Food on the move Adrian Wong

Introduction:

So this is my food blog consisting all of the food I have made on my travels around the world.

Burritos from mexico:

Chocolate actually wasn't the actual chocolate bar that we all see it is today, instead, it was consumed as a very bitter drink which was consumed by the Mesoamericans in Mexico. And so, as the many civilisations of Mexico moved through the centuries, the Olmec, Mayan, and Aztec civilisations found it to be a mood enhancer, invigorating, and so thought that chocolate possessed mystical and spiritual qualities. And so, in 1847, the history of chocolate changed forever, the British chocolate company, J.S. Fry & Sons created the first solid edible chocolate bar. Chocolate has played such a big part in Mexican & South American food heritage that it has been incorporated into many Mexican dishes in the present day. Some notable present day dishes that use chocolate as one of their main ingredients include Churros and Mole sauce.

So I decided I had to discover the true identity of Mexico, and from that very moment that I got off that plane from Hong Kong, I was certainly desperate to explore. I soon found myself engulfed in the middle of a street market in the crowded streets of Mexico City. I was certainly overwhelmed by the many smells, sounds, and sights, this was certainly a new experience for me. There was a really refreshing smell of Mexican food, so I got lured to this small shop in the middle of the market. It was lunchtime, and my stomach was rumbling. I was welcomed to this shop, and everything was just great. A nice waiter sat me down at a seat overlooking daily life in Mexico City and gave me my menu. I asked them what was their best dish, and the waiter told me it was certainly their burritos. When my food was finally brought out, it looked amazing and I certainly couldn't wait to get started.

My taste buds exploded the moment I got my teeth into this plethora of taste, I had sweet, sour, and spicy all in one bite. This was certainly the best burrito that I have ever had. And so, I decided to create a simple burrito recipe that anyone could follow, and I have one for meat eaters and vegetarians, so that all of you could just have a chance to taste what I have just ate.

Ingredients:

Beef filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 100g minced beef
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp fresh coriander
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

Refried beans:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 70g red kidney beans
  • pinch salt & pepper
  • 1/4 onion

Assembling the burrito:

  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 50g cheddar cheese
  • Shredded lettuce

Preparation:

  • Dice the onion, tomato and coriander
  • Crush the garlic
  • Grate the cheese into a bowl
  • Shred the lettuce

Method

Beef filling:

1. Place the onion and garlic into the saucepan with the oil.

2. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat until caramelised.

3. Add the beef and chili powder, cook for 5 minutes until brown.

4. Add the tomato paste, coriander, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes or until the beef is no longer pink.

5. Remove from the heat, and cool.

Refried beans:

1. Put the oil, onions and garlic into the saucepan.

2. Heat over medium heat, until the onions have softened - stir occasionally.

3. Add the beans & cumin and cooks for a further 5 minutes.

4. When beans start to soften and skins loosen, remove from heat and mash with a potato masher.

5. Once the beans have cooled completely, place back on the heat and refry with the salt and pepper.

My attempt at making a burrito

So this was my attempt at making the burrito myself. I think what was really good was the filling, as I could feel the plethora of the different senses all erupt in my mouth at once, and also the burrito was cooked just right, so that was really good. But next time, if I knew how to wrap a burrito, and maybe just had more filling, then the burrito would look more aesthetically pleasing.

Goi Cuon from Vietnam:

So food waste is a big problem in Hong Kong, where one third of our solid waste is actually food. 3,200 tonnes of it everyday are sent to landfills (that is 120 double decker buses). The remaining capacities of these landfills can only last until 2018, where it will all be exhausted. And also, by the end of each day, supermarkets dispose of about 29 tonnes of food everyday. Also we need to reduce our carbon footprint. Which is the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the air after the acts of particular individuals and groups. Sustainablility is also when we avoid the depletion of natural resources.

The next stop of my trip brought me to Vietnam, where I tried out one of their most well known dishes, Goi Cuon. I was very interested in knowing how to make it, and luckily I got taught firsthand by a professional! He showed me all the tips in making the perfect roll, and making sure that it is safe to eat.

These tricks include removing the heads of the prawn and removing the intestines and the legs smoothly without losing any meat. Below I have included the recipe that I used.

