Last Monday I was invited to the Hong Kong Intangible Cultural Festival event sponsored by the global Chinese sauce company Lee Kum Kee. Heading on down to the Crown Plaza London Blackfriars, I was excited to learn about the relationship between HKICF and Lee Kum Kee.
If you’ve never heard of the Lee Kum Kee brand, you’ve probably tasted something from their range. Having been around for over a 100 years, the brand was discovered by a ‘happy accident’ when Mr. Lee Kum Kee himself had forgotten about a pot of boiling oyster soup. It had simmered, turned into a gravy and when he tasted it, he thought about turning it into ‘Oyster Sauce’. The rest is history and his products are sold in over 100 countries across the globe, who knew a happy accident could be the source of a legendary product?
I’ve always found Asian culture and food fascinating from the history, to fashion and the way it has embedded its self in Western culture. But there is always room to learn more, be inspired and the best way to do this is through food. This is what unites all to some extent as we all have to eat.
Luckily, I arrived just in time for the tasting and if it’s one thing I love is trying new food especially in canape form… Not before watching a live chef’s demo from the Crown Plaza, where he made rice dumplings and interestingly used bamboo leaves. This is the great thing about attending events like this, learning about culture through food.
Here is what I tasted…
XO Sauce and Cream Cheese Crackers
A great start, this was something I could picture myself making at home.
Vegetarian Spring Rolls
I am a predominant meat eater, but I had no idea this was vegetarian until writing up this post. These spring rolls were huge, filling and packed with flavour. The Sweet Hoisin Sauce was such a lovely touch too.
Prawns with Sriracha Mayo
Absolutely divine, the sauce was a lovely touch without being too overpowering. This was my absolute favourite.
Aromatic Crispy Duck Salad
Duck is what I most look forward too
Sauteed Minced Beef with Lettuce Wrap
I loved the contrast of the cold lettuce with the stir-fried beef. It had a slightly smoky flavour to it which appealed to all the sense.
Chicken Siu Mai
Dim sum is something I don’t have enough of in my life, but when I do I remember how much I love it. This was small, but my oh my was the taste mighty. I could eat these 24/7, to be honest.
These were all made with Lee Kum Kee sauces and the Sriracha Mayo is my absolute favourite.
From the press release:
Ms. Maria Chong, the Managing Director of Lee Kum Kee (Europe) also shared her observation on the relationship between food and cross-cultural exchange from over 20 years’ experience in the Chinese sauce industry with attendees in the event.
“In the last few years, we have stepped up our effort in supporting projects that we believe will make an impact on the society back home and overseas, as far as food and culinary exchange is concerned. It was great to see people from different walks of life all in one place, learning about the history and food culture of Hong Kong, and the enthusiasm of cooking healthy and authentic Chinese food.
“My friends used to ask me what I am doing here in Europe for Lee Kum Kee. I always tell them that we are here to promote Chinese food culture and Chinese cooking. It is always our belief that ‘through food, we are all connected’!”
Having visited Shanghai ten years ago I am itching to go back to the East after attending the HKICF event. Although the flight is long, prices are dropping, so I may just have to experience all these delights myself. But for now, I cannot wait to get experimenting in the kitchen with these sauces!
I’ll be ‘Wokking‘ on with Lee Kum Kee in no time.
For more info about Lee Kum Kee and the sauces available, you can find out more here
. You can also find out more about the beautiful Crown Plaza London Blackfriars here
and the Hong Kong Intangible Cultural Festival here.