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Sauce & Sauce | 09.12.2013

Sauce & Sauce

It's obvious even to those whose sole exposure to Chinese cuisine is the occasional take out dimsum that European and Chinese attitudes to the dining table are as different as table salt and soy sauce; aesthetically completely dissimilar but ultimately serving the same purpose. In pairing wine with...

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Cherries | 20.05.2011

Cherries

One of the great things about Hong Kong is that we get to have seasonal fruits twice a year, and one of my top picks for summer are the wonderfully juicy sweet cherries, which are currently flooding supermarkets and wet-markets. Cherries are available in many species but only two kinds are commonly...

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Star Anise | 21.03.2011

Star Anise

I find everything about Star Anise (Illicium verum) fascinating, from its wonderful shape to the appetising aroma through to the intriguing flavour profile. All of its unique characteristics makes me want to incorporate it into more of my cooking....

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Alain Ducasse's Cookpot | 21.12.2010

Alain Ducasse's Cookpot

Alain Ducasse must be a smart man. After all he has successful restaurants in France, Monaco, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Mauritius, the UK, and the US. His 27 restaurants have been awarded a total of 19 Michelin stars, with the most recent star-rating going to Spoon here in Hong Kong. As a smart m...

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Spanish Sherry + Hairy Crabs | 08.12.2010

Spanish Sherry + Hairy Crabs

While the US recently celebrated Thanksgiving with turkeys and pies, Chinese celebrate this time of the year with Hairy Crabs, with the season running from late October to mid-December. Tradition calls for good quality crabs to be paired with Chinese yellow wine as its sweet finish complements the l...

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Longan | 26.07.2010

Longan

All around my flat at the moment are large and tall longan trees heavy with fruit. They will either be eaten by the birds or by my clever neighbours who have specially designed hooks on long poles enabling them to pull down bunches of ripe fruit....

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Oodles of Noodles | 26.04.2010

Oodles of Noodles

While many Dai Pai Dongs in Hong Kong specialise in wok-and-toss dishes, others churn out heart-warming noodles in soup. To many local Hongkongers, a bowl of soupy noodles is the ultimate comfort food....

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Blood Oranges | 23.04.2010

Blood Oranges

I vividly remember eating my first blood orange when in Italy and thinking that this was the only orange for me. From its brilliant crimson-red centre to its balance of sweet, tart flavours with berry notes, it puts its pale cousins to shame. Every chance I had to eat one during my time there I did....

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Cranberries | 24.03.2010

Cranberries

Think Cranberries and you think of a traditional accompaniment to roast turkey, or the ideal mixer for vodka. Yet these bright red berries, which are initially white, have gained a rapidly growing recognition as a "super fruit", because of the nutrient content and antioxidant qualities. Available al...

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Are Dai Pai Dongs a Dying Culture? | 24.03.2010

Are Dai Pai Dongs a Dying Culture?

Over the past couple of decades, Hong Kong has seen a rapid decline in the number of Dai Pai Dongs, with no new licenses issued since the 1970s. Furthermore, the licenses were only transferrable to the spouse (not to the next generation) after the licensee passed away, and could not be sold to a thi...

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Hong Kong's Dai Pai Dongs | 24.03.2010

Hong Kong's Dai Pai Dongs

Dai Pai Dongs, literally translated as "large license stalls", are street food stalls that the Government licensed to retired civil servants to operate in the 1950s. These licenses are larger in size than the traditional food licenses, thus the name....

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Sous Vide Part 3 | 10.03.2010

Sous Vide Part 3

When researching my articles on Sous Vide I came across articles that were of the opinion that sous vide was unsafe for two main reasons. One, the temperatures that the food is cooked at is not high enough to destroy harmful bacteria and, two, harmful chemicals in the plastic bags used to cook the f...

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Curry Leaves | 10.03.2010

Curry Leaves

My parents successfully grow whatever they plant…stepping into their garden is like being in an abundant farmer's market. From tomatoes bursting with sunshine-driven flavour, to exotic herbs and edible flowers. On my last trip back a new addition was a curry tree. I brought back some of the leaves a...

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Sous Vide Part 2 | 10.02.2010

Sous Vide Part 2

As we learnt in part one sous-vide is not a new technique. It has simply become more well-known among diners due to leading culinary professionals who champion the technique and use it in many of their creations, such as Thomas Keller, Joël Robuchon, Charlie Trotter, Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adria,...

