Hong Kong

Designers Inbetween Documentary

Yesterday I received mail message with updates of new Twitter followers and as usual I look at their bio. To learn what their background is and what passion moves them to search, share and interact with their audience or peers.

On my Twitter feed @De_Inbetween follows you: The journey of passionate designers who turn their dream into a Startup in Hong Kong  An inspirational description which made me reach out and respond by sending a reply tweet. They send me a DM asking whether I would join them in support, I complied by sharing their crowd funded Kickstarter project here on my blog.

Jonathan Ramalho and Oliver Lehtonen, two exchange students who became enthralled with HongKong entrepreunerial spirt and started this documentary. For this story they interviewed influential creatives who’ve profoundly have impacted the industry. The documentary also uncovers how the industry in Hong Kong contrasts from the West and the rest of Asia. Exploring exciting untold stories of what it is like for a Westerner to do business with factory owners in China. Business deals are built around lunch and written on napkins rather than lawyers and contracts. Read more here.

@De_Inbetween Thanks for the follow your bio very inspirational, worth to follow & spread the love.  Passion and dreams make them come true!!

After all ‘Passion’ is the keyword to all secrets and successes journeys. Their website homepage announced that they have gone live, the documentary premieres on 5th of December in Hong Kong.

Congratulations!! ♥  

Save the Geese, roast Goose siu-ngoh 燒鵝

DutchNews.nl – Some 500,000 geese need to be culled, headline of Dutchnews in The Netherlands, based on article posted in Dutch daily newspaper Trouw yesterday.

“Most of the geese will be gassed, as currently happens around Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, Trouw says. The paper bases its claims on interim reports from provincial government bodies which signed up to an agreement on combating the geese nuisance two years ago.” 

What a shame to gas the Canadian and Nile geese which use to migrate and now remain in The Netherlands. I wonder whether it is contemplated to offer the Geese as a staple food next like chicken, turkey or game meat.

Within Cantonese Cuisine, Cantonese style roasting techniques are renowned as Siu Mei 燒味 literally meaning ‘roast flavored’ meats. The first four are classic types of roasting:

  • barbecued pork (cha siu叉燒)
  • roast goose (siu ngoh 燒鵝)
  • roast pork (siu yuk 燒肉)
  • roast suckling pig (siu zyu 燒豬)
  • roast duck (siu ngaap 燒鴨)
selection of siu mei roasts - warosu.org

Selection of ‘Siu Mei’ roasted meats
Photo credit source Warosu.org

Often alongside the roast meats, you will find these three dishes as well

  • White cut chicken (baak cit gai 白切雞) – marinated steamed chicken
  • Soy sauce chicken (si yao gai 豉油雞) – chicken cooked with soy sauce
  • Orange cuttlefish ( lou seoi mak jyu 鹵水墨魚) – marinated cuttlefish
Siu Mei Shop with all kinds of roasted meats. Photo source credit JIngWen Yu

Siu Mei Shop with all kinds of roasted meats. Photo source credit JIngWen Yu

Roast Goose Siu Ngoh 燒鵝

Roast Goose is popular in Hong Kong and Guangdong Province in southern China. If prepared correctly a true delicacy, Roast Goose 燒鵝 (siu ngoh in Cantonese) is one of the signature roast dishes with a crisp skin where the layer of fat has melted away during roasting process resulting in succulent meat. Roast Goose appears to share similarity to Peking Duck (specially bred BeiJing White Duck) but roast goose is bigger, cheaper as for flavoring it only has a spice rub in the cavity.

Whereas the technique for roasting BeiJing Duck is much more elaborate, way of serving differs as well. BeiJing Duck is brought to the dining table where the meat is sliced in as much of 100 thin flakes each covered with a piece of crispy skin attached. On the dining table a steam basket with pancakes, thinly cut scallion, cucumber and sweet bean sauce or hoisin sauce as accompaniments. The pancakes is spread lightly with plum sauce, sprigs of scallion than duck flakes with crispy skin rolled up and you take a bite to heaven.

The famous Cantonese style roast Goose as a whole chopped and served as a main dish with plum sauce or as well known rice dish known as Siu ngoh fan 燒鵝飯. Chopped pieces of Goose are topped on rice with KaiLan (Chinese broccoli, dark green stem vegetabes with or without tiny yellow flowerbuds) where the drippings of the goose is poured on top. You do not need to be a connoisseur to appreciate and enjoy this dish and agree upon the tender meat, a mouthful of bliss bursting with flavor.

siu ngo fan 燒鵝飯

siu ngo fan 燒鵝飯 Photo source credit Dianping.com

TV documentary Hong Kong to the World

A beautiful documentary series co-produced by RHTK and National Geographic Channel titled “Hong Kong to the World” showcases in one of the four one-hour episodes the secrets of roasting meats ‘Siu Mei’. In the program Siu Mei Kung Fu, episode 1, the famous Hong Kong movie star, Eric Tsang enters into the unfamiliar territory of a traditional roasting workshop. Starting from the most basic roasting techniques, secrets will be revealed and stories behind the delicious Hongkong-style roasts. Affinities to culinary kung fu with reference to hand-to-hand fighting skills as time-honored techniques, balancing yin and yang and involving god-like blade skills, are worthy to be considered “siu mei kung fu”!

