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.
How tofu made its way to the West
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…
Hong Kong egg tarts and their medieval English origins
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…
Xiaolongbao: how soup dumplings went global
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…
The story behind Oscar-winning film Parasite’s ram-don noodles
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.
Quarantine Cooking: Instant noodle okonomiyaki
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.
It’s butter chicken — not curry
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.
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