Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Duvel

Tales from the Fragrant Harbour

Recommended Posts

2 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Would you say that the kitchen of yours is of typical size in HK?  I've always heard that HK apartments are very small, but your kitchen is huge!  Do you live on Lantau all the time, or is it a weekend place?  If there all the time, what is your commute like - I assume you work in Central?

No, it's not normal. I am very provilidged to be the recipient of a very decent expat package. My apartment is very generous ...

 

On Friday, we will go to a local apparment. You will easily see the difference !

 

I live on Lantau, in Discovery Bay and commute to Central every day. Tomorrow I'll tell a bit more about my "hometown" and my day-to-day commute ...

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After some days with great Japanese food I need to have something more “homey” (is that the word ?). Unfortunately, most of German comfort food is not readily available in Hong Kong, so I need to go the extra mile …

Today will be “Leberkaese mit Bratkartoffeln” or “Livercheese with home fries”. The former contains neither liver nor cheese but can be best described as a cross-over between a meatloaf and a bologna sausage.

Emulsifying the meat & fat …

WP_20170726_18_56_31_Rich.thumb.jpg.adcfcb0d9bc64485139872db4580e743.jpg

 

In the form.

WP_20170726_19_00_06_Rich.thumb.jpg.cfbc3e00ff80ab4da8b4d88c4593daa1.jpg

 

Baking.

WP_20170726_19_02_22_Pro.thumb.jpg.b85cbe918b24e647678b879973b70bbb.jpg

 

Done !

WP_20170726_19_59_43_Rich.thumb.jpg.29a0edddf83b7bc97b729b41b3463c06.jpg

 

Slicing & frying.

WP_20170726_20_01_28_Rich.thumb.jpg.06f9185d911838dc1d58e625d02c23a7.jpg

WP_20170726_20_04_28_Pro.thumb.jpg.d325fcd019000b3f34db639898adb41c.jpg

 

Final assembly (with pickle, Bavarian sweet mustard and curry ketchup) ...

 WP_20170726_20_06_38_Rich.thumb.jpg.115dd920b7da674aad2c1278230f9494.jpg

 

Hits the spot every time xD

  • Like 15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

Are those Japanese curry cubes in the yellow package?

 

Yup. "Apply honey" curry ... Haven't had that one yet, so I bought the mild version (so my son can enjoy it as well).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Duvel!  I'm glued to my computer.  

 

I, too, love eel.  I only have had it when I got sushi years ago.  The tempura looks so light and fresh.  And the origami is the perfect touch.

 

I got claustrophobic just looking at the train picture :o

 

On your flight, (remember I don't get out much) I've never seen a mineral water packaged like that.  What are the veggies next to the rice?  Do I spy soybeans under there?

 

Your kitchen is very very nice and your spices and your fridge are so organized!  You've put me to shame...I'm going to have to clean out my fridge today now.  

 

In the baking ingredient section, what is the red item with the blue item inserted in the top?  

 

Gourmet salted egg crisps????  Those sound awesome.

 

I spy my favorite cookbook--Deep Run Roots :)

 

I LOVE love love seeing restaurant/airplane food, but I also LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing home cooking!  Your mixer is awesome.  I've never seen one like that.  What kind of fat and meat do you use?  Is it similar in texture to Spam?  It looks delicious.  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What they all said!  I am very impressed with that kitchen and with the well-packed organization.  Shelby already asked about the red-and-blue item, so I'll ask about the bowl in the refrigerator.  Is that the mixer bowl that was later put to use making the Leberkaese?  If so, do you usually store the bowl in the 'fridge, or was the photo taken when you already knew you needed a chilled bowl?

  • Like 1

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your kitchen and cupboard/storage space are much bigger than mine and I live in a house! A very small house.

 

Leberkäse is not hard to make I don't know why they don't have it on menu at German places in town. There are at least 2 German bars/restaurants in HK (I remember drinking beer at both). Schnurrbart on LKF has Schmalz, it doesn't take much longer to make Leberkäse. But I think it's better to make something like this yourself, when you are homesick or not.