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Kiwi Fruit | 13.01.2010

Kiwi Fruit

Due to a clever marketing move by New Zealand exporters in the 1950s the Kiwifruit is thought by many to have originated from New Zealand, home to the famed flightless bird the Kiwi. In fact this delicious fruit originates from China, where it is known as yáng táo (sunny peach) or mahout tao....

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Shiso | 13.01.2010

Shiso

Perilla or Shiso (leaves), as many people know it, is an annual herb and the aromatic leaf that is most commonly served with sashimi. While the leaf can add contrast to the raw fish when eaten together it is much more versatile than this common use....

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Sous Vide Part 1 | 13.01.2010

Sous Vide Part 1

Two major factors that prevent most home cooks from achieving restaurant results are equipment and technique. Professional chefs have at their disposal a range of equipment that many home cooks just don't have access to that enable them to create complicated dishes with ease. They also use technique...

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Avocado | 09.12.2009

Avocado

One of my favourite fruits is the avocado. It is delicious and nutritious and most of all versatile. When I was much younger my mother created an all avocado dinner party for my birthday; from starter to dessert it was all avocado inspired. I still vividly remember the nutty, but sweet taste of the...

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Healing Seeds | 07.10.2009

Healing Seeds

To know that from seeds come life is enough of an explanation for some as to why certain edible seeds are important to health. Those that need more hard evidence look to the science. They too will find reasons for why their diet should be a little seedy. I take a look four seeds that contain a wea...

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The Fermented Grape | 22.09.2009

The Fermented Grape

Having been awarded a scholarship by Bonhams and AWSEC, and having recently passed the advanced level of the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust ("WSET") with rather respectable results, one of WOM's founders decides to waffle about the importance of pairing his two passions together. This is the...

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Healing Spices | 09.09.2009

Healing Spices

Following on from last month's article on healing herbs this month I take a look at three common spices that are thought to have healing properties: cinnamon, cumin and turmeric. Each spice has been used for healing by many cultures for centuries and are now back in the spotlight because of modern m...

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Cooking for Life | 09.09.2009

Cooking for Life

Cooking for Life is a charity that helps underprivileged kids by teaming up with restaurants and hotels to provide weekly cooking lessons and other food related adventures. Famous chef, Martin Yan, is the ambassador of the charity and always spends time with the children when in Hong Kong. The ch...

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Healing Herbs | 12.08.2009

Healing Herbs

The use of herbs in the culinary arts is well documented. Without herbs many of our favourite dishes would be bland and boring. Learning about and experimenting with fresh and dried herbs is part of the right of passage of the home-cook and professional chef. What is also well recorded is how her...

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Saffron | 12.08.2009

Saffron

The spice saffron is the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus and is considered the most expensive spice in the world, and with good reason. To begin it is a risky business that involves planting crocuses that need perfect weather to survive and flower, followed by hundreds of people needed to carefu...

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Value-for-Money Buffets | 08.07.2009

Value-for-Money Buffets

Value for money has been one of the themes of the year for the restaurant industry. Hong Kong diners still want to go out as much as they always have but they want to see value for their money. Restaurants have responded in a number of ways, including introducing buffets that combine quality and var...

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Seafood Buffets | 10.06.2009

Seafood Buffets

Seafood is one of my favourite food indulgences. The thought of a freshly shucked oyster with a balance of sweet and salty notes, a succulent lobster, or a piece of flaky, yet firm fish simply cooked, make my mouth water. Seafood for me is what chocolate is to chocaholics, and like those addicted to...

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Italian Cuisine | 10.06.2009

Italian Cuisine

Italian cuisine has a long and rich history and can trace its roots back to at least the 4th century. Like French cuisine its evolution has been shaped by geographical and political events. Today the cuisine can be enjoyed in almost every country and is the firm favourite of many....

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Pomelo | 10.06.2009

Pomelo

The pomelo (Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis), is the largest of the citrus fruits as its botanical name suggests. It is native to South East Asia. It is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet pale yellow, pink or red flesh and a thick, fibrous rind. Other names for the fruit include pumm...

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Ice Cream & Frozen Yoghurt Trends | 10.06.2009

Ice Cream & Frozen Yoghurt Trends

Summer eating is characterised by lighter dishes, more salads and of course ice cream. Ice cream or frozen yoghurt, for the more health conscious among us, is not just for dessert on hot days. There is something about the cold sensation in the mouth, at times mind-freezingly cold, that soothes the s...

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Tarragon | 12.05.2009

Tarragon

“I believe that if ever I had to practice cannibalism, I might manage if there were enough tarragon around,” said James Beard, father of American gastronomy. The French consider French Tarragon to be the King of Herbs and it is one of four herbs that are called the “fines herbes”. Fines herbes co...

