PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 February, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 February, 2004, 12:00am

Veteran green activist Dr Simon Chau Siu-cheong pioneers a healthier way of eating. He is chairman of the Produce Green Foundation and the Vegetarian Society of Hong Kong. Here he talks about his favourite vegetarian dishes.

Pickled Radish

Raw radish carries a lot of enzymes which we consider as origins of the life force. The dish can serve as an uplifting appetiser or afternoon tea treat. Cut up Chinese white radish, preferably organic, into finger-sized sticks. Immerse it raw in your favourite vinegar. In my case, I like sweet spiced Chinese vinegar. If the vinegar is not sweet, sweeten it with beetroot or honey. The dish is ready to eat after 24 hours.

Steamed beancurd sheets

Also known as vegetarian duck, this is a nourishing protein-loaded main dish which goes well with plain rice or noodles. Beancurd sheets are made from the cream of soya milk. Available in some supermarkets and Chinese provision stores, they come in fresh (wet) and dried versions. The former tastes better but needs refrigerating, and the latter has to be soaked for 10 minutes before cooking. Roll up the sheets and steam them until soft. Add oil and soya sauce to taste.

Rice in gold

This is a dish that keeps the body warm and spirit glowing. Soak brown rice for two to four hours in a rice cooker. Rinse and add boiling water. Add turmeric and spices such as cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger or bay leaves and cook until the rice is ready. Then add complimentary ingredients such as cashew nuts, raisins, sesame seeds and pinenuts. Instead of rice, spoil yourself by doing the same with millet or couscous. This is my favourite dish as I like the taste of Indian food.

Buckwheat noodle

Many noodles available in supermarkets are unhealthy because a lot of chemicals have been added to them. Buckwheat is a grain that carries a lot of good nutrients and minerals. It also has its own special taste. Put buckwheat noodles - I prefer Japanese-style ones - in boiling water or mixed vegetable soup prepared in advance. Serve with miso (Japanese bean paste) and oil such as flaxseed, olive or camilla. Add seaweed for extra texture, colour and nutrients.

Energy boosting morning drink

I start my day with zesty drinks like this one: juice carrots, apples or celery and beetroot in the proportions 3:2:1. Sprinkle wheatgerm or bran on the drink to rejuvenate the skin and nourish the brain. You can juice fruits without peeling them if they are organic. Orange peel is especially good for the skin.