 

I like it, too. It's prevalent in Bavaria, but especially Franconia.

 

HN6lMAG.jpg

 

It's slightly different everywhere. Every butcher and bakery has their own seasoning.

GRsJcj2.jpg

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Duvel said:

 

Yup. "Apply honey" curry ... Haven't had that one yet, so I bought the mild version (so my son can enjoy it as well).

 

Interesting. The only ones I've ever seen here are just called curry sauce mix although they do come in several heat levels.  We are rather fond of the stuff.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 OK so you are German and your wife is Catalan but I see everything in your kitchen is labeled in English?  I found that interesting. 

  • Like 2

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

I can buy the same brand here in mainland China. Never have, though. I'm not a big fan of Japanese curry.

I think House food's curry the most popular brand in Japan. They have a myriad of variety as well as their own chain of restaurants exclusively cooking with their product. I like it a bit better than the SB brand ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

10 hours ago, Shelby said:

Hi Duvel!  I'm glued to my computer.  

 

I, too, love eel.  I only have had it when I got sushi years ago.  The tempura looks so light and fresh.  And the origami is the perfect touch.

 

I got claustrophobic just looking at the train picture :o

 

On your flight, (remember I don't get out much) I've never seen a mineral water packaged like that.  What are the veggies next to the rice?  Do I spy soybeans under there?

 

 

Yes, the water is pretty standard. Easy to stack, probably. But it is not enough, merely a 150 mL. I always ask for more water and - if possible - bring an extra bottle from the lounge.

Next to the rice there were some carrots and green beans (kind of string beans, not soy). There was also a scallop, a shrimp and some sort of Kamaboko fishcake. All in all very healthy :)

 

10 hours ago, Shelby said:

Your kitchen is very very nice and your spices and your fridge are so organized!  You've put me to shame...I'm going to have to clean out my fridge today now.  

 

In the baking ingredient section, what is the red item with the blue item inserted in the top?  

 

Truth to be told especially my spice rack looked very chaotic for the first year. Then I found this cute metal dispensers and bought a labelling machine. Especially the latter is very addictive - for my wife at least - and by now everything get labelled :D

 

You mean this one ?

 

 

It's a plastic box full of sugar. The blue item is a spoon (kind of figurine, with feet on the bottom and a head on the top). Quite cute ...

 

10 hours ago, Shelby said:

Gourmet salted egg crisps????  Those sound awesome. 

 

They are very good and a popular item from Singapore. It's potato (sometimes also fried fish skin) dusted with freeze-dried salted duck egg yolk. Very savoury and very distinct taste. And veeeeeery addictive :$

 

11 hours ago, Shelby said:

I LOVE love love seeing restaurant/airplane food, but I also LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing home cooking!  Your mixer is awesome.  I've never seen one like that.  What kind of fat and meat do you use?  Is it similar in texture to Spam?  It looks delicious.  

 

It's a cheap Bosch, the basic German model actually. I always wanted a KitchenAid, but then again I am a cheapskate and the Bosch was with all the utensils about half the price of the KA. Go figure ...

 

Its fatty pork (neck / belly), minced. Traditionally a bit of beef is included, but I omit that because it's too expensive here. The texture is more like a cooked sausage, like Bologna or Mortadella. Span is not emulsified, so it's softer and more grainy. Leberkaese is very nice and truly comfort food (for me) ...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Smithy said:

What they all said!  I am very impressed with that kitchen and with the well-packed organization.  Shelby already asked about the red-and-blue item, so I'll ask about the bowl in the refrigerator.  Is that the mixer bowl that was later put to use making the Leberkaese?  If so, do you usually store the bowl in the 'fridge, or was the photo taken when you already knew you needed a chilled bowl?

 

The mixer bowl was specifically in the fridge for making the Leberkaese. If you want to emulsify the fat properly, everything has to be chilled, otherwise you risk to break the emulsion (and then you end up with leberkaese-flaovured meatloaf instead).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Anna N said:

 OK so you are German and your wife is Catalan but I see everything in your kitchen is labeled in English?  I found that interesting. 

