Chicha – the authentic taste of Peru in Hong Kong

the space at chicha restaurantWhen I hear about Peruvian restaurants opening in different cities, I keep an eye on them.  The world has finally welcomed Peruvian food as a global phenomenon, and new eateries are popping up in all corners of the world.  On a recent trip to Hong Kong, I visited Chicha, the city’s only Peruvian restaurant – Chicha is known as an exciting trend-setter in the local restaurant and foodie circle, and also the recent recipient of Time Out Magazine’s Best New Restaurant (People’s Choice). Continue Reading →

A homage to Xiao Long Bao – Chinese soup dumplings

Like many people, I first discovered xiao long bao in a famous Taiwanese restaurant called Din Tai Fung. I don’t usually eat in chain restaurants, but I do make an exception for this New York Times rated, Michelin starred eatery which is famous for its xiao long bao. And so after first experiencing the steamy, soupy, pork-filled wonders of xiao long bao for the first time, I became obsessed. Now, it is one of those things I must have weekly or somehow I feel deprived.Xiao long bao means “small steaming purse or basket” in Mandarin, which is a very factual description of a magical dish. These dumplings are traditionally filled with small pork meatballs (although you can find chicken, vegetable and seafood nowadays), and are encased in a thin, translucent dumpling shell with a savory broth within. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Homemade XO Sauce

Homemade XO sauce

I’d never really thought about making XO sauce—a deliciously spicy and umami condiment that first gained popularity in Hong Kong in the Eighties—in the past because the process seemed mysteriously complex. Generally consisting of dried scallops and shrimp paired with chillies, and a blend of shallots and garlic, the recipe for most signature XO sauces served at famous Chinese restaurants are closely guarded. Continue Reading →

Style expert tells how to get the best from custom tailors in Asia

Have you been to one of the ubiquitous tailors in Asia, perhaps in Singapore, Hong Kong or Thailand, or even Vietnam and China? Have you ever left less than satisfied? I have. Until I met Anthony Moynihan. Anthony is a fashion stylist extraordinare based in Shanghai, China. He has worked for top Asian fashion magazines, styled music videos and ad campaigns, created his own line of couture sold in Japan, done custom designs for Japanese pop stars and has helped many a client and friend learn how to look their best. Continue Reading →

Friday Food Porn: Clams Casino

Clams Casino, Grand Hyatt Steakhouse

I love a good Clams Casino. It’s a lovely retro dish that I happen to adore but is quite hard to find these days. If you’ve never had a really good version, with fresh, plump, sweet clams and topped with parmesan, bacon (hey, who doesn’t love bacon?), oregano, parsley, bell peppers, shallots, and garlic, you don’t know what you’re missing! Continue Reading →

Revisiting a holiday staple, Columbia’s Caribbean toasted coconut rice

Soooo, here we go! This is our first post and we are elated to bring our nomad suitcases full of recipes to the Chubby Hubby e-abode. We can’t think of a better way to start than to bring you along on our summer adventures, which for your enjoyment (and ours, quite evidently) will take place in our home countries. Call it “The Kitchen Nomads go back home” if you will!  I (Paola) will be introducing you to the concept of double deep-frying and the variety of Colombian cuisine, while Jessica will entice you with the beauty of using more butter than you need to and the freshness of summer fruit in France. Continue Reading →

Bo Innovation

On my recent trip to Hong Kong, my lovely wife S and I had what was easily one of my best meals this year. We had both heard a lot about Chef Alvin Leung from Bo Innovation over the years. Some good, some not so good. Some outstanding. Which is often the case with chefs trying to push the envelope, i.e. trying to do new and very different things to familiar and classic foods. They’ll win over some very loyal fans who are totally blown away by the chef’s new ideas and his or her abilities to turn these concepts into delicious food. But this kind of chef will alienate just as many customers. And, of course, a good share of other diners will be impressed without really understanding what they’re eating. Alvin Leung is most definitely this kind of chef. And I very much belong in the first camp; that is, I am total fan. (Keep reading)

Boneless stuffed suckling pig from heaven (well, actually Hong Kong)

I really don’t come to Hong Kong often enough. But when I do, I make sure I get a few trusted foodie friends to take me out for good local grub. Most recently, I had the great pleasure of tasting what might very well be the best version of Chinese roasted suckling pig I have ever had. I had relegated the choice of restaurant and what we would eat to my good friend Amy, whom some of you may remember from a very popular guest post she contributed to this site some time back.

Amy in turn consulted one of her very good friends, Peter, the greatly-respected blogger behind Diary of a Growing  Boy. They jointly decided that my gorgeous wife S and I should try what Peter (very rightly) believes is one of the best pig dishes in Hong Kong. (Keep reading)

Crab Fat Linguine (guest post)

I know I’ve been really delinquent with posting. I still have my truffle hunt to write about, plus some other recommendations from my recent trip to Perth. And I’ve just come back from Kyoto, so expect a Kyoto Guide in the coming month. But, to keep you entertained for now, I have begged a friend to step in with a guest post. Amazingly, this awesome hottie who usually charges quite a bit for her words has generously agreed to lend a hand. Originally from New York, Amy Ma is a trained chef and food writer based in Hong Kong (and a fellow college alumn–go baby blue!). She is a regular contributor to the South China Morning Post and Wall Street Journal (Weekend Asia). If you’re looking for a little less food and a little more Amy, check out her weekly HK Magzine column, where she muses on the underbelly of HK’s culinary world: http://hk-magazine.com/columnists/amy-ma?type=feature. Oh, and if you ever meet her, ask her about the “thong story”. Made me laugh until it hurt.

An Ode to Crab Fat
by Amy Ma

A lot of things don’t make it onto the official Chubby Hubby blog. Like the fact that he was kind enough to offer me a bottle of crab fat he picked up on his recent Manila trip. And that I was rude enough to accept, and make him send a care package all the way to Hong Kong.

Called aligue or taba ng talangka (in Tagalog), crab “fat” is really crab roe, or the coral-colored blubbery goodness you scoop out from underneath the shell and in between the body cavity of your crustacean friend. The Shanghainese have a similar product rendered out of the hairy crab, but it’s not to be confused with the Japanese kani miso or crab “brain” – really just crab guts – a grayish, liver-tasting paste from the Hokkaido crab. Not my favorite. (Keep reading)

Make your own mee and charsiu

I mentioned a couple posts ago that one of the very best ways to enjoy homemade wontons is with noodles and charsiu (roast pork), i.e. as part of a perfect plate of wonton mee. What I should have said also is that to really make that dish special, you should also make the charsiu and the noodles yourself.

Before you start getting freaked out, let me assure you that both are surprisingly easy to make. Just give yourself some time to prepare both items properly. And I promise that if you do make the effort and take the time to make not just your wontons but also your mee and charsiu, you will be super pleased with the results. And your guests — or whomever you decide to serve these to — will be in a state of culinary euphoria.

The recipes that S and I have found most trustworthy for charsiu and mee both come from the same amazing food writer and restaurateur, Barbara Tropp. Her cookbook The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking is still, to us, today unrivalled among Chinese cookbooks for its accuracy, clarity, and ease of use. It still sometimes amazes us that a diminutive Jewish-American woman is the authority we trust most when searching for a great Chinese recipe. Of course, as all home cooks do, we’ve tweaked Ms Tropp’s recipes a little to suit our own tastes as well as our kitchen equipment. You may also find that for your tastes and in your kitchen you might need to make some necessary adjustments. (Keep reading)