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
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
The unexpected history of Chinese-Canadian food (Hint: it’s not ‘fake Chinese’)
Hong Kong brewers match beer with Chinese food
Chef Jowett Yu’s pairing of grilled New Zealand fatty lamb ribs and an especially brewed beer has been years in the making. Years ago in China, the Hong Kong restaurateur had eaten lamb ribs at Guanguanji, a restaurant in Shanghai. The lamb had been slathered in cumin, fennel and chilli powder, and he had wanted to wash it all down with an ice-cold beer – which the restaurant did not serve. Now, however, Yu has finally been able to marry the two together. Dad Bod, a beer brewed in Hong Kong by Young Master Brewery, is sold exclusively at Ho Lee Fook, Yu’s modern Chinese restaurant in Soho – an upscale entertainment district in Hong Kong. Dad Bod is a pale ale made with guava that “cuts throu
Hong Kong brewers match beer with Chinese food
Will China embrace plant-based meat? We’re about to find out
If anyone wants to convince Chinese people to eat less pork, the country’s favorite meat, now is a very opportune time.  Over the past four months, pork prices have more than doubled in China, due to an outbreak of African swine fever that has wiped out more than 30% of the country’s pig herd, which experts say will take years to rebuild.  Green Common, a plant-based food company based in Hong Kong, is hoping the pork crisis means more people are in the market for alternatives.  “There is a market for this product in China,” said Casey Hall, a Shanghai-based writer who’s been covering Chinese consumers for over a decade.  Chinese people are certainly opting for other kinds of meat, as risin
Will China embrace plant-based meat? We’re about to find out
Domino’s and Pizza Hut are offering boba pizza in Taiwan
The sweet, chewy boba balls are not only in your bubble tea, they could also be on top of your pizza.  Domino’s and Pizza Hut are offering pizzas topped with boba in Taiwan, the birthplace of the original bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea.  The boba pizza is already being sold at Domino’s on the island. It costs NT$199 ($6.50) to have a “brown sugar boba pizza” delivered. It’s topped with black boba, white mochi balls, honey and cheese. Customers can pay extra for extra cheese.  Pizza Hut will start selling its own version on November 1. The pizza, topped with black boba, cheese, a milky sauce and another sauce made with Ceylon tea, will cost NT$329 ($10.8). It’s vegetarian, by the w
Domino’s and Pizza Hut are offering boba pizza in Taiwan
Why are Chinese investors all over plant-based meat?
When a Chinese ham and sausage producer said it’s making plant-based beef patties, its stock price jumped 10% on the day.  Jinzi, based in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang, named the product “beef-flavored plant-based pie.” They were created in partnership with US chemical giant DuPont.  The stock price of the Shenzhen-listed Jinzi, which is known for selling cured ham, has kept surging since last week, when it first made the announcement, adding another 7% increase from Monday to Wednesday.   Analysts say the stock rally highlights an emerging growth opportunity in China, a market that has attracted interest from American alt-meat producers such as Impossible Foods. The company is not
Why are Chinese investors all over plant-based meat?
The Hong Kong restaurants taking on the world
With anti-government protests into their 18th week, Hong Kong restaurants have rarely had it tougher. Visitor numbers are down and city residents are less keen to go out to eat. Hong Kong groups that have expanded overseas, however, are faring better. These groups have exported their cuisine around the world: from New York and Las Vegas to Singapore and Sydney. Aqua Restaurant Group’s Hutong opened in the Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood back in 2003 and is known for its northern Chinese cuisine and breathtaking views of Hong Kong. The group recently opened Hutong on Lexington Avenue in New York, in a space that was formerly home to French restaurant Le Cirque. It is the group’s first restaurant i
The Hong Kong restaurants taking on the world
Hong Kong street food that Westerners love and hate
In Yau Ma Tei, a bustling area of Hong Kong, food stalls stand side-by-side, enticing diners with a heady aroma from the dishes they are boiling, steaming and frying. Rising above the medley of fragrances is a pungent odor that suddenly hits the nostrils. As it intensifies, the rotten smell rapidly envelopes the whole street. It comes from a woman who is chowing down on tofu that she bought a nearby stall. Leaning forward to prevent the sauce from staining her shirt, she sinks her teeth into the fermented, fried tofu slathered with a brown sauce.   Lisa Xiao, from Hubei province in central China, came to Hong Kong for a holiday with her family. “The dressing is reminiscent of my childhood,”
Hong Kong street food that Westerners love and hate
China set to lose half of its pigs to epidemic. Can fake pork save the day?
With pork prices in China spiking in recent months, a food company thinks now is the perfect time to convince the world’s largest pork consumer to try something new: fake pork. Since last August, a deadly swine epidemic has left 40% of China’s pigs dead or culled. Financial service firm Rabobank estimates China could lose half of its pig herd by the end of 2019. Despite China’s move to release emergency pork reserves to the markets, pork prices have jumped close to 50% since July, according to China’s agriculture department. Hong Kong-based Omnipork, a plant-based meat producer, sees a “good window of opportunity” as consumers and restaurants look for pork alternatives. David Yeung, co-foun
China set to lose half of its pigs to epidemic. Can fake pork save the day?
China releases ‘emergency pork’ amid swine virus outbreak
The Chinese government has stepped up efforts to ease an acute pork shortage that is fueling public grievances. African swine fever, which is harmless to humans but deadly to pigs, has spread across the country over the past year, forcing farmers to slaughter their hogs and shutting down loss-making pig farms. As a result, China’s hog herd is now down more than 30% compared with a year ago, according to official data, while pork prices have hit new highs.  Pork is the most popular meat for the majority of the Chinese population. Pork affordability is also one of the indicators people use to gauge their own financial well-being.  With citizens increasingly unhappy over expensive pork, the go
China releases ‘emergency pork’ amid swine virus outbreak