It’s a funny thing, but there’s really no such thing as Chinese cuisine. Oh there’s Cantonese, Sichuan, Shandong, Fujian, Hunan and Anhui cuisine, but you can’t point to one plate of food and say, ‘Yep, that’s Chinese that is.’
A few years ago I was invited to a friend’s Chinese New Year dinner. I showed up nice and early, hair brushed, stretchy pants on, ready to consume my body weight in spring rolls and Peking duck. When I opened the door, my friend and her parents looked at me in horror.
Our Intrepid Foodies are like a culinary team of super heroes. And whenever the earth is threatened (or we’re hungry for new food adventures) they swoop in and give us the low down on must-try dishes, authentic local recipes and the scrumptious secrets that make their destinations tick. They’re like The Avengers, but with added quinoa.
People don’t have a lot of time for ugly when they travel. Markets that are more crowded than ‘bustling’, run down temples that aren’t as ‘glowing’ as they were described online, and waters that could never pass for ‘azure’ in a million years: these things exist, we just don’t want to look at them.
In South-East Asia, the process of steaming a curry in banana leaves is referred to as mok, amok or ho mok. Classic ingredients include thick coconut cream and galangal (similar to ginger), with a whole heap of other deliciousness added.
If you’re anything like us, you leave your New Year’s Eve plans ‘til the last minute and subject yourself to a frenzy of pre-celebratory anxiety.