I've been obsessing over Sichuan Peppercorns ever since I tried head chef Jeremy Pang's Cucumber and Sichuan Peppercorn pickle. It's often combined with chilies for a sensation the Chinese call "ma la", literally meaning "numbing-hot", which I mistook for an allergic reaction when I first tried it. Now my addiction is such that my husband had to stage an intervention when I tried to add it to my breakfast omlette; I still think it would work. Here's an idea that everyone should approve of: Sichuan Peppers and Popcorn. I know, it's out there, but try it once and you will never look back. Simply grind the peppers and add them to melted butter. Let that simmer for a while until the peppers have infused the butter and then pour it all over your popcorn- pure peppercorn paradise!
Speaking of paradise. I have just returned from shooting a travel series in Hong Kong with head chef Jeremy Pang. Our brief from the Hong Kong Tourism Board? To eat our way through their beautiful country and film ourselves in the act. Here are a few dishes that really got our attention:
It’s a stew of sorts, baked or grilled over coals, in a clay pot. Ingredients vary, but the main feature is a layer of crisp rice that forms at the bottom of the pot, topped with a layer of fluffy rice that has soaked up all the juices of the topping.
I was recently lucky enough to attend a Dim Sum class at the School of Wok, where I learn’t to make Siu Mai. It’s a thin pastry stuffed with various delicious minced meats. My technique may have been shaky, but I certainly enjoyed the fruits of my labour. However, after tasting these scrumptious morsels in the motherland, I can safely say I have a long way to go.
One blog isn't enough to cover our foodie discoveries in Hong Kong, so I’ll be writing about our travels over the next two weeks. Coconut custard rolls, peanut noodles, stuffed tofu, crispy duck and sweet milk bread... how will I ever return to pub lunches and toasted sandwiches? '