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Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan

by Debra C. Argen
Hong Kong Food City - by Tony Tan
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Food has the power to transport our senses, first visually, then through the sounds of cooking, to its fragrant aromas wafting in the air, and then finally delivering the much-anticipated flavors and textures on our palates. The cookbook, Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan published by Murdoch Books takes the reader on an incredibly beautiful and flavorful journey of the senses to Hong Kong. This cookbook is a perfect gift for your favorite cook or for the armchair traveler.


With his cookbook, Hong Kong Food City, Tony Tan provides the reader with a visually stunning introduction to Hong Kong through his step-by-step delectable recipes as well as through the captivating images of this engaging city that will appeal to the cook as well as to the traveler. With Tony’s stories of culture and cuisine, and his interesting introductions to the recipes, I felt like I was beginning to know Hong Kong, which I learned is "one of the world’s top five financial centers" and is a "food-lovers paradise." As I love to travel and am a "foodie" after reading Tony Tan’s cookbook, he has whetted by appetite to visit the vibrant city of Hong Kong. However, until I can actually travel there, I will enjoy creating the recipes in this stunning book and traveling via my palate.

Smashed Cucumber Salad - Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan
Smashed cucumber salad

Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan is divided into chapters that include: a brief history of Hong Kong, Hong Kong pantry, starters, soups and cold dishes, meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, rice and noodles, dim sum, desserts and pastries, and basic recipes. Whether as a gift for yourself or as a gift for your favorite chef or home cook, or for "travel dreaming," this is a cookbook that will stand out. It is one that will be used, referenced, and cherished for a long time.

Wontons with red chili - Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan
Wontons with red chili

A sampling of a few of the tantalizing recipes in the cookbook include from the starters, soups and cold dishes chapter: Sichuan sliced port with garlic and chilli sauce, Shanghai-style loud ear fungus salad with coriander, Smashed cucumber salad, and Korean spicy pork wraps. From the poultry chapter, My chicken bao. Seafood lovers will be tempted by the Cantonese lobster with spring onion, shallots and red onion, or perhaps the King fish carpaccio with jicama, fennel confit, soy and ginger. From the rice and noodles chapter, Macanese fried rice with cod, and Wontons with red chilli oil are sure to please. From the chapter on dim sum, Tony Tan provides a wonderful recipe for Scallop and chive dumplings. Also wonderful is the chapter on desserts, as it is always nice to conclude a fabulous meal on a sweet note, and his Chilled mango, sago, pomelo and coconut soup, or his Dan tat (egg tarts) will surely satisfy.

Tony Tan graciously shares the recipe for Cantonese lobster with spring onion, shallots, and red onion to tempt your palate and provide a glimpse ofhis inspired cookbook, Hong Kong Food City.

Cantonese Lobster with Spring Onion Challots - Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan

Cantonese lobster with spring onion, shallots, and red onion
Serves 2 – 4

"Cantonese chef Kwong Wai Keung, who heads up the three Michelin starred Tang Court Restaurant in the Langham Hotel, is revered by his peers and known for executing some of the most beautiful Chinese cooking in Hong Kong. This lobster dish is a revelation. Marrying members of the humble onion family with luxe lobster is a stroke of genius and the resultis incredibly delicious. The lobster is deep fried briefly to seal in the flavor; then, in the same oil, a sliced onion is cooked with the Chinese technique called gao you, meaning ‘waving through the oil.’ It’s very much a restaurant practice but skipping this step and stir-frying the onion instead doesn’t make a huge difference at home. If you like to spoil yourself and your loved ones, this dish will do it."



800 grams/1lb 12 oz

Live Lobster

Vegetable Oil for deep-frying


Red Asian Shallots, thinly sliced about 120 grams/4.5 ounces


Red Onion, about 120 grams/4.5 ounces, thinly sliced


Spring Onions (scallions), white part only, cut into 5-cm/2-inch lengths


Garlic Clove, finely chopped


Splash of Shaoxing rice wine, to deglaze the pan

Thinly sliced spring onions (scallions) to garnish

Sauce Ingredients:

250 ml/9 fl. oz/1 cup

Shaoxing rice wine



Light Soy Sauce




Method: Kill the lobster humanely by placing it in the freezer for a couple of hours to put it to sleep, then placing it on its back and swiftly splitting it swiftly with asharp knife. Chop the tail section in half length ways and remove the intestinal tract. Cut each half section into bite-sized pieces across the shell. Discard the head (unless you like to deep fry it for presentation).

Heat the oil in a wok or deep fryer to 170 degrees C (325 degrees F) or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds, and deep deep-fry the shallots until just golden (5-8 minutes). Transfer to a sieve with a slotted spoon to drain, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.

Add the sliced onion to the same oil for 5 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon. Drain and set aside.

Increase the heat of the oil to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F) and deep-fry the lobsterin batches until the shell turns red. Remove and drain on paper towel.

For the sauce, combine the ingredients in a small bowl.

Carefully pour the oil into a heat proof container (reserve for another use), leaving 1 tablespoon in the wok. Add the spring onion and garlic and stir-fry briefly until aromatic, then return the lobster to the wok. Deglaze the wok with a splash of Shaoxing. Return the onion to the wok and add the sauce. Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens and coats the lobster. Transfer to a serving plate and shower with the crisp shallots and spring onions before serving.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong

About the Writer

"Born in Malaysia and fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, Tony Tan trained La Varenne in France, and Leiths School of Wine and Wine in the UK. He has presented master classes and has been a guest chef at hotels and restaurants throughout Australia, China, Malaysia, Viet Nam, New Zealand and Spain, including The Ritz in Madrid and Alambique, one of Spain’s top cooking schools. He was an international judge at Hong Kong’s premiereChinese cuisine challenge, The Best of the Best Culinary Competition. He writes for magazines and newspapers in Australia and internationally and comments regularly in the media on food and wine."

Murdoch Books Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan published by Murdoch Books, an imprint of The Quarto Group, is available as a hardcover. ISBN: 978-1760527716 (₤20.00UK, $29.99 US, $38.99 Canada)

The book is available in bookstores and online, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.




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