Food

Food

How Hong Kong’s quintessential street snack has gained a cult following
In a nondescript storefront on a busy street in Hong Kong, a long line of hungry office workers begins to form each evening.  Yue Lai Lao Zhu Snacks is home to what many believe is the world’s best siu mai, a steamed dumpling made with pork, shrimp, mushrooms and, sometimes, fish paste. The hole-in-the-wall in Tuen Mun, a suburban neighborhood in the northwestern reaches of Hong Kong, has gained a cult following in recent years, especially among food-obsessed commuters who want a quick bite on their way home.  “Siu mai is part of Hong Kong people’s lives,” says Patrick Chu, who opened the thriving dumpling business a decade ago.  Chu’s dumplings - based on his father’s recipe- are regarded
Mushroom might become the hottest health and wellness trend of 2021
Mushrooms are finally having their moment.  Long regarded in China for their medicinal benefits, mushrooms – including reishi, lion’s mane and chaga - have become one of the hottest health and wellness trends in North America.  “We’re living in increasingly stressful times and studies have established a direct connection between mental and physical health,” said Ben Stocker, Hong Kong’s leading retailer for mushroom powder.  “Mushrooms are at the forefront of this trend” as they help to fight stress and aging while providing energy and a better night’s sleep, he said. Among its biggest proponents in the US is wellness guru Gwyneth Paltrow who says she adds mushroom powder to her morning smo
Cooking tips from a Chinese stir-fry guru
Grace Young, a chef and award-winning author, grew up idolizing legendary French chef Julia Child, but it’s her love of Chinese cooking that has helped catapult her to fame across Asia and the US. She is on a mission is to demystify Chinese cooking and to take the art of stir-frying to the masses.  “The power and wisdom of Chinese cooking go far beyond simply mastering the more complex cooking techniques or even knowing the ingredients,” said Young, who grew up in San Francisco.  “For me, the principles that govern Chinese cooking and nutrition are far more intriguing than the Western notions of nutrition, with its focus on cholesterol, vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, and
Refined Chinese New Year dish is a nod to its humble beginnings
Poon choi is a staple dish for many people in China, and it is especially common during Chinese New Year.  Hong Kong’s Hyatt Regency Sha Tin executive chef Cheung Hong-man tells Inkstone how he refines the humble Cantonese dish. Was poon choi always a part of your village life? Growing up, poon choi was part of my heritage. In the early 1970s, Hong Kong was not so prosperous.  I remember rain dripped in and flooded the old houses. Back then, poon choi was common. My village wasn’t that big, just 100 to 150 people, but it’s been there for over 100 years. How did they prepare it?  You couldn’t just order out for food then. You called everyone in the village who knew how to cook to help out. 
Chinese chili oil is taking the world by storm
In many kitchens in China you’ll likely find a bottle or three of Lao Gan Ma, a crisp chili oil infused with a potent mix of dried chili peppers, fried onions, peanuts, fermented soybeans and, yes, MSG. It is ideal for spicing up staple Chinese dishes such as dumplings and fried rice, delivering the perfect balance of heat and crunch, as well as a delightful hit of umami. It is also one of the bestselling condiments in the country, with sales of over US$770 million in 2019. Today, savvy foodies in the West are catching on, from chefs to critics to celebrities. In 2018, American professional wrestler John Cena waxed lyrical about Lao Gan Ma – in Mandarin to boot – in a video posted on Weibo. 
Chinese New Year good luck fruit is nutrition powerhouse
To the Chinese, kumquats are a symbol of good luck and prosperity and are an important feature of the Chinese New Year holiday.  But they also pack a powerful health punch.  The small orange citrus superfruit, a popular delicacy during Lunar New Year, are storehouses of nutrition, packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. As more than a billion people in China and millions are around the world prepare to celebrate Lunar New Year, kumquats will be among the delicacies eaten, or given as gifts.  Kumquat trees adorned with red lai see fong (literally, good fortune envelopes) are auspicious decorations at the start of the Lunar New Year.  Native to China, the fruit is available ar
Kimchi wars: Korean live-streamer faces Chinese web users’ wrath
A South Korean internet star who live-streams herself binge-eating various foods – a phenomenon known as mukbang – is in hot water amid an online dispute over whether kimchi is Korean or Chinese. The YouTuber, who goes by the name Hamzy, found herself caught in the crossfire of this cultural clash when she added a thumbs-up emoji to comments online about China claiming Korean kimchi, a fermented cabbage dish, as its own. Chinese internet users said she had insulted China by showing her approval for what were seen as anti-China comments. Shanghai-based company Suxian Advertising, which run Hamzy's video accounts and online shop in China, was quoted as saying it planned to terminate its contr
Online superstar reignites cultural clash over kimchi
Chinese internet star Li Ziqi has found herself in a right pickle after unwittingly launching a cultural clash between Korea and China - all over a video of her making what appears to be kimchi. The 19-minute video titled, ‘The Life of a White Radish,’ has prompted an online war of words between people from the two countries – who both claim to own the dish of pickled vegetables. The 30-year-old vlogger – who has a combined social media following of 58 million fans on Weibo and YouTube – posted the video on Saturday with the hashtags #ChineseCuisine and #ChineseFood. Shortly after, angry Koreans flooded the comments section, criticizing Li for stealing their culture and insulting Korean tra
Home-cooking healing: five movies to inspire your inner chef
It’s safe to say that the coronavirus pandemic has upended life as we once knew it.  Gone are weekend brunches, happy hour drinks with friends and delicious dining out experiences. Now, many people around the world have been forced to fend for themselves in the kitchen. And unless you’re lucky enough to know a cordon bleu chef or be one yourself, we’d hazard a guess that, by now, quarantine cooking is starting to sour. Here at Inkstone, we want to bring a bit of spice back into your culinary life with inspiration from these five films about the healing power of home cooking. Babette’s Feast (1987) The Danish drama sees a once-celebrated chef, Babette Hersant (Stéphane Audran), seeking refu
Airlines begin war on in-flight meal waste
Japan Airlines is the latest aviation company to join the fight in reducing food wastage - which contributes to more than six million tons of cabin waste globally. The airline is now asking travelers to make an “ethical choice” by skipping meals on board their flights in a bid to deal with the problem. Since the airline prepares a meal for every person on board, a passenger who would rather sleep through meal service, or prefers to bring their own in-flight snacks, results in an enormous amount of wasted food. While many airlines provide an option to say “no thank you” to meal service during the flight, Japan Airlines’ approach means that no extra meals are prepared and then thrown away. Th