Chinese cuisine

Chinese cuisine

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. 
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
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
Coronavirus might change how Chinese families eat together
For 40 years, Linda He and her family had served themselves from a single communal dish, picking up food with the same chopsticks they used to eat their meal as part of a long dining tradition in Chinese communities. But that changed last month when she started something of a dining table revolution: she added a second pair of chopsticks – just for serving. “Sharing food has been a tradition, but I have always thought we should abandon it because it helps spread diseases,” said He, who lives with her parents and child in Shanghai. The terror of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many people in China to examine their eating habits, in much the same way as it has prompted people around the worl
The unexpected history of Chinese-Canadian food (Hint: it’s not ‘fake Chinese’)
Chop suey, chow mein, egg foo yong, deep-fried lemon chicken, spring rolls, stir-fried beef and broccoli. These are all dishes typically found on the menu of a Chinese-Canadian restaurant. They may not be authentically Chinese, but they are culturally distinct. Vancouver-born journalist Ann Hui, 36, took an interest in the culinary curiosities after learning that many immigrant restaurants in Canada’s Chinatowns were closing down or being repurposed as non-Chinese restaurants or bars. When Hui, a reporter for Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, dug deeper, she discovered there were many such restaurants across the country. In some cases, they were the only restaurant in town. That inspir