Ingredients:

Goi Cuon:

  • 4 rice paper rolls
  • 35g vermicelli noodles
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 6 fresh prawns
  • 4 small lettuce leaves
  • 1 small carrot
  • 4 coriander leaves
  • 4 thai basil stems
  • 8 long chives
  • 20g beansprouts

Dipping sauce:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 red chilli
  • 1cm root ginger
  • 1dsp caster sugar
  • 2tbsp fish sauce
  • 4tbsp lime sauce

Preparation:

  • Crush the garlic, and peel the ginger and roughly chop into chunks.
  • Cut the carrot into matchstick shapes.

Method

1. Place the dipping sauce ingredients into a mini blender, and blitz until all the ingredients are finely chopped (about 30s to 1min).

2. Pour this into a small bowl and leave for presentation later. Leave the blender to soak in hot water.

3. Place the prawns whole, into a flat frying pan. They will start blue, and turn pink. When fully pink, they are ready.

4. De-shell the prawns, removing the heads, tails and inner intestine. Slice in half.

5. Quickly but gently coat your rice paper rolls in water, but don’t leave them for too long, and put them on a chopping board.

6. Place three halves of prawn in a pattern with the mint leaves in a line nearest your fingers.

7. Lay on top, in this order - lettuce, noodles, carrot, herbs, beansprouts.

8. Wrap tightly starting and the base, then fold in the sides, and finish wrapping up. Dip into your sauce and enjoy!

My attempt at making Goi Cuon for myself

As for every dish, I will post a picture of me making the dish myself. For this time, I feel that when I wrapped the rice paper rolls, that I didn't they were that delicate and were easy to break. So for next time, I should be more delicate with my wrapping. But when I cooked the prawns, they were really good and were cooked just right, which was expected. Also, the dipping sauce was perfect, which was what I wanted.

Sushi from Japan:

Overfishing has a big impact and can wreck havoc and disrupt the food chain. It can also destroy the environment as the nets are stuck to some fishes, which in turn they die and actually pollute the water. Food presentation is really important and is essential to the dishes' taste and flavour and our eyes makes us want to tempt the food to eat it. It is certainly essential for food.

It is not very often that you get to cook with one of the most famous sushi chefs in the world, which is what I had the experience to do in Japan. I had to first think of what to put in the sushi, and the colour palette and what it would look like from the outside. The ingredients I chose were cucumber (for some crunch), crab sticks (for some juiciness), and carrot (one of my personal favourites).

My attempt at making sushi

So for my sushi, I thought that the assembly and the choice of ingredients were good. But for next time, I should always remember to dip my knife in cold water, or else the sushi would break apart!

Flatbread from Greece:

Research suggests that eating as a family at leat 4 times a week has positive effects on child development. Family dinners have been linked to a lower risk of obesity, substance abuse, eating disorders, and an increased chance of graduating from high school. It provides the chance for conversation, which most parents won't have during the day as they are working long, standardised work hours. It can also encourage healthy eating habits as family dinners normally increase the intake of fruits and vegetables. Yeast is basically the chemical that can make bread rise, and so, as the sugars in the bread are metabolised, carbon dioxide and alcohol are released into the bread dough, which makes it rise.

My journey has brought me all the way to Greece. I have certainly left one of the best places near the end of the trip as I felt that it would be a nice relaxing place to go to in the middle of all the other hectic journeys.

So my dish here today is teaching you how to make Greek flatbread. Below is my super-easy recipe for making flatbread:

Ingredients:

  • 90ml milk
  • 60ml hot water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 sachet of yeast (7g)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 250g plain flour

Method:

1. Combine milk, water, salt, butter, honey and yeast in a bowl. Then sieve in flour and mix.

2. Keep mixing until all ingredients have formed a soft ball of dough, place on your workspace and knead for about 5 minutes. A good tip to know when your dough is ready is to prod it and if it springs back it is elastic enough.