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Dragon Boat Dumplings | 12.05.2009

Dragon Boat Dumplings

Tuen Ng Festival (Dragon Boat Festival) is held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month and this year falls on 28 May. While many in Hong Kong know that “Chung Zi - 粽子” (glutinous rice dumplings) are traditionally eaten during Dragon Boat, and the story behind this tradition, how many of you know...

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Free-Flow Buffets | 12.05.2009

Free-Flow Buffets

There are many perfect combinations: chocolate and sex (both of good quality of course), sunsets over the ocean when on holiday, and baths with bubbles. One other perfect combination that involves bubbles of a different kind, is buffets that serve free-flow champagne or sparkling wine. Even people w...

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French Cuisine | 12.05.2009

French Cuisine

Most people love French food, there is something almost romantic about the cuisine, and is often a popular choice when dining on special occasions. The cuisine has a long history and many of the most important chefs, both past and present are French....

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WOM's Buffet Series | 15.04.2009

WOM's Buffet Series

Without question buffets are a popular dining choice in Hong Kong. For many diners they represent value-for-money dining with the all-you-can-eat mentality ensuring that diners will eat more at a buffet then when ordering from an a la carte menu....

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Leeks | 15.04.2009

Leeks

Often called the gourmet's onion, or poor man's asparagus, leeks have a sweeter more delicate flavour than onions. The taste has been described as a mix of mild onion and cucumber, with a smell similar to a scallion. Leeks are related to both onions and garlic. They are cultivated year round but are...

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Where to Satisfy that Chocolate Craving | 14.04.2009

Where to Satisfy that Chocolate Craving

People who refer to themselves as a chocoholic will readily admit that they constantly need to satisfy their cravings. This “need” is often the subject of articles and much discussion. It goes beyond just a passing desire, and involves hunting down the best places to satiate their hunger....

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Marjoram | 11.03.2009

Marjoram

Marjoram or Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana) is a perennial in the mint family. It grows wild in the Mediterranean and the majority of the world's supply comes from Egypt. Marjoram is also called Joy of the Mountains and Wintersweet. “When in doubt use marjoram,” say many herb aficionados becaus...

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Chocolate Tasting and Cooking with Chocolate | 11.03.2009

Chocolate Tasting and Cooking with Chocolate

Last year I joined a group of dedicated foodies for a blind chocolate tasting to determine if there really is that much difference between an inexpensive brand and an expensive brand. We tried dark truffles made by 13 different companies and while opinions were mixed as to the best we all came away...

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Passion Fruit | 11.02.2009

Passion Fruit

The passion fruit is one of the most intensely and heavenly scented of all fruits with its tropical fragrance. It has a sweet, yet tart flavour and is the fruit of the Passiflora or Passion Flower. It is native to South America and widely grown in India, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Haw...

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Broad Beans | 02.01.2009

Broad Beans

Vicia faba, better known as the broad bean, or fava bean, faba bean, horse bean, field bean, tic bean, and open mouth nut, is probably most well known as being the bean that film character Hannibal Lector enjoyed with the liver of one of his victims. The bean is native to north Africa and southwest...

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Smelly Food – The Durian | 10.11.2008

Smelly Food – The Durian

Walk through one of Southeast Asia’s bustling food markets in June, July or August and you'll swear the city's sewage system has sprung a leak. However, those familiar with the region will know to attribute the smell to the piles of innocuous looking spiky fruit stacked high everywhere; its durian s...

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Dragon Fruit | 10.11.2008

Pitaya or Dragon Fruit, is the eye-catching fruit of a vine-like cactus that originated from Mexico and South America. It reached Hawaii in 1830 and Vietnam in the late 1800’s. Today it is grown throughout Asia, Israel, the US and Australia and in some markets is called a Strawberry Pear....

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Mangosteen | 10.11.2008

Mangosteen

Often described as the “food of the gods” or the “queen of fruits”, the mangosteen is noted for tantalising the tastebuds with the simultaneous explosion of sweet and tart when eating the luscious segments or aril. A common description is sweet, creamy, with hints of citrus, and peach....

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Valrhona Chocolate | 10.08.2008

Valrhona Chocolate

Valrhona chocolate is the current favourite with many leading Hong Kong chefs and dessert experts, and is appearing with increasing frequency on menus at many of the city’s high-end restaurants. Learn more about this French chocolate, the leading choice of the professional, a try the recipes at the...

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