 

When we met some 14 years ago, none of us could speak the others language. So we communicated in English. We went together to Japan shortly after and ever since then all our "joint aquistions" (books, magazines, DVDs) have been in English as well, so that became the language of our household. As we were living most of the time in Germany afterwards, my wife has acquired German language skills up to the point where she is very comfortable talking/writing to members of my family and has no issues navigating her way through Germany. I do understand quite some Catalan, but my active vocabulary is still limited.

Ever since our son Arnau was born, we adopted the "one parent - one language" policy, and she speaks only Catalan to him and me only German, which in turn also helped us with a lot of new vocabulary simply by listening to the other partner talking. However, we moved to HK when he was about two years old, and his Kindergarten is of course in English, so by now he understands German and Catalan perfectly, but always answers in English ...

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good morning from Discovery Bay !

Again some background first: Discovery Bay is an artificial village. Supposedly it started as a project for a golf course in the eightees, which subsequently went bankrupt. An investor bought the land and developed it into some sort of residential resort. It is extremely popular with “younger” expat families due to an aboundance of Kindergartens and primary schools, playgrounds (literally every 500 m) and no cars. In DB only busses and golf carts are allowed, the latter limited to 500. As DB is located on an outer island (Lantau), prices per sqm are cheaper than in Central, which is offset by larger apartments. Many people here commute to Central, the financial & business district on Hong Kong island and so do I. It takes 30 min by ferry and it is 100% traffic jam free –very convenient in a chronically overcrowded city. As written, DB is the teasers it is “a nice place to live (for a while)” …

 I live a couple of hundred meters away from the ferry pier; it's a pleasant 7 minute stroll (except during typhoon or black rain). This morning the weather was fantastic, at around 33 oC. Humidiy is quite high. Luckily the ferry has a very efficient a/c …

 WP_20170727_07_36_56_Pro.thumb.jpg.96ebfd72c6a924b25caf3750f80fbf15.jpg

 

Hong Kong could probably best described as an archipelago distributed around the peninsula of Kowloon. Lieke DB there are many bays featuring little beaches and green Hinterland.

WP_20170727_07_37_44_Rich.thumb.jpg.580abcd5a6b5e884d31526f022550a87.jpgWP_20170727_07_38_21_Rich.thumb.jpg.f23e80b51bd7e2da5001d059644deac1.jpg 

 

The ferry is quite comfy, albeit in rush hour rather full. You are guaranteed to have a seat though. It costs 40 HKD one way ...

WP_20170727_07_39_37_Rich.thumb.jpg.0feb9b76d2ea4cda26645414dc0cdcf8.jpgWP_20170727_08_13_04_Rich.thumb.jpg.9aad1a30b0bf275473a21e2fc1facad1.jpg

 

As you might have already noticed, I do like to have a nice lunch and a nice dinner, so on usual days I skip breakfast. What I always have on the 30 min ferry ride to Central is a bottle of cold strong green tea.

WP_20170727_07_44_05_Rich.thumb.jpg.253d488f281a3b9f612b4600934b1ae8.jpg

 

Today I was feeling like a having a little snack, so I bought a sweet roll with bacon and egg.

WP_20170727_08_21_33_Rich.thumb.jpg.730b6f827b700f4bb6ac648166aa6485.jpgWP_20170727_08_29_04_Rich.thumb.jpg.d7a780637991eacb22fc015016770366.jpg

 

Hong Kong people would either have congee wioth fried dough sticks or the popular “western” breakfast options as depicted below.

WP_20170715_11_39_36_Rich.thumb.jpg.ebbe1ddf8a04f6d2e0dc80e9c1d11a72.jpg

 

They fall in the category “sai chaan”, a term coined for a happy cross-over cuisine that developed in Hong Kong and could best be described as the original Hong Kong-style Western kitchen. The macaroni noodles (upper left) are especially popular – they are even a breakfast option at the local McDonald’s!

