The young chef behind Little Bao got into a traditional Chinese kitchen to find out how to create steamed rice rolls
For Hong Kong Tatler Best Restaurants’ 4th annual awards night, we created a special short film showing the journey of four Hong Kong chefs to create an edible tribute inspired by the city they live and work in.
"Hong Kong is a city where there are so many cultures that naturally happen here, and we're allowed to express ourselves in any way that we want," says May Chow, recipient of our inaugural Local Champion award for her work in shining the light on the city's food culture. In the process of finding inspiration for her dish, we decided to bring her to a place that we thought would be right up her street—Fukien Tea Company, a historic tea shop in Sheung Wan, run by a third generation tea master Mr Yeung. Over cups of tie guan yin and puerh, Chow and chef Hideaki Sato learned a bit more about tea culture in Hong Kong—something that inspired them both when they returned to the kitchens.
"Hong Kong is a city where there are so many cultures that naturally happen here, and we're allowed to express ourselves in any way that we want."—May Chow
"I try to respect the traditions of Hong Kong, whether it's yum cha or dim sum," she says. For her dish, she decide to try her hand at making fresh cheung fun (rice rolls), which was then filled with hairy crab—a tribute to her own Shanghainese roots—and topped with uni to give it creaminess. "Chinese craft is so hard. It looks simple, but the first five times I tried doing the rice rolls I think I burned every single finger, and then you realise that every detail matters. Just because one master makes it look easy doesn't mean it is."
As for the dish, it's paired with a creamy sauce spiked with ginger and chrysanthemum tea for a little bitterness and floral notes. "The dish encompasses everything that we appreciate about yum cha," says Chow.
Little Bao, 66 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2194 0202