Monday, July 23, 2012


Having had my daughter and her husband here for a few weeks proved to be a lot of fun. It was great showing them around Shanghai, and it seems they loved it just as much as I do. It would be hard not to love this city.

We wandered around historic sites, went to the top of high buildings and discovered markets and little lanes full of interesting people and businesses. It was a wonderful two weeks.

Of course food was a big part of the holiday. Can you imagine my daughter of 35 years, had never, in her life, eaten Chinese food! Never, amazing isn't it? She just didn't think she liked it.

So here we are in a city alive with food culture and she was willing to give it a go. We started slowly with a restaurant called DIN TAI FUNG, which is a dumpling restaurant. Their speciality is little steamed dumplings, here they call them, xiaolongbao, filled with pork, prawn or vegetables. One thing you have to be careful of is biting into them as soon as they arrive at the table as they are really hot, and will burn your mouth, I speak from experience!  You can watch the chefs prepare them as there is an open kitchen. It's fun to watch. Amazingly my daughter loved them, and we would have a second visit before she left.

I had asked my daughter to bring me a copy of Gok Wan's new Chinese Cook book and had been excited about trying out some of his new recipes. All seemed pretty easy and straightforward.

So on the Sunday evening my daughter and I set about making our own Chinese feast at home. We picked dishes to cook, which included twice cooked pork, chicken in soy sauce, some ribs, from Bill Granger's Asian Book, some fried rice, and we decided to buy some dumplings and not, at this stage try to push ourselves too far.. Delighted to say it all turned out very well, it was really delicious. I enjoyed cooking with my daughter and this has given her an interest in carrying on cooking Chinese at home. She has already purchased the book and various ingredients and equipment and she has only been back in UK for a week! I'm sure she will be treating her friends to some nice meals in the near future. Not bad for a girl who had never eaten this food before. 

So with my daughter and son-in-law now back in Scotland, I will be trying out many more of the delicious recipes from the latest edition to my cook book library. If you have ever fancied trying Chinese cooking at home but always thought it was complicated, then this book is a must. Easy, fast and most of all very tasty. I can highly recommend Gok's cook book. Give it a try will save you a fortune on takeaway.


  1. Looks like you had so much fun with the family Jacqui!! Do you like Goks book? Is it as good as Bills asian as that may have to be one to get for me too!! There is a fantastic dumpling place in Manila that I love to go to!! Be back in Manila soon and will be looking forward to trying some recipes with you!! XXX

  2. Yes I like the book. Some classic Chinese dishes. Worth getting in my humble opinion.

  3. The dumplings sound so good. Although I'd eaten Chinese food quite often, I didn't really get excited about the flavours until I tried making my own when I was about 31 years old and was given a Ken Lo book. It is great for entertaining as well. I've not looked at Gok Wan's book but I'll check it out.

  4. I can recommend it Phil, it certainly is pretty true to the foods we eat here in Shanghai. Thanks for stopping to look at my blog.