Andrew Sun

Andrew Sun

Andrew is a contributor to Inkstone. He has dabbled in many shades of the media spectrum for 25 years, from college radio, TV, print and online columnist to starting film festivals, managing music lab

els and authoring food books. Someday he will figure what he wants to be when he grows up.

Most of the Western world is still ignorant of Asian cooking
It’s a slow week night and I find myself vegetating in front of the TV, watching another season of MasterChef. As usual, feisty judge Gordon Ramsay is ripping into another contestant for his poor job of cooking a piece of meat and Joe Bastianich is shooting daggers at another for sloppy plating. As an Asian viewer, though, what’s been gnawing at me over so many seasons is how little Asian cuisine they actually feature. As people discover food from Asia, this geographic region has undeniably had the most profound culinary effect of any continent in the last 20 years. If you watch MasterChef, you’d think Asian food is still just rice, more rice and sweet and sour pork. This applies to many oth
Most of the Western world is still ignorant of Asian cooking
Forget chicken breasts: Why Asian diners love to gnaw on bones
They say real men don’t eat quiche. I would go further and say the really masculine real men also gnaw on gristle and bones. There’s nothing more primal than eating a roast chicken with your hands, tearing off the legs and wings and using your teeth to get all the meat from the bones. It’s almost as satisfying as digging into a plate of barbecued ribs with the sauce staining your fingernails, or attacking every crevice of a lobster, so you can suck out the tasty green tomalley. Eating has always been one of life’s great tactile and sensual pleasures. Think of all those portraits of English king Henry VIII, where he’s holding his giant turkey leg. But somewhere in the course of Western societ
Forget chicken breasts: Why Asian diners love to gnaw on bones
Hot water: the perfect drink for all occasions
Of all the quirky habits of Hongkongers, one thing that many expats still can’t get their heads around is how Chinese people enjoy drinking hot water. We’re talking water boiled in the kettle and then poured into grandma’s old vacuum flask. Only it’s not just senior citizens who are drinking it. I have hiking friends who still prefer heated water to cold drinks after scaling one of the city’s peaks. It may not be scalding any more, but poured into a glass it’s hot enough to that you pull your hand back when you touch it. In contrast, some westerners don’t even like room-temperature water; they have to add a couple of ice cubes before having a sip. For many, the only acceptable hot drinks ar
Hot water: the perfect drink for all occasions
Death to gastronomic imperialism: noodles deserve respect
You know what’s funny? Hearing people say a HK$200 ($25) plate of ravioli is reasonably priced at a fine-dining Italian ristorante in Hong Kong, while at a local noodle joint they howl that it’s grand larceny if a bowl of wonton costs more than HK$50 ($6). Think about it: they are similar foods using similar ingredients. The Italians might use expensive cheese or Parma ham, but good-quality shrimps used for wonton are not cheap, either. Even if you argue the food costs in the premium ravioli are higher, is one pasta worth four bowls of soup dumplings? The economics of gastronomy has its own weird caste system. People think that certain dishes have to be inexpensive to be authentic and valued
Death to gastronomic imperialism: noodles deserve respect
James Corden, stop dissing Asian food for laughs
I like James Corden’s talk show, The Late Late Show with James Corden. His recurring segment Carpool Karaoke is fun, the interviews are engaging, and his winning personality smooths over even the most mediocre of jokes. However, I do find one of his segments very irksome. Spill Your Guts Or Fill Your Guts is one of the games he plays with celebrities. Corden asks the guests difficult personal questions: “Drew Barrymore, who was your least talented co-star?” “Anna Wintour, who will you never invite back to the Met Gala ball?” “Kendall Jenner, which of Kim and Kanye’s kids have the worst name?” If the person won’t answer, he or she must take a bite from a selection of “disgusting” foods. The
James Corden, stop dissing Asian food for laughs
Hong Kong’s spice shaming must stop
The spice shaming must stop. It’s time Hong Kong comes out and admits there’s nothing wrong with liking spicy food. The myth was always that the Cantonese in southern China prefer clean flavours and delicate cooking, as exemplified by the cuisine’s steamed fish and clear soups. Too much spicy food, grandmothers warned, will get you an upset stomach or ulcer. To this day, the most common customer question before ordering at Indian, Mexican and Korean restaurants is, “How hot is this dish?” The fallacy of fiery heat being a vice is sometimes reinforced at family dim sum lunches. The uncle who liked to drink and bet on horses was usually also the one to keep asking for more chili oil. No one el
Hong Kong’s spice shaming must stop