Lamb bao at Bao London The dessert spread at Ottolenghi on Motcomb Street Feast London at Dalston Yard Smokestack BBQ at Street Feast Dalston Yard Brick Lane Beigel Bake The spread at Honey & Co
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5 Best Things I ate in London

It seems I’ve been on a perpetual travel and food binge over the last few weeks, I am thankful for those of you who are still connected to me on social media despite the deluge of posts that do little more than inspire anger and hunger, probably at the same time.

But all those kilos gained weren’t all for naught, here are the best five things I sampled in London for your reference.  I’ve eaten an abhorrent amount to uncover these, so you don’t have to. The things I do.

First up:
1. The Trotter Nuggets at Bao London £4

Bao is a new restaurant in Soho that started from a pop up stall (sound familiar?) serving Taiwanese style fluffy buns with creative flavors like panko crumbed daikon, soy milk marinated chicken, and lamb shoulder. I tried almost every one on the menu (lamb shoulder with coriander sauce had the most punchy flavours), the buns definitely shine. But the stars of the meal were actually the sides for me, in particular …

Jing Theory • Niangao Recipe Jing Theory • Niangao Recipe Jing Theory • Niangao Recipe Jing Theory • Niangao Recipe
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Recipe: Ningbo ‘niangao’ rice cakes for Chinese New Year

Happy Year of the Snake everyone!  恭喜发财,万事如意!
I hope you’ve all enjoyed a reunion with family and friends, filled with good food and cheer.

This is one of the rare times of year when the streets of Shanghai are practically empty. The factories are shut down, traffic disappears, and for a week, its as if time itself stops.  Its eery and strange, and I love it. Despite there not being a soul in sight, there seems to be no shortage of ear-splitting firecrackers on auto-erupt, all day and into the night.  Not only does it ward off evil spirits, I’m sure it wakes up the dead as well.

Chinese New Year is for families, and every year millions of Chinese make the pilgrimage back home to 团聚 or reunite with family and loved ones. Food is always the main event, and for my family in Sichuan, the meal is anticipated and preparations begun days and weeks in advance. My grandparents always have dried, cured meat and sausages hanging…

Jing | 30.03.13 at 08:23 PM |
Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory
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Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles

If you recall an earlier post of mine, some of the greatest noodles in the world are also the simplest. Served cold and dressed up with the right combination of chili, sesame and soy sauce, they can be mind meltingly good.

I made a weekend trip to Chengdu last month to visit my grandparents and mother who was in town. My mother loves to eat almost as much as me, and has sharp taste buds that can tell you instantly if a dish is missing a pinch of sugar or a dash of vinegar. Over the years I’ve found that my taste preferences have become more and more akin to hers, with newfound appreciation for things like salted duck eggs and pickled radishes on homemade congee for breakfast. I imagine she gets her tastes from her mother as well.

My mother was born in Chengdu but her parents migrated from Jiangsu province, a small city called Zhenjiang that is famous for fragrant black vinegar. Her own cooking has often been at the crossroads of sweet and mellow Huaiyang cuisine …

Jing | 05.09.11 at 12:25 PM |
Nonya Fried Chicken -  A recipe • Jing Theory
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Nonya Fried Chicken – A Recipe

You may have wondered why, since I moved to Singapore 9 months ago, there hasn’t been a single post on the wealth of food found on this island. On the topic of food in South East Asia, one of the first things that pop into mind is the varied and abundant hawker fare this country is known for.

Singapore is truly a food-obsessed nation. Multi-storey hawker centers with hundreds of small stalls dedicated to street food of every genre are scattered around the city. You could sample the best of SE Asian cuisine with just a handful of change in your pocket. Hawker stalls don’t even begin to graze the surface, there’s chili crab institutions, chicken rice joints, food courts upon food courts in air-conditioned luxury malls, new spanish tapas bars that open every week, heavy hitters from the likes of Boloud, Tetsuya, Batali…

I could go on.

But the reason why I haven’t written about it is simply because I haven’t eaten much that is worth exalting. Sure…

Jing | 29.08.11 at 04:03 AM |
Mapo Tofu - The Recipe • Jing Theory The grocery list, more or less The condiments at a glance Carefully cut the tofu into small cubes Plump and meaty king mushrooms, packed with umami Use the tips of fresh scallions An extremely hot wok is essential for this dish
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Mapo Tofu – Recipe

Recipe for Mapo Tofu (vegetarian edition)

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of collaborating with recipe developer and fellow food blogger Yasmin at lesauce.com to develop our own spin on mapo tofu. Yasmin being a vegetarian, we got creative finding an alternate to the minced pork/beef commonly found in the dish. Mushrooms, king or shiitake, are the perfect replacement. Minced finely and deep fried in a soy sauce, vinegar and salt marinade, the pieces turn out beautifully crisp and with all the umami to pack as good a punch as any pork.

Here is the recipe.

150 g king or shiitake mushrooms
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese red vinegar
1/4 c peanut, vegetable or canola oil, plus 1/4 c
1.5 lb (700 g) regular tofu, drained and cut into 3/4″ cubes (Small cubes are optimal for sauce coverage)
3 tbs chili paste
1 tbs soy bean paste
5 dried red chilies
1 tablespoon fermented black beans
2 tsp peeled and minced garlic
2 tsp peeled and minced ginger
1 cup…

Jing | 13.03.11 at 01:15 AM |
Rabbit • Jing Theory Start by hand-shredding the smoked rabbit meat into thin pieces.
Wash and shred fresh green bamboo stalks. They add a light, crunchiness which is key to this salad.
Other additions can include soaked and sliced wood ears, chopped chilli peppers, and scallions. Another essential: home made chili sauce. Apply liberally. My aunt keeps her homemade sauces and pickles in these beautiful jars.
The tops of the jars have a small basin around them which are lined with water to keep air from entering. This is how the pickles maintain their crispiness and colour. Add soy sauce, Chunking vinegar, a pinch of salt and sugar. Put all the ingredients in a pot and toss until the flavour is evenly spread.
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A Rabbit From Sichuan

Some of my favourite meals of last year were the home-cooked feasts in my grandparent’s Guanghan apartment. I really do need to start posting my recent meals in Spain and Singapore, but I keep coming back to this.) After trapaising across Asia looking for the perfect meal, I have to say it came pretty close in that tiny fluorescent-lit kitchen. It was the simplicity of ingredients- local and seasonal, flavours – all home-made and artisanal condiments, and skillfulness in execution- recipes passed down over generations. Among the bountiful feast, the most memorable dish had to be 麻辣兔丁, spicy shredded rabbit. In celebration of my birth year, I thought it’d be an auspicious post for the occasion.

First, a bit on the rabbit’s place in Sichuan cuisine. Rabbits have long been a staple food for Sichuanese, and is widely found in takeout form. I’m not sure why, I suppose there are bands of wild bunnies reproducing fervently in rural fields…

Jing | 08.02.11 at 01:00 AM |

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