Meals to remind you of home: How to create a Chinese home-cooked favourite

YOU’RE not likely to find this recipe at a Chinese restaurant in Melbourne soon – Trinity College Foundation Studies students Cadence Zhang, Jimmy Lee and Lim Xi give Chinese overseas students a recipe that will remind them of their parents’ cooking.

Photo: Lim Xi

Photo: Lim Xi

While Melbourne’s expansive food choices offers plenty of variation on popular dishes, not every cultural dish will be available to order in restaurants.

For Chinese students either looking to impress their friends or wanting to prepare something that reminds them of home, we take a recipe from the Guangdong province in China that you can cook yourself and prepare in an hour and for under $30!

In China, a traditional meal consists of two dishes and one soup. With this knowledge, we make one of our favourite Chinese meals which consists of shredded chicken, herbal soup and milk cabbage.

Note that the following recipe will ideally serve three people.

Herbal soup and shredded chicken


Herbal Soup and shredded chicken

  • 5 shiitake mushrooms
  • 7 jujubes/red dates
  • 1 stick of Codonopsis Ginseng
  • 10g Solomon’s Seal
  • 6 sticks of Adenophora Root
  • 20g dried goji/wolf berries
  • 1kg chicken
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons mature black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • Caraway leaves
Photo: Lim Xi

Photo: Lim Xi


  • Half a wombok (Chinese cabbage) length ways
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Milk, enough to cover cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

TIP: We recommend students source most of their ingredients either from local Asian grocers or at the Queen Victoria Market (particularly towards closing time for huge discounts!).


1. Rinse the jujubes, solomon’s seal, codonopsis ginseng, adenophora root, wolf berries, and chicken in water then place it in a pot filled two-thirds with water. If you do not wish to use the Chinese herbs, simply substitute with ginger.

2. Soak shiitake mushrooms in warm water for five minutes before adding the mushrooms and broth to the pot. Boil for 25 minutes.


Photo: Lim Xi

3. Once chicken is cooked, remove from soup and immerse in cold water. Cover it in cling wrap container and leave it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Continue boiling the soup for another 20 minutes. In the mean time, you may prepare the next dish.

4. Rinse wombok (Chinese cabbage) in water. Slice each wombok leaf horizontally into three pieces and then peel and dice three cloves of garlic.


Photo: Lim Xi

5. In a pot, add one tablespoon of oil and fry wombok and garlic for five minutes.

6. Drain the water and add enough milk to submerge the cabbage. Boil for six minutes. Add a tablespoon of sugar and stir once ready.

Photo: Lim Xi

Photo: Lim Xi

7. Take the chicken out from the refrigerator, remove its skin and shred it. Peel three more cloves of garlic and dice it. Add the diced garlic, four tablespoons of light soya sauce, four tablespoons of vinegar, two tablespoons of sesame oil, one tablespoon of sugar, and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle some caraway leaves if you wish.

8. Add salt to taste and serve dishes with rice.

We invited Jasmine Choong, a fellow student at Trinity College for a taste test and she said, “I will definitely cook this for my parents when they visit me. They will be so impressed!”

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collab. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch us via

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