains. It was this early exposure to the excitement of a busy kitchen that ignited his passion for cookery. In short, he says, it’s why he loves to cook.

From these early foundations, Kwoklyn has become invested in many other ventures, from teaching Kung Fu to opening a Taiwanese bubble tea store. However, the kitchen has always called him back. His passion for food and commitment to hard work has never wavered. “I watched my mum and dad work so hard and they didn’t ever complain about it. It needed to be done and they did it. That attitude instilled so much knowledge in me, just by watching.”

Recently, Kwoklyn has become a household name, after sharing his expertise in various publications, as well as appearing on ITV’s This Morning, BBC One’s Inside Out, Channel 5’s Takeaway Secrets, and more. He now has his own TV show on Amazon Prime TV called Kwoklyn’s Chinese Takeaway Kitchen along with his own recipe books, including The Chinese Takeaway Cookbook.  

“There was a lot of me poured into that first book.” Explains Kwoklyn. “It was memories of working in the restaurant, with mum and dad and my brother and sister. Having that published was a really big achievement.” 

When it comes to the ideas behind his books, Kwoklyn takes inspiration from any popular recipe that he knows he can add a unique twist to. “I look at what other people have cooked or whatever the dishes are being cooked on TV. And I think, well, how would I do that? How would I change it? How would I make it my own? How would I put my little Chinese twist on that?” Adding his own flair to classic recipes is where Kwoklyn excels, and he’s passionate about teaching these new playful recipes to others.  

Cooking with Kwoklyn

Since getting a taste for success with his popular cookbooks and TV appearances, Kwoklyn has now also ventured into the world of online cookery classes – something that allows him to connect with people all over the world. “I’ve got this passion for teaching.” He says, “and when I do my online classes I get people logging in from everywhere! As far as Hawaii, Canada, and all over America.”

This connectivity is important to Kwoklyn. As is proving that – with a little help and the perfect ingredients – anyone is capable of creating delicious Chinese dishes at home. 

For one of his online sessions, Kwoklyn taught the team at The Mór Card to prepare three classic dishes: Cantonese style fried noodles (chow mein); Hong Kong style sweet and sour with chicken, pork or tofu; and chilli and salt spare ribs or aubergine fritters. He also taught the class the secret to making your own Chinese five spice powder.

The recipes kept the team busy and dashing around the kitchen for a couple of hours – to delicious results! One thing that really stands out with the way Kwoklyn cooks and teaches is how much you can manage to make from scratch. From freshly combining and grinding spices to marinating the meat, vegetables or tofu, each step is hands-on and exciting.

True to his word, the finished dishes that Kwoklyn taught could have been easily confused with their takeaway counterparts. The chow mein was simple and authentic, while the sweet and sour dish was zingy and perfectly balanced.

Fancy giving a few recipes a try at home? Here’s what you’ll need…

Eager to take on these takeaway classics? Head over to The Mór Card to book an online cooking masterclass with Kwoklyn Wan himself.