 

Arriving in Central, it's another 8-10 min walk from the pier, mostly through a/c shopping centers. I work in Jardine House, here in the background with the round windows. It has a local nickname, that I won't mention as I work there myself :$

WP_20170727_08_15_03_Rich.jpg


Edited by Duvel Clarification (log)
  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hong Kong has one of the broadest wealth distribution in the world. On one side you have the highest squaremeter rental costs anywhere on this planet, at the same time the current minimum wage was just raised to 35 HKD/hour, which is about 4.5 USD. This means HK needs quite a high volume of low cost dining options. And while we come back to quite a mix of basic & very fine food in the next days I’d like to show you what the average local HK family probably eats.

There are a couple of local fast food chains that cater to the local taste and provide inexpensive and tasty meals. Amongst places like Fairwood and Café de Corail, the chain MX is especially popular. It belongs to the largest catering group Maxim’s, that runs high-end dining establishments like the Peking Garden (with excellent Peking duck), Dim Sum places like Maxim’s City Hall (where I take you next week) and Maxim’s bakeries, well-known for their birthday cakes. At the low end is the inexpensive MX, where I headed today.

WP_20170727_12_58_52_Rich.thumb.jpg.180f4f8a7ff3de9fa2794639772cb4f6.jpg

 

You can order electronically & pay via “Octopus” (a pay-as-you-go card that is linked to the public transport system, but functions also as an electronic wallet). Then get your receipt, queue and try to find a place to sit.

WP_20170727_13_09_15_Rich.thumb.jpg.f92f137d09a1bf09323b39924a359516.jpgWP_20170727_13_00_19_Rich.thumb.jpg.193b45bc23fe91cb68bc976a4c5b3906.jpgWP_20170727_12_59_05_Rich.thumb.jpg.5dc50c53ccb834986cb6ae70e6a1fcb5.jpg

 

To elaborate on the “sai chaan” theme I ordered one of HK’s comfort food choices par excellence: Baked pork chop rice (焗豬扒飯). It’s a deep-fried pork shop smothered in a sweet’n’sour gravy with pineapple, peas, onions, then placed over boiled rice and broiled. Cheese is sometimes added. It’s savoury, sweet and filling. Together with a lime soda for 49 HKD, a bit more than 6 USD.

WP_20170727_13_09_27_Rich.thumb.jpg.fd0310526adbdec8d09286d508860208.jpgWP_20170727_13_02_34_Rich.thumb.jpg.35f836efa2938e2483b22fdf2f34f515.jpgWP_20170727_13_02_58_Rich.thumb.jpg.a21ee4552f69a0e5d997a95b583275a7.jpg

 

I skipped dessert, but this place is a popular choice for all thinks coconut, mango and durian. I think all of their options would have more calories than the pork chop, though. Maybe another day …

WP_20170727_12_56_20_Rich.thumb.jpg.a769cbfeb75f08e99dff4c419c12f701.jpgWP_20170727_12_56_25_Rich.thumb.jpg.2ed830c05e1274034ce90fea6c3df529.jpgWP_20170727_12_56_35_Rich.thumb.jpg.0544cdeb7f2b7f92e474621bb810620a.jpg

  • Like 15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like a commute like yours @Duvel. I found this translation of HKD to USD so $5.12 US, and certainly not more than one would pay here to insure and maintain a car and fuel it on an average commute. Plus no traffic to deal with and beautiful views as you arrive to and from work. Not so sure about the typhoons, though. That would certainly be rough.

  • Like 2

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

I would like a commute like yours @Duvel. I found this translation of HKD to USD so $5.12 US, and certainly not more than one would pay here to insure and maintain a car and fuel it on an average commute. Plus no traffic to deal with and beautiful views as you arrive to and from work. Not so sure about the typhoons, though. That would certainly be rough.

 

It is very convenient indeed. You can even sleep on the ferry ...

 

And no worries for rough sea: for typhoons / black rain there is a comprehensive forecast system. Both phenomena are announced on a scale of increasing severity, and if typhoon warning is expected to change from level 3 to level 8 or heavy rain is going up from amber to black rain, public transport (including ferries, subways, busses) is suspended. This is done with a pre-warning time of about three hours so you can make it home in time.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your commute to a major city is something in my husband's dreams! We live 22 miles outside of Manhattan but he has to take a 59 minute train ride before catching the ferry to lower Manhattan. It must be so nice to have the mix of the suburbs and city without a huge amount of traffic and or switching methods of commuting. 

