Eat Drink Asia

By South China Morning Post

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Description

Eat Drink Asia is an award-winning podcast by the South China Morning Post that deep dives into the forgotten history of some of Asia's most popular dishes that have gone global. Discover the human story behind some of Asia's most loved foods, drinks and condiments with SCMP journalists, as they speak with chefs, restaurateurs and food experts from across the region.

Episode Date
The story of dumplings: how a traditional Chinese medicine cure went global
2108
An SCMP archive special: the story of dumplings is the story of the globalisation of Chinese cuisine - take the journey from Beijing to Shanghai, Hong Kong and down the ancient Silk Road to discover who invented them - and how a traditional Chinese medicine cure evolved into a meal enjoyed around the world. Interviewees: Lu Hongbin; Du Yichu restaurant, Beijing; Hu Wei-I, Wan Shou Zai restaurant, Shanghai; Wang Hong Chun, Ah Cun Shandong Dumpling, Prince Edward; Dr Dai Zhaoyu, senior lecturer,…
Feb 04, 2022
The great Hainanese chicken rice debate: Singapore vs Malaysia
1410
Is this poached chicken dish served with various condiments originally from Singapore or Malaysia? It's a question that stirs up quite a debate between these two countries where eating and criticising the other side’s cuisine are national pastimes. In this episode we trace the origins of Hainanese chicken rice and find out how there's a lot more that goes into making this succulent dish fragrant and flavourful than meets the eye.  
Feb 10, 2021
Japanese tempura, its Portugese origins and how it became high culinary art
1293
Tempura is an ubiquitous Japanese dish, with seafood or vegetables  coated in batter and deep-fried. But did you know that tempura originated in Portugal? Bernice and Alkira trace its origins back to the 16th century when Portuguese missionaries sailed to Japan and traded guns, tobacco and flour. They taught the Japanese how to use the flour to make tempura. It has since evolved into a high culinary art form in Japan. Featuring chef Eisaku Hara of Uchitsu Tempura, chef Rodolfo Vicente of Casa…
Jan 04, 2021
How tofu made its way to the West
1654
Before plant-based meats and oat milk there was tofu. It's a popular staple in Asian cooking that was first written about before the Sung dynasty in 960 AD. Bernice Chan and Alkira Reinfrank look at how tofu made its way to America in three waves that started with Benjamin Franklin, Asian immigrants in the 1800s, and finally during the hippie counterculture in the late 1960s. Featuring Renee So of Kung Wo Tofu Factory, Jenny Yang of Phoenix Bean in Chicago, Bill Shurtleff, founder and president…
Nov 06, 2020
Hong Kong egg tarts and their medieval English origins
1353
Cantonese egg tarts are hard to resist with their silky egg custard filling and flaky pastry crust. Found in bakeries and eaten at the end of dim sum, the egg tart is a sentimental dessert in Hong Kong and across southern China, but its roots are not native to the region. It’s believed the British first brought custard tarts to southern China in the 1920s, where local chefs adapted the recipe before it was brought to Hong Kong. To uncover the full history of the egg tart we travel all the way…
Sep 23, 2020
Xiaolongbao: how soup dumplings went global
1187
Xiaolongbao - or soup dumplings as they are known in the West - are delicate parcels of pork and broth that are served piping hot in a bamboo steamer. In this episode Alkira Reinfrank and Bernice Chan uncover the origins of this golf-ball sized dumpling, tracing it back to a district on the fringes of Shanghai, China. They speak to the daughter of a xiaolongbao master to find out what makes the perfect soup dumpling, and find out how Din Tai Fung began in Taiwan selling cooking oil then made…
Aug 11, 2020
The story behind Oscar-winning film Parasite’s ram-don noodles
902
Jjapaguri, or ram-don, as it is known in the Academy award-winning movie Parasite, is a super easy and cheap dish that simply mixes two kinds of instant noodles together. In this episode of Eat Drink Asia, we look into the food references in the film and how a dish only known to Koreans quickly became something global audiences salivated over.
Jun 15, 2020
Quarantine Cooking: Instant noodle okonomiyaki
397
Vicky Cheng, chef and owner of one-Michelin-starred VEA tells us how to turn a humble pack of instant noodles to a glorious okonomiyaki — a classic Japanese pancake.
Jun 08, 2020
It’s butter chicken — not curry
1092
As popular and ubiquitous as curry is around the world, the word ‘curry’ doesn’t actually exist in India. In this episode we look into butter chicken – not curry – a dish that balances the smokiness of the meat and the silkiness of the sauce like no other. We traced it back to the grandson of the inventor of this iconic dish, who told us its origin story of hard work, resilience, and hope. Sound effects from Klankbeeld, digifishmusic, SoundLover16 on Freesound.org.
May 22, 2020
Quarantine Cooking: Coconut fish stew
238
This is a quick coconut fish stew recipe that will make you look like the chef of the house. It's shared by chef Palash Mitra, who helms the Michelin-starred restaurant New Punjab Club in Hong Kong. How to make it: Cut the fish into manageable pieces and season with salt, turmeric, crushed peppercorns, and curry leaves (optional). Heat some coconut oil and add in mustard seeds, chopped shallots, tomatoes, and a bit of ginger. Sautée till transparent and add the fish, lightly fry and…
