Chinese Cuisine in Hong Kong: the Story Behind Dongpo Pork

Hangzhou Favourite

Master Chef Cheng Yu of the 28 HuBin Road restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hangzhou will present authentic Hangzhou cuisine at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong at One Harbour Road from 1 to 20 November 2011.

Hangzhou cuisine is one of the Eight Great Cuisines of China along with the cuisines of Guangdong, Sichuan, Hunan, Fujian, Shandong, Suzhou, and Anhui.

It has light flavours and graceful presentation. Made with seasonal ingredients, freshwater fish, tea leaves, and bamboo shoots, it is crisp, tender, light and fresh.

Dongpo Pork

Pictured is Dongpo Pork, which was invented by accident by the legendary poet, Su Dongbo, in the Tang and Song Dynasties (1036-1101). It is served with chestnut pancakes over Chinese greens.

One day Dongpo was cooking a pork dish for his friends who were visiting him. As everyone wanted to play chess, he turned the heat down to its lowest level and joined his guests, forgetting about the pork.

After a long time, Dongpo suddenly remembered the pork dish and rushed to the kitchen.  Expecting to find the pork ruined, he was surprised by the fragrance when he removed the lid from the pot.

The pork was rich and red in colour, tender and crispy, but not burnt. It had a great texture, but no greasiness. His friends named this delicious dish after him. 

Other signature Hangzhou dishes available during this promotion include Tea-Smoked Pigeon Eggs Stuffed with Foie Gras; Deep-fried Mandarin Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce; Casserole of Chicken and Pork Knuckle with Shallots; and Stewed Sea Cucumber Stuffed with Capsicum in a Spicy Sauce.  

Hangzhou 101

Called the most beautiful city in the world by Marco Polo, Hangzhou served as one of China’s ancient capitals. There are many famous stories about the city, with dishes that originated from them continuing to populate the menus of its restaurants.

Hand-Kneaded Twisted Noodles with Assorted Seafood and Mushrooms in Soup is one such dish. It features hand-made noodles shaped like cats’ ears and dates back to the era of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) of the Qing Dynasty, who travelled to Hangzhou incognito three times to enjoy the city’s beautiful scenery, fascinating culture, and the graceful women.

On one of these visits, a boatman’s granddaughter cooked the cats’ ears noodles for the emperor while he was cruising on West Lake, which lies at the heart of the city. The emperor enjoyed it so much that he evealed his identity to her. The girl then opened a small eatery which sold what she named “Emperor’s Snack”.


One Reply to “Chinese Cuisine in Hong Kong: the Story Behind Dongpo Pork”

  1. I really enjoyed the background of this pork dish. makes me want to stop being a vegetarian for a period to try it! The historical elements I find very interesting. Keep up the good work. I go to Kripalu next week in Mass for a yoga retreat and then off to Europe again for another cruise. I hope all is well with you.

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