 

   Absolutely gorgeous pictures! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Loving this.

 

*trying to figure out what the nickname for your work place is......*  :D

 Read through this  and all will be revealed.

  • Like 3

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved the octopus card... so convenient.  I wish we had something like that in NYC.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 Read through this  and all will be revealed.

@Anna N, research well done. Great article, thanks !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today's weather didn't keep. A view from my office window over the Victoria harbor ...

WP_20170727_16_51_28_Rich.thumb.jpg.ec87f1b8eddddf6508727afa9274c2b9.jpg

 

On my way back to the ferry pier I have to cross the IFC (Internnational Finance Center) with its shopping mall. Kid's entertainment ...

WP_20170727_17_07_43_Rich.thumb.jpg.551423e750b172f7bd82cb7689fce703.jpg

 

 

A local chain called city'super has a store just next ot the exit I need to take. Very convenient (you may need to enlarge the pictures to compare prices)

WP_20170727_17_09_21_Rich.thumb.jpg.a59fe6fd01badb2b3c59c0299f90b5cb.jpg

 

 

Fruit section with giant melon ...

WP_20170727_17_09_33_Rich.thumb.jpg.4062f56fa326ca1eeff8a18bae9e0c90.jpgWP_20170727_17_09_48_Rich.thumb.jpg.8c644c8d16829da4fd2b61847e8c8b3f.jpg

 

 

Soy milk & tofu ...

WP_20170727_17_10_00_Rich.thumb.jpg.10c26e6689b2df0aa242cbc491d314e6.jpg

 

 

City'super usually has some promotion going on. Right now it's Korean weeks ...

WP_20170727_17_10_38_Rich.thumb.jpg.9af3e6bb02c434ce846341491c5aec1c.jpg

 

Caviar & salmon section (I never buy here ...)

WP_20170727_17_11_59_Rich.jpg

 

Cheese (only when special offers discount the stuff by 50% or more)

WP_20170727_17_12_05_Rich.jpg

 

 

Sushi & Sashimi (excellent and affordable)

WP_20170727_17_12_32_Rich.jpg

 

Fresh fish (decent)

WP_20170727_17_12_50_Rich.jpg

WP_20170727_17_13_02_Rich.jpg

 

Oysters. You can buy them and eat them at the counter behind ...

WP_20170727_17_13_22_Rich.jpg

 

Prepared shellfish and lobster ...

WP_20170727_17_13_45_Rich.jpg

 

Meat. All imported. And Wagyu, of course ...

WP_20170727_17_14_06_Rich.jpg

WP_20170727_17_14_21_Rich.jpg

 

 

Sake section. I buy here very often ...

WP_20170727_17_15_26_Rich.jpg

WP_20170727_17_15_45_Rich.jpg

 

Beer section. With special focus on local beers ...

WP_20170727_17_16_01_Rich.jpg

WP_20170727_17_16_15_Rich.jpg

 

HK condiments (need to enlarge).

WP_20170727_17_16_42_Rich.jpg

 

Panorama view.

WP_20170727_17_18_10_Rich.jpg

 

Baking section. Excellent choices ....

WP_20170727_17_18_25_Rich.jpg

WP_20170727_17_18_35_Rich.jpg

WP_20170727_17_19_16_Rich.jpg

 

Kimchi and other Tsukemono ...

WP_20170727_17_19_38_Rich.jpg

 

Rice.

WP_20170727_17_19_47_Rich.jpg

 

Baked goods.

WP_20170727_17_19_59_Rich.jpg

WP_20170727_17_20_07_Rich.jpg

WP_20170727_17_20_13_Rich.jpg

WP_20170727_17_20_30_Rich.jpg

WP_20170727_17_20_47_Rich.jpg

 

I purchased the Uji Matcha Danish and the Edamame Pesto bun. The latter was not good ...

WP_20170727_17_21_31_Rich.jpg

 

Poultry.