Apr 30, 2020
Quarantine Cooking: French onion instant noodle soup
244
Listen to top chefs in Hong Kong describe how they cook their favourite comfort dishes at home. Today's recipe from chef Barry Quek only requires three ingredients: instant noodles, an onion, and a hard cheese, like cheddar or parmesan. How to make it: Slice about half an onion into thin slices then heat oil in a pot and saute the onions until they turn light brown, about 10 minutes. Add the seasoning packet from the instant noodles and stir for about a minute then add enough water to cook…
Apr 22, 2020
KFC vs KFC
1222
When it comes to fried chicken, almost every country has their own take on it. The Philippines has Jollibee, South Africa has Nando’s, Japan has Karaage... but no country has made the competition more intense than South Korea. So for today's episode, we are going to take a look at two equally iconic KFCs — Kentucky fried chicken and Korean fried chicken. How are they made? How did they influence each other?  And we are looking further than that — to the Korean war, the first cookbook…
Dec 06, 2019
Banh mi: where Vietnamese tradition and French colonialism collide
1083
The dish was born in a time when Vietnamese weren’t even allowed access to wheat flour, making it hard to imagine the sandwich would become world famous.
Oct 25, 2019
All about that Spam
1413
American icon became popular during the war and managed to stick around.Your junk email is named after the canned meat, by the way.
Sep 27, 2019
Mooncakes then and now
827
We tried KFC’s spicy chicken mooncakes so you don’t have to.From the end of the Yuan Dynasty to modern Hong Kong, mooncakes have been the bearers of political messages.
Aug 30, 2019
The surprising history of Sichuan cuisine
1236
Bernice Chan and Alkira Reinfrank analyse the cultural appropriation, and fascinating history, of Sichuan cuisine. They delve into the chemistry of the Sichuan pepper and unpack the components of a traditional meal.
Jul 26, 2019
Sushi did not originate in Japan: how raw fish and rice became a world favourite
1277
It turns out that early sushi was not about rice. And it originated from the Mekong, not Japan.
Jun 27, 2019
Hot facts about Sriracha sauce, and why you’re saying it wrong
1283
Plot twist: The rooster sauce was created by a Vietnamese refugee, but is American-made, and Thai-inspired.
May 24, 2019
History of pad Thai: how the stir-fried noodle dish was invented by the Thai government
1299
The complex origin and nationalist agenda behind the iconic Thai noodle dish.
Apr 27, 2019
Your ultimate guide to dim sum
1178
A journey into the history and culture of dim sum – why it’s served on trolleys, what the path to becoming a dim sum chef is like, and the painstaking work behind a simple har gau.
Mar 30, 2019
How bubble tea was invented and became a global phenomenon
1660
Where did bubble tea begin - and why has it become so popular - we deep dive into this chewy drink made for Instagram.
Feb 22, 2019
Hong Kong's Michelin stars, Italian food and sake
2232
Michelin announcement sees fine dining French restaurant Caprice get back its third star, and the British chef gives us some quick dinner solutions.
Dec 17, 2018
Bartender Jeff Bell and chef Gray Kunz
2482
An in-depth chat with career bartender (and 2017 American Bartender of the Year) Jeff Bell from the famous PDT bar in New York, upon opening the Hong Kong edition of PDT at the Mandarin Oriental; and Singaporean-born Swiss chef Gray Kunz, who has been cooking and operating restaurants in Hong Kong since the 1980s, talks about telling the story of Singapore and Asia through his food at Cafe Gray Deluxe in the Upper House in Hong Kong.
Nov 15, 2018
Gordon Ramsay in conversation
1839
Sit down with Bernice Chan and Alkira Reinfrank for an in-depth chat with Gordon Ramsay, perhaps better known as the profane, short-tempered TV chef on reality programs like Hell's Kitchen, MasterChef and Kitchen Nightmares. Upon the opening of his latest restaurant in Hong Kong he talks about his aborted football career, the influence of his mother upon his cooking, and his pride in guiding the careers of young chefs.  
Oct 19, 2018
Koreatown, Israeli food at Francis and cart noodles
3040
In this episode Bernice Chan and Alkira Reinfrank visit Hong Kong's own 'Koreatown' and taste local versions of classic Korean street food; talk about the pressures of running the hottest restaurant in town with James Ward, owner and operator of Francis in Wan Chai; and Bernice continues her mission to educate Alkira about Hong Kong's local cuisine - this week it's a feast of pig's blood, intestines and liver. Guest producer: Kyungmin Cho Follow us on Twitter: Bernice Chan @beijingcalling …
Oct 19, 2018
Chicken feet, tripe, Chinese tea and chef Julien Royer
3041
Bernice Chan and Alkira Reinfrank talk about what Anthony Bourdainmeant to Hong Kong and Asia; sample Cantonese favourites chicken feet and tripe; talk with a Chinese tea sommelier, drink milk tea in Sham Shui Po and discuss fine dining with chef Julien Royer, head chef and owner of Odette in Singapore. Follow us on Twitter: Bernice Chan @beijingcalling Alkira Reinfrank @alkirareinfrank
Oct 19, 2018