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Susan Jung's recipes

Eight autumn recipes to make harvest lovers and Chinese grannies happy

Make the most of mushrooms and late-season tomatoes, and rustle up some warming Asian dishes now the nights are starting to draw in

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 September, 2018, 11:45am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 September, 2018, 11:49am

As anyone who’s lived in Hong Kong for even just a few years knows, autumn here can be quite pleasant. While we don’t get the crisp, cool days that marks autumn in more temperate climates, at least the humidity drops below 90 per cent and so it feels less muggy.

Chinese grandmothers will advise us to dress more warmly and to eat certain foods to ward off the cold (even if it’s still 28 degrees outside). Here are some cool-weather dishes that will warm your body.

1. Thai duck soup and Chinese oxtail soup

This first recipe is something my Thai ex-helper used to cook often, simmering the duck carcass and breasts (the legs were reserved for another dish) with spices, then serving the savoury broth with rice noodles, herbs, lettuce and the sliced meat. Oxtail soup is a Chinese classic dish, and although the broth is quite light, the flavour is rich and hearty.

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2. Mushroom, mascarpone and poached egg tart with whole wheat and olive oil pastry, and mushrooms stuffed with lamb and feta

Autumn is one of the seasons for mushroom hunting, but these recipes can be made any time because they use dried wild mushrooms and cultivated mushrooms.

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3. Stir-fried glutinous rice with wind-dried meats

Starting now and running through winter, you’ll see wind-dried meats (also called wax meats or laap mei) being made by traditional producers in Sheung Wan; they get their name because they’re dried in the cooler, drier autumn winds. There’s laap cheung (wax sausage), yuen cheung (liver sausage), laap ngaap (salted duck) and laap yuk (bacon). These meats are strongly flavoured, and a little goes a long way. For these recipes, they’re used to flavour fried rice and mustard greens.

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4. Tomatoes with polenta, goat cheese and mascarpone

This uses the best seasonal tomatoes you can find in the market. Big hint: if you’re in Hong Kong, buy the tomatoes sold by fruit vendors; they’re much sweeter than the ones sold at vegetable shops.

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5. Three Asian rice cake recipes

Rice cakes, which don’t take long to cook, are common to many Asian cultures. Here, we give a Chinese recipe, a Japanese one, and a classic Korean street food dish (although we’ll admit, it’s a little fancier than the ones you’ll find from inexpensive vendors in Korea).

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