WP_20170727_17_22_45_Rich.jpg

 

More meat ...

WP_20170727_17_22_57_Rich.jpg

 

Wine. Yeah !!! (just faaar to expensive)

WP_20170727_17_23_09_Rich.jpg

 

And cold cuts.

WP_20170727_17_25_31_Rich.jpg

 

 

Out of the IFC, and on my way to the ferry I have a nice view over the Kowloon skyline ...

WP_20170727_17_28_10_Rich.jpg

 

The ferry pier in central.

WP_20170727_17_30_58_Rich.jpg

 

The beer bay is as popular as it is dangerous. Why not another beer at tropical outside temperatures with neighbours and friends before heading home ? It has gotten late now and then ...

WP_20170727_17_31_12_Rich.jpg

 

Even more dangerous is the snack bar next to it. Chicken skewers with sweet soy sauce and drunken tummies are a very troublesome combination.

WP_20170727_17_31_28_Rich.jpg

 

The ferry ...

WP_20170727_17_39_29_Rich.jpg

 

And in order to maintain a timely ferry schedule I buy my beer at City'super :D

WP_20170727_17_41_39_Rich.jpg

 

 


Edited by Duvel (log)
  • Like 17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you for so many pictures of the food store.

 

I enjoy seeing different stores in different countries.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Catalan diner tonight: “Mongetes amb choriço” or “Beans with chorizo”. Beans soaked, then cooked in the rice cooker (brown rice setting, two cycles) with sofregit, pork belly and smoked polish sausage (in lieu of another smoked pork product). Fried pieces of choriço added with their oil and cooked together for a couple of minutes more to harmonize the flavors.

WP_20170727_18_53_58_Pro.thumb.jpg.50633cde55392d08db6fcf5d25c0d9b2.jpg

 

Served with bread, a couple of tapas and home-made chicken croquettes.

WP_20170727_18_53_52_Pro.thumb.jpg.59da0a1618223439888c6c24b5d1289b.jpgWP_20170727_18_54_06_Pro.thumb.jpg.ed8f1c84633353ee6d9df657e447f055.jpg

 

Typically I would have a nice red with that, but at >30 oC, a chilled Riesling did the job much better. “Riesling No. 1” by Markus Schneider, Ellerstadt. My last bottle …

WP_20170727_18_54_19_Pro.thumb.jpg.a70662f24928e50522f597722d3c5b0f.jpg

  • Like 15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • By Drew777
      I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman.  To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai. 
    • By liuzhou
      For the last several years Cindy's* job has been to look after me. She takes care of my residence papers, my health insurance, my travel, my housing and associated repairs. She makes sure that I am supplied with sufficient cold beer at official banquets. And she does it all with terrific efficiency and great humour.
       
      This weekend she held her wedding banquet.
       
      Unlike in the west, this isn't held immediately after the marriage is formalised. In fact, she was legally married months ago. But the banquet is the symbolic, public declaration and not the soul-less civil servant stamping of papers that the legal part entails.
       
      So tonight, along with a few hundred other people, I rolled up to a local hotel at the appointed time. In my pocket was my 'hong bao' or red envelope in which I had deposited a suitable cash gift. That is the Chinese wedding gift protocol. You don't get 12 pop-up toasters here.
       
      I handed it over, then settled down, at a table with colleagues, to a 17 or 18 course dinner.
       
      Before we started, I spotted this red bedecked jar. Shaking, poking and sniffing revealed nothing.
       
       
      A few minutes later, a waitress turned up and opened and emptied the jar into a serving dish. Spicy pickled vegetables. Very vinegary, very hot, and very addictive. Allegedly pickled on the premises, this was just to amuse us as we waited for the real stuff to arrive.
       
       
      Then the serious stuff arrived. When I said 17 courses, I really meant 17 dishes. Chinese cuisine doesn't really do courses. Every thing is served at roughly the same time. But we had:
       
      Quail soup which I neglected to photograph.
       
      Roast duck
       
      Braised turtle
       
      Sticky rice with beef (the beef is lurking underneath)
       
      Steamed chicken
       
      Spicy, crispy shell-on prawns.
       
