HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR TO YOU!
It’s time to celebrate and of course we don’t discriminate, lunar new year isn’t just for Chinese people. Every one on the lunar calendar celebrates the new year this time of year. Apparently it's the largest migration of people in the whole year! People returning to celebrate new years at home.
Dubliners, we continue the ethnic food series this week. It just so happens to be the lunar new year, and that means we are extra festive, eat WAY too much, receive lucky money from all our elders, and in turn wish them well wishes! Take this time to give any overseas family a call to see how they are doing tell them you’re thinking of them, it's kind of what we do. (also, it's a time where we buy/wear new clothes. fitting, Brown Thomas has a New Years Celebration on today with all the cultural experiences of a Lion Dance and candy! Take it in )
the prep time can span a few days; marinating, blanching, then drying the duck. ..roasting it in the special bullet oven.
This past summer we welcomed a new Chinese noshery to Dublin. Why is this exciting? - because it is unlike any of the other Chinese place you know. I want you to take those 'sweet & sour', 'fried wonton'-preconceptions and throw them out. I dare say, it offers the closest experience of Hong Kong-style barbecue street meat that one can get in Dublin. It really hasn’t gotten the press it deserves, considering it straddles our Irish trend of 2014 'Southern BBQ meat' and the recent obsessions with street food.
What to order: BBQ Duck and/or Pork on Rice (don't be afraid to mix & match)
DUCK is just across the way from Fade St. Social, on Fade Street ;). It is in the core of the city and is approachable and oh so oriental. It is the new innovative project brought to you by Eva, who is a lead at the Asia Market Importers.
There's no better way to learn than to ask questions. So, Eva and I had a chat about the Chinese food in Ireland and here’s the Q&A:
How do you think Irish perceive Chinese food & how do you think we can change that - is it indicative of what Chinese food really is?
I think a lot of Irish people like Chinese food. Chinese restaurants and take aways can be seen everywhere even in the smaller towns in Ireland. The earliest Chinese immigrants to Ireland would have come from Hong Kong so a lot of the Chinese food style that currently exists is influenced by Hong Kong style dishes, including sweet and sour pork, beef in black bean sauce, spring rolls.
What did you study?
I studied Information and Communications Technology at Trinity College Dublin.
What's your most fave thing to make at home? I love making soup noodles and sushi at home.
Fave place to eat & place to get coffee in Dublin?
It's difficult to choose a favourite place to eat, but I love pichet on trinity street.
coffee wise i like sasha coffee shop on Drury street, very near to where i work and the coffee is really good.
What's the most influential thing that has developed your understanding of food?
My parents have influenced me a lot in developing my understanding and love of food. I used to help them cook dinners when I was younger and my dad would help me bake cakes and make cookies. he blames his big belly from eating all the goodies I make!
Thanks Eva for sharing your thoughts with us.
As a final note, I spent another day with the chef at Duck and it was really eye-opening. It's true that everyone has a story, and learning new cultures and assimilating to new places can be different experience for each.
In the west, we have pastry chefs, commis chefs, etc. In contrast, Chef Yip tells me that there are special bbq chefs and dim sum chefs in Hong Kong, who train to make these specific dishes. The prep time for some of these things can span a few days; marinating, blanching, then drying the duck. Painting on the secret sauce for the outer layer and roasting it in the special bullet oven contraption. (must be the Chinese answer to the Tandoori) It is an intricate process, that requires exceptional skill to get a crisp and flavourful duck that is moist. - oh, the things we take for granted.
I'd encourage you to try the pork belly 'siu yok' if you like crackling!
Tell me, what are your cultural experiences. What's something you're extra cautious about let's chat!