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
Can fake-meat startups make it in the home of alt-meat?
The Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods makes a business out of convincing carnivores that vegan burgers can taste just as beefy as the real deal. But as the company’s founder, Patrick Brown, has set his sight on China, calling the country an “essential” market at a forum on Wednesday, the world’s largest meat consumer has responded with skepticism. Given China’s long history of making and eating faux meat, a Buddhist tradition that is also widely followed by non-believers, some commentators have dismissed the American company’s offering as uninspiring. “China’s vegetarian restaurant is the gem! We have had mock meats since forever, and they can beat those foreign synthetic meats in a h
Can fake-meat startups make it in the home of alt-meat?
Mooncakes filled with chicken and then some
The biggest fast-food chain in China, Kentucky Fried Chicken, has launched its own take on mooncakes, a (usually) sweet treat reserved for the Mid-Autumn Festival. The festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. This year, that’s on September 13. Meat-filled mooncakes aren’t uncommon – we’ve debated them before – but can you put chicken in mooncakes?  We brought in a bucket of KFC’s take on the festival staple to find out.
Mooncakes filled with chicken and then some
The lavish, expensive Cantonese dishes lost in time
Double-boiled pig’s stomach stuffed with chicken and bird’s nest. Wok-seared crab cake with bird’s nest and egg white. Wok-fried thinly sliced giant sea conch “snow flakes” with chicken fillet and crispy ham medallions. These are just some of the dishes that wealthy customers used to order in high-end Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong decades ago. But, they eventually disappeared from menus because they were too laborious or difficult to prepare, or the price charged didn’t make them worth the effort. Malaysian-Chinese freelance food writer Agnes Chee had never heard of these dishes before. She later asked seasoned chef Chui Wai-kwan, who had been cooking for over 50 years, to make some of
The lavish, expensive Cantonese dishes lost in time
Where is sushi from? Not Japan
Sushi is pretty ubiquitous: from nigiri, with its slice of raw fish on a pillow of rice, to the maki roll wrapped in nori, or seaweed. But the sushi we know today tastes and looks very different from how it did centuries ago.  First of all, the rice in the original “sushi” was not intended to be eaten. Mixed with salt, it was used to preserve the fish and then thrown out. Sushi’s origins aren’t even Japanese, says Nobu Hong Kong executive sushi chef Kazunari Araki, who has more than 20 years of sushi-making experience. The combination of rice and fish, he explains, originated in the third century along the Mekong River in Southeast Asia, where countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, La
Where is sushi from? Not Japan
Sriracha sauce is hot stuff all over the world, and it’s made in California
With a rooster in the center, surrounded by Chinese and Vietnamese writing, and the bottle topped with its iconic green squeeze cap, Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha sauce is arguably one of the most recognizable condiments in the world. The sauce is lauded for its spicy kick, vinegary tang and garlicky aftertaste and has developed a cult following since it first tantalized tastebuds in 1980. Heat seekers are known to add it to almost any dish – drizzling it on pizza and sushi; mixing it into bowls of pasta or pho. Fans have gotten tattoos and personalized car number plates to declare their love for it, and astronauts have even taken it into space. Despite its ubiquity, though, there remains common
Sriracha sauce is hot stuff all over the world, and it’s made in California
Starbucks’ Chinese rival files for US IPO
Starbucks’ Chinese challenger Luckin Coffee has filed for a US initial public offering, with an ambitious plan to displace the American giant as the largest coffee chain in China. The final size of the IPO was not announced in a Monday regulatory filing. The loss-making company was valued at $2.9 billion in an earlier funding round this month. An expanding, 400-million-strong middle class and a growing coffee culture have made China a sweet spot for global coffee chains. And with the fund raised in the expected stock offering, Luckin Coffee looks set to intensify an already fierce race for the wallets of Chinese drinkers. Founded in 2017, Luckin Coffee has expanded at breakneck speed to bec
Starbucks’ Chinese rival files for US IPO
Getting ASMR tingles from slurping up noodles
Nineteen-year-old Martin Kuok admits it’s hard to describe why he likes to watch and hear people eat. “It’s a feeling,” is about all he can say. For years, he’s been falling asleep to videos of people eating, productions which emphasize sounds that can create what’s become knowns as autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR. Last year, he decided to start creating his own ASMR videos from his home in Hong Kong, which give some people “the tingles” as they watch and listen to him eat.
Getting ASMR tingles from slurping up noodles
Tim Hortons opens its first store in China
Chinese coffee lovers have been waiting in line for hours to get a taste of Tim Hortons in Shanghai, after the Canadian chain opened its first ever shop in China. On the menu: the brand’s fabled Double Double (two creams, two sugars), macchiatos made with Canadian maple syrup, and ciabatta topped with “Montreal beef.” There are even coldwater shrimp that the menu boasts go “winter-swimming all year around” – winter swimming being seen as a health-giving activity. But there are also concessions to local tastes, including the salted egg yolk Timbit, a distinctly Chinese topping to the classic Canadian donut. The coffee-and-donut restaurant is the latest Western brand eyeing up big money in Ch
Tim Hortons opens its first store in China
How it’s made: hotpot soup
A clip showing the process of making spicy broth for hotpot has gone viral on Chinese social media. The clip, which was posted by hotpot chain Lishuji, runs through the process – on an industrial scale. Check out our video, above, for more.
How it’s made: hotpot soup