      Steamed pork belly slices with sliced taro
       
      Spicy squid
       
      Noodles
       
      Chinese Charcuterie (including ducks jaws (left) and duck hearts (right))
       
      Mixed vegetables
       
      Fish
       
      Cakes
       
      Fertility soup! This allegedly increases your fertility and ensures the first born (in China, only born) is a son. Why they are serving to me is anyone's guess. It would make more sense for the happy couple to drink the lot.
       
      Greenery
       
      Jiaozi
       
      There was a final serving of quartered oranges, but I guess you have seen pictures of oranges before.
       
      The happy couple. I wish them well.
       
      *Cindy is the English name she has adopted. Her Chinese name is more than usually difficult to pronounce. Many Chinese friends consider it a real tongue-twister.
    • By KennethT
      I was thinking of doing a food blog of my recent trip through parts of New Zealand's south island.  Most of the food we had was nothing spectacular, but the experiences and various scenery we had over the trip were amazing.  Is there any interest in this?
    • By Melania
      It's one o'clock on a warm summer's day in Florence, I'm on my way to get ingredients for lunch. The sun is high in the sky, the cobblestones are warm under my feet and the aroma of something delicious is in the air. My mind starts to drift to the onions, celery and tomatoes I need for my pasta sauce, oh and don't forget something sweet for dessert...this truly is la dolce vita.
       
      My thoughts are soon interrupted by an unwelcome "chiuso" sign on the door of my new favorite deli. The blinds are closed and the friendly owners are nowhere in sight. The reality of having my favorite pasta dish for lunch was slipping further and further away.
       
       
      What a nightmare! How can this be?
        A local passing by must have noticed my frustration.   "Signorina, è riposo. Tutto è chiuso!"
        Of course! How could I forget about the sacred Italian siesta?
        A siesta or riposo, as most Italians call it, is a time of rest. This time is usually around midday, or the hottest part of the day (very inconvenient if you're craving a bowl of pasta.) No one can really say where the tradition of the siesta originates, but many say it's all about food (no surprises there really).
        For many Italian families the main meal of the day is lunch. This heavy meal in the middle of the day is attributed to the standard Mediterranean diet: A minuscule breakfast of a coffee and pastry , a heavy lunch and an evening meal around 10 o'clock. The logic is that after such a heavy meal one would surely be drowsy and need to rest, no one can work efficiently on a full stomach!
        Post offices, car rentals, supermarkets and even coffee shops (in some smaller towns police stations too) all close their doors for a riposo. Everything comes to a standstill as every Italian goes home to kick of their shoes, enjoy a homemade lunch with family and bask in the Italian sunshine for three to four hours. This is serious business. One would not dare work for 8 hours straight. After their riposo most businesses open again around 4 o'clock and stay open till 7pm. Its the perfect balance between work and play and does wonders for your digestive system!
        "Grazie!" I thanked her for the reminder. The midday sun started to become unbearable. The streets had cleared with only a few tourists braving the midday heat still around. I thought about the strawberries I bought from the market earlier that week. Strawberries for lunch on my shaded balcony and maybe a nap afterwards sounded like my perfect riposo. The pasta will have to wait till 4.
               
           
    • By Burmese Days
      Hello everyone,
       
      This is my first post, so please tell me if I've made any mistakes. I'd like to learn the ropes as soon as possible. 
       
      I first learned of this cookbook from The Mala Market, easily the best online source of high-quality Chinese ingredients in the west. In the About Us page, Taylor Holiday (the founder of Mala Market) talks about the cookbooks that inspired her.
      This piqued my interest and sent me down a long rabbit hole. I'm attempting to categorically share everything I've found about this book so far.
       
      Reading it online
      Early in my search, I found an online preview (Adobe Flash required). It shows you the first 29 pages. I've found people reference an online version you can pay for on the Chinese side of the internet. But to my skills, it's been unattainable.
       
