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.
The story of dumplings: how a traditional Chinese medicine cure went global
An SCMP archive special: the story of dumplings is the story of the globalisation of Chinese cuisine - take the journey from Beijing to Shanghai, Hong Kong and down the ancient Silk Road to discover who invented them - and how a traditional Chinese medicine cure evolved into a meal enjoyed around the world. Interviewees: Lu Hongbin; Du Yichu restaurant, Beijing; Hu Wei-I, Wan Shou Zai restaurant, Shanghai; Wang Hong Chun, Ah Cun Shandong Dumpling, Prince Edward; Dr Dai Zhaoyu, senior lecturer,…
The great Hainanese chicken rice debate: Singapore vs Malaysia
Is this poached chicken dish served with various condiments originally from Singapore or Malaysia? It's a question that stirs up quite a debate between these two countries where eating and criticising the other side’s cuisine are national pastimes. In this episode we trace the origins of Hainanese chicken rice and find out how there's a lot more that goes into making this succulent dish fragrant and flavourful than meets the eye.
Japanese tempura, its Portugese origins and how it became high culinary art
Tempura is an ubiquitous Japanese dish, with seafood or vegetables coated in batter and deep-fried. But did you know that tempura originated in Portugal? Bernice and Alkira trace its origins back to the 16th century when Portuguese missionaries sailed to Japan and traded guns, tobacco and flour. They taught the Japanese how to use the flour to make tempura. It has since evolved into a high culinary art form in Japan. Featuring chef Eisaku Hara of Uchitsu Tempura, chef Rodolfo Vicente of Casa…
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…