One of our favorite destinations discovering Hong Kong to shop for food, electronics and sightseeing on our must see or to-do lists and that behavior hasn’t changed with every visit. Because Hong Kong city and islands still captivates with its spectacular scenery and many attractions. Over time we have introduced ourselves to street food and culinary delights, of which some establishments are famous for more than half a century. One of the restaurants is the legendary Goose restaurant Yung Kee – the fact that we try to visit on our returns makes us long distance regulars – a place to satisfy our roast goose gourmet craving. However over time we have found other locations in Hong Kong which serve roasted goose as good and even less expensive than Yung Kee.

Prepare a trip to Chinatown or Hong Kong, sample the dish(es) or try a recipe

Outside of Hong Kong, Guang Dong Province, in China towns in diaspora across the world you will find the roasted meats to sooth your craving, not often the roasted Goose but most likely the roasted duck version. The more reason to get my hands on a few birds of the large flock of geese which is to be culled soon, Schiphol Airport is not even that far away from my home. Will post separately a roast goose recipe shortly.

Note: If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong soon and are compiling a bucket list of places to visit, things to see, do click on all the highlighted links in this post for information and watch the mentioned documentary TV episode it’s worth to watch, read and experience it by yourself. Here’s another 25 reasons to go to Hong Kong by Condé Nast Traveller.




World’s first Chinese Chef to earn 3 Michelin stars

World’s first Chinese Chef Chan Yan Tak, who earned 3 Michelin stars is in Hong Kong, Four Season’s Hotel Fine Dining at Cantonese restaurant “Lung King Heen (View of the Dragon).

Lung King Heen, fine dining, Four Season in Hong Kong

The restaurant is located on the 4th floor with a modern classic interior offering an absolutely spectacular view across Victoria Harbour, during the day the City’s skyline and in the evening glowing harbour lights. If you would like to plan a visit and experience the Fine dining you must make a reservation well in advance, especially if you opt for window seating.

Cantonese Restaurant Lung King Heen Harbour view


In 2010, the restaurant’s homemade XO sauce was listed as the ‘Best condiment’ on the Hong Kong Best Eats 2010 list compiled by CNN Travel.

Lung King Heen was added to Forbes Travel Guide‘s list of 5 stars restaurants in January 2014.

Update: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 ranking #17

Articles &  Reviews:

  • What are these delicacies reviewers are raving about which Chef Chan Yan Tak and his team prepare and serve, have an enticing look on their Pinterest board here.
  • Foursquare fans and foodies, read raving tips use this link.
  • Japan travel enthusiast, for info and review, click at 4travel.jp here.
  • Hong Kong Tattler Dining recent review January 2014, read the full article here.

Hainan Chicken Rice – foodie chat trivia

Last weekend I went out to shop for pork belly, but the butcher shop closed earlier than I had expected. Ended up at the local Moroccan halal butcher, buying entirely different ingredients. Came home with two fresh Halal broilers to prepare Hainan Chicken Rice 海南鸡反 for dinner. A family favourite dish with loads of stories attached, where to go to sample and taste, and company who joined. Asians habitually talk about food, so everyone chimes in to share at the table with fellow travellers and foodies.

Once upon a time… of course it’s not a fairy tale, but this dish has a long history. An old saying “Whoever wants to go to China must cross the Seven Seas” opening up food chat trivia with many questions and even more answers. This Chinese dish must have accompanied Admiral Zheng He with his treasure fleet on his expeditionary voyages. Throughout south-, south-east Asia all the way till the east coast of Africa from 1405 till 1433. Diaspora of Chinese communities emerged far from home with immigrants bringing with them their skills and reminders of home in preparing comfort food.

Let’s jump forward in time, across the Pacific Ocean at the beginning of the 19th century first immigrants arrived known in American history as Chinese railroad workers. Sailing the opposite direction over the Atlantic Ocean, the first Chinese seamen arrived in The Netherlands in 1911. This time frame and distance show a glimpse of a long history; it explains how widespread early Chinese peasant cooking has caught on all continents and the adaptability of Chinese dishes to local taste.

Hainan Chicken Rice

This famous dish named after a Chinese sub-tropical island 海南岛 in the South China Sea, where a local dish prepared with the main ingredient “Wencheng Chicken” originates. Long after the first immigrants, the present dish is still named as Hainan Chicken Rice. Recognised for its simplicity, aromatic rice and the tender poached chicken it remains a favourite dish trending on top of many food lists with fans in- and outside south-east Asia. Singapore proudly lists as one of their national dishes, available at almost every street corner coffee shop called Kopitiam, food courts, hotels and even highlights on Singapore Airline menu.