      The Title
      Because this book was never sold in the west, the cover, and thus title, were never translated to English. Because of this, when you search for this book, it'll have several different names. These are just some versions I've found online - typos included.
      Sichuan (China) Cuisine in Both Chinese and English Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (In English & Chinese) China Sichuan Cuisine (in Chinese and English) Chengdu China: Si Chuan Ke Xue Ji Shu Chu Ban She Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (Chinese and English bilingual) 中国川菜:中英文标准对照版 For the sake of convenience, I'll be referring to the cookbook as Sichuan Cuisine from now on.

       
      Versions
      There are two versions of Sichuan Cuisine. The first came out in 2010 and the second in 2014. In an interview from Flavor & Fortune, a (now defunct) Chinese cooking
      magazine, the author clarifies the differences.
      That is all of the information I could find on the differences. Nothing besides that offhanded remark. The 2014 edition seems to be harder to source and, when available, more expensive.
       
      Author(s)

      In the last section, I mentioned an interview with the author. That was somewhat incorrect. There are two authors!
      Lu Yi (卢一) President of Sichuan Tourism College, Vice Chairman of Sichuan Nutrition Society, Chairman of Sichuan Food Fermentation Society, Chairman of Sichuan Leisure Sports Management Society Du Li (杜莉) Master of Arts, Professor of Sichuan Institute of Tourism, Director of Sichuan Cultural Development Research Center, Sichuan Humanities and Social Sciences Key Research Base, Sichuan Provincial Department of Education, and member of the International Food Culture Research Association of the World Chinese Culinary Federation Along with the principal authors, two famous chefs checked the English translations.
      Fuchsia Dunlop - of Land of Plenty fame Professor Shirley Cheng - of Hyde Park New York's Culinary Institute of America Fuchsia Dunlop was actually the first (and to my knowledge, only) Western graduate from the school that produced the book.
       

      Recipes
      Here are screenshots of the table of contents.  It has some recipes I'm a big fan of.
       
      ISBN
      ISBN 10: 7536469640   ISBN 13: 9787536469648 As far as I can tell, the first and second edition have the same ISBN #'s. I'm no librarian, so if anyone knows more about how ISBN #'s relate to re-releases and editions, feel free to chime in.
       
      Publisher
      Sichuan Science and Technology Press 四川科学技术出版社  
      Cover
      Okay... so this book has a lot of covers.
      The common cover A red cover A white cover A white version of the common cover An ornate and shiny cover  There may or may not be a "Box set." At first, I thought this was a difference in book editions, but that doesn't seem to be the case. As far as covers go, I'm at a loss. If anybody has more info, I'm all ears.
       
      Buying the book
      Alright, so I've hunted down many sites that used to sell it and a few who still have it in stock. Most of them are priced exorbitantly.
       
      AbeBooks.com ($160 + $15 shipping) Ebay.com - used ($140 + $4 shipping) PurpleCulture.net ($50 + $22 shipping) Amazon.com ($300 + $5 shipping + $19 tax) A few other sites in Chinese  
      I bought a copy off of PurpleCuture.net on April 14th. When I purchased Sichuan Cuisine, it said there was only one copy left. That seems to be a lie to create false urgency for the buyer. My order never updated past processing, but after emailing them, I was given a tracking code. It has since landed in America and is in customs. I'll try to update this thread when (if) it is delivered.
       
      Closing thoughts
      This book is probably not worth all the effort that I've put into finding it. But what is worth effort, is preserving knowledge. It turns my gut to think that this book will never be accessible to chefs that have a passion for learning real Sichuan food. As we get inundated with awful recipes from Simple and quick blogs, it becomes vital to keep these authentic sources available. As the internet chugs along, more and more recipes like these will be lost. 
       
      You'd expect the internet to keep information alive, but in many ways, it does the opposite. In societies search for quick and easy recipes, a type of evolutionary pressure is forming. It's a pressure that mutates recipes to simpler and simpler versions of themselves. They warp and change under consumer pressure till they're a bastardized copy of the original that anyone can cook in 15 minutes. The worse part is that these new, worse recipes wear the same name as the original recipe. Before long, it becomes harder to find the original recipe than the new one. 
       
      In this sense, the internet hides information. 
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...