Musings of a bon vivant in Hong Kong

A Night Celebrating Ms. Pearl Kong Chen’s Recipes at Kin’s Kitchen

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With my customary slowness with uploading, as I am prone to being when work and play get in the way, I have finally gotten round to posting about a fun evening last month with fellow foodies at Kin’s Kitchen in Wan Chai. This evening was particularly interesting and special because the menu was dedicated to the recipes created by the legendary HK food authority Ms. Pearl Kong Chen (江獻珠), whose cookbooks and instruction have long captured the hearts and stomachs of many the Cantonese food aficionado. Having never heard of her until the dinner was arranged by the lovely Little Meg and Janice of e-ting, I was quite fascinated to learn about her history and how her dishes showcase the evolution of Cantonese cooking and the techniques, some quite laborious, needed to master some of these dishes.

Our menu had 9 courses which presented classic Chinese banquet and homey dishes following Ms. Kong’s recipes and techniques. These traditional recipes, long abandoned over the years, were just amazing and I’m not going to even attempt to explain her background, except to say that Ms. Pearl Kong is the granddaughter of a Qing dynasty archivist and the legacy of her grandfather’s recipes was passed down to her. Instead I am going to directly quote Janice, which I stole off FB from when she posted on another friend’s pic of the night haha- thanks love!

 “Kong (Jiang in Mandarin pinyin) Kong-dian was Mrs. Chen’s grandfather’s full name, although he was known by his position in the court (Taishi, ie. official court archivist/historian). He had cooks in his (supposedly grand) household and was fond of working out new dishes with them, and hosting other bigwigs at his house. As the Qing Dynasty crumbled, the family gradually had to supplement their income and it is said he ran his house as a bit of a private kitchen. He’s the one who invented snake soup as we know of today (often called Taishi snake soup as a result). Another random bit I read – he loved food so much he bought his own orchard and kept bees and stuff. And another random bit – the reason why Tim’s Kitchen is so well known is because chef Tim was trained by one of Kong Taishi’s chefs, and learned these crazy techniques and recipes.”

All in all, it was a beautiful evening with beautiful people, remembering and honouring the past and emphasizing how important it is to preserve tradition. For it is remembering our history that we can learn and move into the future. Enjoy the photos! 🙂

Ms. Pearl Kong Menu

Stir-fry imitated shark-fin with eggs

Stir-fry imitated shark-fin with eggs

Soup of Fish Head- expertly done. An impeccable dish.

Soup of Fish Head- expertly done. An impeccable dish.

Deep fried custard of chicken broth- this was pretty sensational, having never seen anything like this before. Firm chicken broth in a light batter, pretty addictive.

Deep fried custard of chicken broth- this was pretty sensational, having never seen anything like this before. Firm chicken broth in a light batter, pretty addictive.

Steamed Chicken Stuffed with Shrimp Paste- a dish of hot discussion! How on earth do they do it? I loved this. Silky, rich chicken skin and chicken meat replaced with a smooth shrimp paste.

Steamed Chicken Stuffed with Shrimp Paste- a dish of hot discussion! How on earth do they do it? I loved this. Silky, rich chicken skin and chicken meat replaced with a smooth shrimp paste.

Steamed Chicken Stuffed with Shrimp Paste Steamed Chicken Stuffed with Shrimp Paste

Stir-fried finely sliced pigeon

Stir-fried finely sliced pigeon

Stir-fried finely sliced pigeon

Braised Mustard Green with Ham sauce

Braised Mustard Green with Ham sauce

Stir-fried noodles with assorted mushrooms

Stir-fried noodles with assorted mushrooms

Smoked Chicken with rose stems and sugar cane- a Kin's Kitchen signature. We ordered a plate as an extra! Fantastic and aromatic.

Smoked Chicken with rose stems and sugar cane- a Kin’s Kitchen signature. We ordered a plate as an extra! Fantastic and aromatic.

Steamed grouper fillet with fermented soy bean

Steamed grouper fillet with fermented soy bean

Sweet pumpkin and almond soup with glutinous rice

Sweet pumpkin and almond soup with glutinous rice

Kin’s Kitchen, 5/F, W Square, 314-324 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, HK. Tel: (852) 2571 0913
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Author: chopstixfix

Michelle Ng is a Brit born Chinese-Malaysian who has loved food since time immemorial. She is a firm believer in "Live to Eat, not Eat to Live".

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