Hong Kong Food & Culture

Hong Kong Food & Culture: From Dim Sum to Dried Abalone by Adele Wong is a book whose content will happily be devoured by those of us who love food and culture - a trip to Hong Kong between two vibrant red covers.

This tome is an in-depth exploration of the culinary mystique of Hong Kong. While the book contains only sixteen recipes, it is a thorough primer on the dishes, ingredients, people and all that encompass this fascinating region. Hong Kong, literally translates to Fragrant Harbour, which is certainly reflected in the photographs of the food, spices and teas. 

The profiles of artisans such as noodle makers, the diverse purveyors of the street food scene, and highlighted restaurants make reading this book an incredible journey that transports you magically to the crowded street stalls and shops where noodles are stretched endlessly long and woks are red hot. 

The sixteen recipes contained are more about technique than precise measurements as you will see by the recipe shared below. The book is a culinary and cultural education packed with a wealth of knowledge, gorgeous photographs and delicious food.

Special thanks to Man Mo Media for sharing the Stir-Fried Beef with Garlic Shoots recipe with our members and for providing two copies to be given away worldwide on our contest page. Photographs courtesy of Man Mo Media. 


4 servings

In Cantonese cooking, beef is mostly presented as meatballs or slices. Stir-fried beef slices with different types of leafy greens make an easy and popular dish in both restaurants and homes alike. You can also try tenderizing the beef if you prefer softer, chewier textures.


4 taels (150g) beef 
1 batch garlic shoots
Chinese wine
Peanut oil


Cut the garlic shoot into 2-inch pieces and slice onion. Dice garlic and cut ginger into slices. Cut beef into 2-inch-long slices. Heat the wok over high heat, add peanut oil and fry ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add in onion and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Add garlic shoots and stir-fry until half cooked. Remove garlic shoot and onion from wok.

Add more peanut oil, and then toss in beef slices. Stir-fry until about 70 percent cooked, and put vegetables back into wok. Add one teaspoon water and Chinese wine, put the lid on, and let steam.

Meanwhile, mix cornstarch with water. Add mixture into wok to thicken sauce and intensify flavors. When sauce sticks to ingredients, serve.



  • obbigttam  on  3/15/2017 at 8:18 PM

    How do you feel about not actual specific measurements on ginger for instance in this recipe? I think it goes to the heart of what recipe books really become if you love cooking. The first time I cook from most of my books I follow the recipe exactly, but then tailor them to my taste or those I am cooking for most times after that. This type of recipe gives you the freedom to improvise from the start, and literally means you will have a different dish many times over - I love it.

  • Titch  on  3/16/2017 at 5:55 AM

    If you are a peson who likes everything measured & precise then you won't be keen on it, if you are someone who goes by recipes as a guide & not strictly to the last gram then I think you will love it. It allows for your to adapt the dish to how you like it I.E more spice or less spice

  • sipa  on  3/16/2017 at 2:54 PM

    I'm fine with with not being given specific amounts of ginger or other ingredients. I never really measure wet spices. I eyeball or use my judgement or what I have on hand.

  • gjelizabeth  on  3/17/2017 at 12:10 AM

    For an unfamiliar food culture information on techniques and ingredients is much more important to me than straight recipes.

  • trudys_person  on  3/17/2017 at 11:04 AM

    I am a confident enough cook to give these recipes a try ... I think I would learn something more about the food and culture by working this way. I might have to give each recipe a couple of tries to get it "right", thereby creating my own dish - and that is how cooking evolves and grows!

  • monique.potel  on  3/17/2017 at 12:05 PM

    I am fine with the lack of quantities for some of the ingredients ginger for example as i always like to tweet recipes to my own taste usually more on the spicey side plus i was trained by my grandmother who came from eastern europe was a great cook and NEVER NEVER measured anything and when one asked how much did you in this her answer would be you know whatever is needed

  • kitchenfrolic  on  3/17/2017 at 3:26 PM

    I'm not a fan of books that don't give specific measurements. It's really hard for me to judge on my own unless I've cooked the recipe before. : (

  • Uhmandanicole  on  3/17/2017 at 8:45 PM

    A book with no specific measurements does not bother me at all! Actually, the recipe above looks just like something my grandmother would give me -- just ingredients, no proportions haha

  • fiarose  on  3/17/2017 at 10:11 PM

    i don't mind at all! i think it encourages unique dishes, i think it opens up possibilities--and, well, it makes me feel less bad when i want to add a TON of, for instance, ginger, because i feel like that might be what the author wanted me to experiment with! but that might just be habit, too--this looks just like a recipe my mom would give me. "just stop when it's the right amount, you'll know!"

  • edyenicole  on  3/25/2017 at 8:54 PM

    I like it! Everyone's taste is different.

  • t.t  on  4/8/2017 at 12:54 AM

    Since I'm familiar with ginger, I don't mind not having specific amounts, but if it were an unfamiliar ingredient, I'd be at a loss on how to judge how much to add.

  • ejsimpson  on  4/10/2017 at 12:56 PM

    I want this book. I love Chinese cooking!

  • ejsimpson  on  4/10/2017 at 1:08 PM

    The lack of measurements do not bother me. I tend to cook without precise measurements.

  • thecharlah  on  4/10/2017 at 8:02 PM

    I am fine with the lack of measurement because I tend to adjust to my personal taste anyway

  • imaluckyducky  on  4/14/2017 at 10:03 PM

    The non-specificity doesn't bother me in the slightest - I adjust the amounts of the spices in recipes to taste.

  • lgroom  on  4/15/2017 at 9:22 PM

    I'm fine with it -- I love ginger and would put in a lot anyway.

  • ddenker  on  4/18/2017 at 8:16 PM

    I do not have a problem with lack of specificity in recipes as I tend to eyeball if I am in a hurry anyway.

  • lebarron2001  on  4/19/2017 at 3:53 PM

    I tend to improvise when cooking so I am okay without precise measurements being given.

  • mph993  on  4/20/2017 at 7:00 AM

    Generally I think it's good, as long as the book provides an understanding of the less familiar ingredients. Actually, I like to get a good understanding of a culture and how their food has evolved. Especially when traveling there.

  • meggan  on  4/20/2017 at 9:04 AM

    I am ok with it as long as they give a general idea.

  • linseysowa  on  4/20/2017 at 2:48 PM

    I am interested in this title- seems more like a book about culture than a cookbook per se, and if you know that going into it I imagine the book will delight! I think books that are just about technique and ingredients have as much of a place in the "cookbook" world as do ones with specific recipes. It is both types of books, along with magazines, food television and restaurants that form a well rounded cooks ideas and methods of cookery! I always struggle with new cuisines that do not have straight forward recipes initially, but once I become a bit more familiar with the ingredients and techniques I begin to trust my instincts and move away from written recipes. It sounds like this book would be a great guide in fostering this type of independence. I am intrigued and will consider purchasing!

  • AnnaZed  on  4/20/2017 at 8:49 PM

    What a fascinating looking book. I am totally fine with not having minute instructions as to exact measurements for a recipe. I'm a very proficient cook. I can figure it out.

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