3. Leave the dough in the bowl to rise for 10 minutes while you wash up any of your formed equipment.

4. Once dough has risen, divide it into 4 small balls roughly the same size. Heat up a non-stick frying pan.

5. Roll out each ball into a rough circular shape, about half a centimetre thick.

6. Place in your hot pan and cook until golden brown, flip when done.

7. Once you have cooked all you dough leave to cool for a minute or so but make sure to eat them while they are still hot because that’s when there’re best!

My attempt at making Greek flatbread

So my flatbread looked really good, and it tasted quite good. It was also cooked just right, which was great. But next time, I could have added more honey into the bread to make it sweeter and tastier.

Curry pockets from India:

Have you ever felt the feeling when millions of spices just erupt in your mouth at the same time? Well you certainly are about to! My latest journey brought me all the way to India and the atmosphere of the country is just awe inspiring.

So fair trade is when trade for products between developed countries and developing countries and in which fair prices are given to the producers. Fair trade plays a vital role in India and all around the world as it is a very demanding business. It is also very important for traders and farmers as they are producing these products for big companies. Hong Kong is one of the biggest trading ports in the world, and certainly with the huge ships rolling into the city, fair trade certainly plays a part. Since Hong Kong is such an international city, it is very hard not to find something to fit your needs, so definitely there is food availability here in Hong Kong. Quantity affects flavour because the more you have of something good, the more you would want it.

Now all the way back to the subject of India. Curry is a very popular dish around the world, with many different cultures making it to their own tastes and also is incredibly popular around the world. There are many confusing recipes of curry, and ingredients that you may not be able to get at your local supermarket, but I have came up with the easiest possible, but the tastiest curry pocket ever! So below is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tomatoes
  • ¼ onion
  • ¼ red & green pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2cm piece root ginger
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ stock cube
  • 6 wonton skins
  • 100ml cold water

Method:

1. Firstly, so that you are prepared, you will need to dice the onion, tomatoes and green/red peppers. The crush and grate the garlic and ginger.

2. After you have prepped, place the onion and tomato into a saucepan with a drop of oil. Heat until softened.

3. Add spices, ginger and garlic, and heat for a further 2 minutes.

4. Put in the tomato puree and ½ a stock cube, add water and stir until dissolved.

5. Put the red/green peppers into the pan and stir. Leave to simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat, if it starts to burn just add more water.

6. Prepare the wonton skins, brush both sides with a little oil and push down into the centres into a muffin tin.

7. Place into the preheated oven (180) for 5 minutes or until the edges are bubbling and are a golden colour.

8. Leave to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.

9. Spoon the curry mixture into the wonton skins and serve hot!

My attempt at making the curry pockets

So this time, everything was pretty much good, the curry sauce was really good, and everything really just tasted right in it. But for next time, for the wonton skins, I should not put too much oil on it, as when the wonton skins finished cooking in the oven, there was too much oil, and so next time, I should put less oil onto the wonton skins.

Fusion chicken and char-siu rolls

This will be my last entry as I have gathered together my knowledge and understanding from all around the world to create my own invention. And for the final recipe, I have decided to stick to the theme of transportable food.

For the final week I have created a fusion dish, which will certainly all erupt in your mouth. I will be making a chicken and char siu (famous Chinese pork) rolls with Mediterranean yogurt. Below is the recipe I made:

Ingredients:

400g Chicken breast fillets cut into 6cm x 2cm strips

4 tbsp. Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce

1 tbsp. Freshly grated ginger

7 sheets Filo pastry

60g Melted butter

1/4 tsp Toasted sesame seeds

Minted yoghurt:

1 cup Natural yoghurt

2 tbsp Chopped mint

1 tsp Minced Garlic

1/4 tsp Paprika

A pinch of salt & pepper

Method:

1. Combine together the char siu sauce and ginger.

2 . Cut the pastry sheets in thirds and brush with the melted butter. Make only 3 at a time and keep the filo covered with a slightly damp cloth.

3. Place a piece of chicken onto each sheet, add a teaspoon of char siu sauce, roll up like a spring roll, brush with butter and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

4. Place onto a tray and bake in a pre-heated oven set at 185°C for 10 minutes or until golden.

5 . To make the yoghurt sauce: combine together the yoghurt, mint, paprika and garlic. Season well and serve with the chicken rolls.

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