TAI­WANESE CUI­SINE

Dumplings are com­mon to many cuisines through­out the world; in Tai­wan these bah-tzang are tra­di­tional. Wrapped in aro­matic bam­boo leaves, there’s some­thing mag­i­cal about un­wrap­ping these per­fectly cooked parcels of pork, shrimp and mush­room at the ta­ble

BBC Good Food - - Contents - words and recipe FRANK YE­UNG pho­to­graphs EMMA BOYNS

Frank Ye­ung’s clas­sic bah-tzang noo­dles

The va­ri­ety of in­ter­na­tional food in the UK is un­beat­able but we know from our BBC Good Food Na­tion sur­vey 2017 that many of us are yet to dis­cover the full, ex­cit­ing range of cuisines that are be­com­ing more read­ily avail­able in our mar­kets and restau­rants. With this se­ries, we’re shin­ing a light on com­mu­ni­ties who are mak­ing Bri­tain’s food scene more di­verse, and we’d love you to help us spread the word. Tell us about new food trends emerg­ing near you... @bbc­good­food #bbcgfcel­e­brates

Frank Ye­ung came to own a cou­ple of Tai­wanese bao joints in south Lon­don (Mr Bao in Peck­ham and Daddy Bao in Toot­ing) via his restau­ra­teur fa­ther, Joe (the Daddy of Daddy Bao), a ca­reer at Gold­man Sachs and a bur­rito busi­ness. Tai­wanese cook­ing is a mix­ture of Chi­nese, Ja­panese and indige­nous recipes and in­gre­di­ents, and bao are soft, steamed white buns with a light, pil­lowy tex­ture, pop­u­larly eaten with a pork fill­ing. Frank says, ‘I think Tai­wanese cui­sine is still very much ris­ing in pop­u­lar­ity through­out the coun­try and there are a whole host of in­ter­est­ing dishes and in­gre­di­ents to talk about.’

Frank grew up in the UK but has trav­elled ex­ten­sively through­out Asia and his first Tai­wanese ven­ture, Mr Bao, is a homage to the coun­try. The kitchen equip­ment, in­gre­di­ents, crock­ery, decor and teas have all been care­fully sourced, and then lo­cal in­gre­di­ents are added to make the most of what’s on of­fer nearby. Bao are the main­stay at both venues, lightly fluffy and packed with dif­fer­ent fill­ings, plus a few more dif­fer­ent nib­bles and, at the week­end, Tai­wanese brunch dishes.

Frank’s fa­ther is in­volved in recipe de­vel­op­ment and dis­penses ad­vice to his son, in­clud­ing how to make these clas­sic bah-tzang dumplings, which have iconic sta­tus in Tai­wan.

These aren’t sim­ple, more a labour of love, and they re­quire a cer­tain deft­ness with kitchen string for wran­gling them into shape. You will, how­ever, feel might­ily pleased with your­self once you’ve made a batch. Shapes vary be­tween samosa, tamale and even tetra­he­drons, but we’ve made them more tri­an­gu­lar so they are eas­ier to wrap and tie. mr­bao.co.uk

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