Don't let the 6pm dining ban get you down with these Hong Kong cookbooks from local authors and chefs
Anybody else struggling with flashbacks to 2020? Two years later, here we are, sitting in our pyjamas at 6pm, wondering what to make/order/eat for dinner. We are over the banana bread and sourdough starters from the first COVID-19 lockdowns, but we still want to be nurtured and looked after, because outside it is madness. We want something fuss-free, delicious and maybe even healthy, because it is still January and as forgiving as sweatpants can be, we are still hopeful for junk season and, dare I say, Phuket Summer 2022? Here is a round-up of some of my favourite Hong Kong cookbooks, written by Hong Kong writers, for Hong Kong cooks. We know these ingredients will be easy to find and will hit home with our favourite flavours!
Hong Kong cookbooks
1. Chicken and Charcoal: Yakitori, Yardbird
As a 2021 Love Local winner for best restaurant, we know that you all love Yardbird as much as we do. It feels like a family restaurant that we all own and want to show off to the world. Now I can have KFC anytime, anywhere because when Yardbird launched their cookbook written by Matt Abergel, I finally had access to their secret sauce recipe! This is a beautiful book not only to have on your coffee table, but in your kitchen as well. Grab the book, all the ingredients for a sando, and you will thank me.
Buy online at Sunday’s Grocery
Chef Peggy Chan is a Hong Kong stalwart, who spear-headed the vegan and conscious cooking movement in Hong Kong with her beloved, but sadly now closed, restaurants Grassroots Pantry and Nectar. She launched her cookbook, Provenance, in 2020 through Kickstarter, in order to use the sales of the plant-based cookbook to support the food sustainability nonprofit organisation, Zero Footprint Asia. Among the 80 recipes featured in the cookbook, there are some new recipes and some are adapted from the signature dishes at Grassroots and Nectar. I personally love this book as it gives you tips on where to buy the ingredients locally and even some stories from the farmers and producers.
The e-book version of the cookbook is available for free on ISSU
3. A Spark of Madness
Writing a cookbook was never part of my life-plans. I am not a writer, nor am I a chef. I choose to freestyle in the kitchen with both disasters and successes, and this pan-Asian vegetarian cookbook is a consolidated compilation of the winners. I am still on my journey of learning more about food and cooking, but I know when a dish hits the right flavours. All 116 recipes are foolproof, flavourful and not just for the meat-free. Together it is an amalgamation of comfort food favourites from Dan Dan Noodles and Katsu Curry, to the outrageous Ema Datshi Beer Bread and Green Curry Gnocchi. Altogether, the cookbook includes a wide range of vegan and gluten-free dishes.
4. Indulgent Eats at Home
Jen Balisi, of Indulgent Eats fame, has put together a cookbook of all her drool-worthy indulgent dishes. I am always salivating when I see her photos and I can’t wait to start making some of her dishes, especially her Mozzarella en Carozza, Japanese Jiggly Pancakes and Buratta-topped Crispy Skillet Pizza. Did I mention each recipe includes a video link, showing you how to make it? She really has your back!
Pre-order now on Indulgent Eats
5. Hong Kong Local: Cult Recipes From The Streets That Make The City
This is a Hong Kong cookbook that will make you fall in love with the city all over again, written as a love-letter by an ex-Hong Konger, ArChan Chan, who—since the book has been published—has moved back to Hong Kong and is heading up the recently renovated Ho Lee Fook. She takes you on a journey with this book—from early, mid to late—with recipes that makes this city’s food scene tick!
Buy online at Amazon