Asian Cuisine

Asian Cuisine

Aw shucks! How oyster omelettes won a war
There might be something fishy about the story of how oyster omelets helped the Chinese win a war, but there’s no denying the eternal pull of the humble mollusk. A street food staple in Taiwan and the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, legend has it that a Chinese general named Koxinga created the snack to save his troops from starvation. It was 1661 and China was defending Taiwan from the Dutch, whose battle tactics were to limit the Chinese army’s food supply by hiding rice. Desperate for food, Koxinga is said to have plucked oysters from the beach, coated them in potato starch and deep-fried them for his men. The army was saved from hunger and later won the war against the Dutch. While the
An artistic movement emerges around dumplings
The world, it seems, has gone mad for dumplings, with fans of the plump pillows of perfection getting all steamed up about them. But it’s not just on the dining table that these doughy parcels of deliciousness inspire rapturous delight. Dumplings have moved from the back burner to the front and center of the show from China to Hong Kong, America, and India, where artists create dumpling-themed designs for products gaining popularity worldwide. “I think dumplings have become a shorthand for various Asian cuisines in the West,” says Stephanie Shih, 34, a New York-based Taiwanese-American artist. In Hong Kong, dumplings are Elizabeth Fry’s ultimate comfort food. The designer, entrepreneur and
How to make a uniquely Asian fried chicken sandwich
There is nothing quite like a good fried chicken sandwich and this recipe includes a fantastic Acar slaw, a Southeast Asian dish, to add some diversity to every bite.  The marinade for these fried chicken sandwiches couldn’t be easier, but the slaw takes a little work.  While traditional cooks would use a mortar and pestle to pound the mixture of spices, it’s much easier to grind them in a high-speed blender. Sambal belacan and coconut milk fried chicken sandwiches with acar slaw Belacan comes in hard, dry blocks, or in jars, where it is more moist.  For this recipe, use the dry version. The sambal belacan can be home-made or purchased in jars. Candlenuts can be difficult to source – look i
From bone marrow to shortcrust: the history of the egg tart
With their silky smooth, eggy custard filling and flaky pastry crust, Cantonese egg tarts are hard to resist when walking past a Hong Kong-style bakery. It’s even harder when they’re fresh out of the oven. For customers at Tai Cheong Bakery, one of Hong Kong’s oldest egg tart shops, the Cantonese treat isn’t just a delicious dessert, it’s the taste of their childhood. “It’s the sweet and savory mixed together. It’s very nostalgic for me,” says one hungry customer in between bites. “When I was young, my mom would come home every day with a box of egg tarts.” “It’s the Hong Kong tradition. That’s why we love it,” says another. “We grew up eating this like a dessert or teatime treat.” Found in