Easy zi char recipes for the entire family 


homemade zi char cover image

Cooking at home can be difficult at times. I particularly have a soft spot for zi char restaurants when eating out. The comforting flavours never fail to brighten up my day. But sometimes, I wonder if I can make these dishes at home where I can control just how much oil goes into my food.

woh hup sauces

Cooking zi char dishes is much easier than it looks. With the help of Woh Hup’s range of sauces, we managed to whip up a feast in less than 20 minutes. These sauces come packed with loads of flavour, saving you the trouble of painfully preparing the sauces. 

Here are 5 recipes you can replicate at home under just 5 steps.

This article is a part of our Influential Brands 2018 series, where we highlight the most influential brands in Singapore. Woh Hup has been awarded 2018 Top Influential Brands in the category of Sauces in Singapore.


1. Sweet and Sour Pork 


sweet and sour pork

A quintessential zi char favourite, a good sweet and sour sauce needs to have a fine balance between tomato sauce and sugar. 

chopping green capiscum

Save yourself the hassle of painstakingly assembling the sauce by going for Woh Hup’s Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce. It has a sweet fragrance that’s enhanced with some extra tang from sour pineapples. 

Yield: Serves 2
Cooking time: 20 minutes 


  • 200g pork butt/loin, cubed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce 
  • 1 egg 
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch 
  • ½ minced onion
  • 1 green pepper, cubed 
  • 6 tbsp Woh Hup Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce 


  1. Marinate pork with salt, sugar, soy sauce and egg. Leave in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 
  2. Coat marinated pork with cornstarch.
  3. Deep fry in vegetable oil.
  4. In a frying pan on medium-high heat, saute onion and green pepper till peppers are soft.
  5. Add pork and mix with Woh Hup Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce.

2. Sambal Lala  


sambal lala

The most challenging part of this dish is actually preparing the clams. But be patient with it and you’ll be rewarded with a dish that’s affordable and delicious. When cooked, the clams release their sweet juices from within, adding an extra depth to the fiery Sambal Oelek sauce we used.

sambal oelek sauce

For those who are familiar with Indonesian cuisine, this popular garlic-infused chilli sauce is used to add heat to a dish without impacting the overall flavour. I’d recommend going easy on the sauce, but feel free to add more if you like things spicy.

Yield: Serves 2
Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • 300g fresh clams, cleaned 
  • 3 piece of shallot, minced
  • 3 pieces of garlic, minced
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup Woh Hup Sambal Oelek 


  1. Soak clams in clean salted water for 30mins, pick them out by hand, rinse, and set aside.
  2. In a frying pan on medium heat, fry onion and garlic till fragrant. Around 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add Woh Hup Sambal Oelek sauce and clams. Fry till the shells of the clams open up, around 5 minutes.
  4. Season with a pinch of salt.

3. Black Pepper Beef


black pepper beef

Easy to make, this lip-smacking dish combines spicy black pepper with sliced beef. If you’re feeling extravagant, use beef tenderloin that promises a tender and melt-in-your-mouth texture. 

But for everyday meals, I would simply recommend the cheaper flank steak that is just as good too. Serve on white rice, which soaks up the rich peppery sauce. 

Yield: Serves 2
Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 200g beef tenderloin or flank steak, sliced against the grain  
  • Pinch of salt 
  • ½ tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine 
  • 1 green pepper, cubed
  • 1/2 piece of ginger, finely sliced
  • ½ onions, sliced thinly 
  • 6 tbsp Woh Hup Black pepper sauce 

pouring black pepper sauce into pan


  1. Marinate beef with salt, sugar, soy sauce, and Shaoxing rice wine. Leave in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a hot pan on medium-high heat, add onion, bell and ginger and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add beef and stir-fry for 4-5 more minutes. 
  4. Pour in sauce and mix until the sauce has coated the beef evenly. 

4. Sambal Kangkong with Sotong


sambal kangkong with sotong

I’ve never understood how zi char restaurants can charge so much for a plate of vegetables. Why fork out $8 for a plate of kangkong when the same amount costs just $1.50 at the supermarket?

Washing the kangkong takes a few minutes and the best part is that you can get to control the amount of salt and oil used. Add in a few slices of blanched sotong (squid), pour in sambal shrimp, and you’ve got an upgraded dish that’s fit for a king. 

Yield: Serves 2
Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • 200g kangkong washed and trimmed 
  • 200g sotong 
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 3 pieces of garlic, minced
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper 
  • 4 tbsp Woh Hup Sambal Shrimp sauce 

sambal on kangkongA dollop of Woh Hup’s sambal will give the dish the flavour we all know and love


  1. Wash sotong and make shallow cuts across in a criss-cross pattern. This will give the sotong a nice curl when blanched. Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch sotong for a few seconds. Remove and drain. 
  3. In a frying pan on medium heat, saute onions and garlic till fragrant.
  4. Add kangkong and stir fry on medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour in Woh Hup Sambal Shrimp sauce and fry for another 2 minutes. Add sotong and serve. 

5. Kungpao Chicken 


kungpao chicken

I’m always extra careful when it comes to navigating my way around kung pao chicken. One bite into a dried chilli or Sichuan peppercorns and my tongue will be besieged by a numbing sensation that would probably last through the night. 

kung po sauce on chicken

Try using Woh Hup Kung Po sauce – it has all the rich explosive flavours of kung pao, minus the pesky peppercorns and chilli. 

Yield: Serves 2
Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 300g chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 pieces of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 20g cashew nuts
  • 5 tbsp Woh Hup Kung Po sauce 


  1. Marinate chicken in soy sauce, cornstarch, and Shaoxing wine. Leave in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
  2.  In a hot pan on medium-high heat, fry chicken with garlic until golden brown 
  3. Toss in cashew nuts and mix with garlic and chicken mixture 
  4. Add in Kung Pao sauce and mix well for 1 to 2 minutes. 

Cooking made easy with Woh Hup


woh hup sauce range

Serving up classic sauces since 1936, Woh Hup has been trusted by chefs and home cooks for over eight decades. From a small noodle house in Chinatown in 1936 to a global brand with a distribution network of over 25 countries today, the label has come evolved over the years to include more than 50 varieties of sauces and condiments. 

happy eating

A recipient of the Top Influential Brands Awards, dish up convenient and authentic cuisine in a matter of minutes by using Woh Hup’s sauces. 

Find out more about Woh Hup Food here! 


About Influential Brands


Influential Brands is a consumer insight-driven awards programme that provides consumers, businesses, and stakeholders a platform to give brands the recognition they deserve for excelling in their respective fields.

Studies conducted by Influential Brands are purely driven by consumers, with Top Brands selected by consumers based on their perceptions and preferences. Ensuing results paint an accurate picture of the impact and influence that brands have on the lives of consumers.

To better understand how the ever-changing world that we live in affects consumers’ purchasing habits and experiences, Influential Brands is committed to identifying their preferences, behavioural patterns, and values. 

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This post is brought to you by Influential Brands 2018.
Photography by Thaddeus Lim.

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