If you have travelled throughout this region e.g. Taiwan, HongKong, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, you will recognise a resembling chicken dish. In taste and presentation slightly different as influenced by available produce and local taste. Hong Kong has it’s own cooking style and their way of preparation gained popularity as Pak Kai or BaiJi, 白鸡, also resulting in succulent meat cuts.

The Thai variation is known as Khao man kai, in Vietnam, it is called Com Ga Hai Nam. Every mouthful of Chicken & Rice are as good as the source dish, most importantly it shares the same characteristic of poached succulent chicken meat and fragrant broth.

Hainanese Chicken Rice is about simplicity

Chicken – Traditional Hainan free-range Wencheng chicken feed is with coconut and peanut shells. The adopted Singaporean national dish version is claimed prepared best with a Kampung chicken (Ayam Kampung means free-range village chickens, common in Indonesian and Malaysian). Home in The Netherlands I have prepared this dish with corn-fed free-range chicken, broilers and cut chicken parts, foremost it needs to be fresh.

In all fairness, during the week I will buy supermarket cuts or broilers, but for this dish, I will opt for a poultry butcher. To buy specialities such as Bresse Chicken from France very flavoursome and worth the cooking effort to prepare a particular dish. A rare, the only bird with an A.O.C. a national quality label of origin. Once plucked the chicken are all naked and look the same (right?), but the Bresse chickens have blue feets. A slightly cheaper option is the free range Dutch corn-fed Kemper chicken, very tender and tasty meat. You can easily recognise a corn fed chicken by its yellow-orange skin and when cooked the meat flavour differs from a battery or factory production.

BROILER: A meat chicken processed at the age of 7-12 weeks when it reaches 2 ½ to 3 ½ pounds live weight. Historically Broilers were marketed as birds ranging 1 to 2 ½ lbs.

fresh broiler chickens, Hainan Chicken Rice

Halal broilers

Cooking technique: Use the stock for poaching the chicken, with all the extracted aromas the broth can be used to cook the rice. Served as clear soup accompanying the dish or reserved liquid used for flavourings of stir-fry dishes. Click for “Chinese stock methods” on the highlighted link.

Hainan Chicken - Poaching Chicken legs

Poaching Chicken legs – Hainan Chicken

Chicken fat – Chicken fat is used to stir-fry the rice first or made into a paste with additional spice and herbs, to enhance the flavour and then add the stock with ginger, garlic (and optional adding of pandan leaves and other herbs). Use the chicken fat in making the original Singaporean style chilli dip-sauce (if I use a whole chicken I pull out the chicken fat especially to make a big batch, for taste it is worth the trouble of preparing the chilli dip).

Chicken fat

Remove chicken fat and use a rice paste or chilli paste as dipping sauce

Accompaniments – dipping sauces

By looking at the various dipping’s you can retrace the serving country;

  • Hainan the dish is accompanied with typical oyster sauce and minced garlic, along with chilli dip and finely minced ginger with a bit of green onion (shortly heated in oil to draw out flavour and sharpness without darkening).
  • Singapore a customary hot chilli paste sauce (consisting of minced peppers, lime juice with chicken fat, chicken broth, garlic & ginger), along with pounded ginger served with dark soy sauce. Recent years the Thai Sriracha sauce has become a very popular condiment, due to its close spicy sourness and garlicky taste.
  • Hongkong has lime/lemon juice added to the ginger, next to a hot chilli sauce.
  • Thailand a sauce mix made with yellow soybean paste, thick soy sauce, chilli, ginger, garlic and vinegar instead.
  • Vietnam serves the accompanying sauce mix made of salt, pepper, lime juice and fresh chilli (use of fish sauce too).

Rice – Standard cooked white rice is just what it is plain rice. The chicken rice uses a rice paste with chicken fat for intense aromatic flavour. The stock included a variety of fresh herbs; it influences a different result as in soup or cooked rice. If you add Pandan leaves it enhances the grass fragrance, combine or interchange with lemon grass and galangal (aka blue ginger, Leng Kua/Laos, Kham, etc.) for a more defined citrus aroma. Have the pandan leaves combined with coconut milk (and lemon grass) to make Nasi Lemak another fragrant and traditional rice dish.

Hainan Chicken cooked rice

Hainan Chicken Rice either cooked with rice paste or poaching stock.

Hainan Chicken Rice assembly

Hainan Chicken Rice assembly – remove herbs from the rice – cut up the chicken

Almost ready to assemble our Hainan Chicken Rice plates – Singapore style. You can easily recreate this dish, for more information click on “Chinese stock methods” or “Hainan Chicken tutorial” or recipe post.