Roast meats have long been a big part of Hong Kong’s food culture, affordable dishes that just about anyone can enjoy. In recent years, innovative chefs have started applying traditional recipes to more premium meats. Think char siu made from Ibérico pork from Spain, Mangalica pork from Hungary and even Wagyu beef from Japan. But why don’t we often hear about Cantonese cooking using premium meats from other countries, say the UK? This is something the UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) wants to change.
We recently had the opportunity to attend a dinner hosted by the AHDB at Duddell’s, one of our city’s finest and most stylish Cantonese restaurants, to celebrate the Year of the Pig and try Cantonese dishes made from premium British pigs raised in Waveney Valley, Suffolk.
While the AHDB flew in some of the treats, they gave Duddell’s Executive Chef Jacky Wu free rein to prepare the menu. Here are a few photos from the evening – prices included are of similar dishes on Duddell’s regular à-la-carte menu:
Roasted whole suckling pig ($320/person)
Appetiser combination with char siu, osmanthus-scented pear and pork belly ($150/person)
Braised pork hocks (off menu)
Hot and sour soup with prawns and Waveney Valley minced pork ($220/person)
Being the good Taiwanese girl I am, pork is my favourite of all meats. I’ve had my fair share of roast pork and char siu throughout the years, and I do believe that premium British pork works well for Cantonese roast meats (and in general). For the roast pork, the skin was incredibly crisp and the meat was soft, juicy and tender. For the char siu, while Ibérico and Mangalica are significantly more fatty, with both fatty flesh and of plenty of fat ribbons, the char siu we tried was leaner but still delicious and less overwhelming for the palate – which means we could eat more of it (insert happy face here).
In addition to the pork dishes, we also enjoyed trying some of Chef Wu’s other creations. The osmanthus-scented pear with hawthorn was delightful, fresh and floral in the most edible way. The stuffed crab shell contained sweet onion that paired well with the creamy crabmeat and salty, crunchy crust. And the grouper was perfectly cooked and came with a very smooth bean curd pudding.
Stuffed crab shell with crabmeat and onion (off menu)
Steamed grouper fillet with bean curd and soy sauce ($480/person)
To try premium British meat and related products – including pork, beef, lamb and dairy – for yourself, check out the AHDB’s Facebook page or browse the hashtags #DiscoverBritishMeat and #AHDBhk to keep up with the latest updates. In 2019, there will be events and activities for industry folk and home cooks alike, including a special menu in line with the HOFEX food and hospitality trade show in May and the second annual Young Chef competition in August.
3/F, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central, 2525 9191, book online
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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