Hong Kong Chinese food-feeding a boy from boarding school!

(8 Posts)
Freckletoes Thu 20-Mar-14 12:59:37

Not sure if this is the best place to post this-have also put it in cookery thread!

My kids attend a day and boarding school (as day pupils) and over the past year we have being having a friend of my son's to stay on various weekends and Exeats (termly weekend when boarders go home). He is quite a quiet lad-most probably to do with teenage awkwardness, cultural differences and language issues, because apparently amongst a crowd of kids (including other Chinese children) he is quite a character.

My issue is the minuscule amount of food he eats! I discussed this with my son who has told me most of the Chinese boarders tend to go to the local Chinese restaurant every day to buy food and stock up on Spring rolls etc as they don't like the English food! We don't have an issue with going to a local Chinese to eat-even the same one they frequent at school-but I was wondering if anyone can give me any ideas of other food, snacks etc that might suit his palate while he is here. Knowing how much my son eats I'm sure this poor boy must be hungry but is just too polite to say anything!

If anyone can give me any suggestions about what he might be eating when at home and also food that might make the cross over between British and Chinese cuisine that would be great! He is coming again this weekend....

momb Thu 20-Mar-14 13:08:59

It's not so much what you feed but how it is prepared. Cantonese food on Hong Kong is not dissimilar to the cantonese food served in restaurants here, but is generally lighter (less thick sauce). The dishes we are used to but also lots of steamed greens and seafood and a thin soup with every meal (tomato and egg or mushrooms in very thin broth) to fill up the cracks. Rice (fried) is served at the end of the meal in case you are still hungry.

No dairy.
Hope this helps

Freckletoes Thu 20-Mar-14 13:27:37

Thank you momb! After a suggestion from the other thread I have been googling Chinese supermarkets in the area and although not close
I have found a couple so I think we will go together and get him to choose food that he likes and recognises! I'm not surprised all the Chinese kids buy other foods the British and Chinese diets look poles apart!

Living Thu 20-Mar-14 21:45:45

Might seem silly but don't forget rice (jasmine not basmati). He presumably won't be getting it very much at school. Not having rice would be a bit like never having pasta (but probably more so).

Living Thu 20-Mar-14 21:59:27

ok just realise he gets his rice fix from local Chinese. still as long as you add copious rice to anything you serve he can fill up on that even if he's too polite to say he doesn't like your cooking!

MasterOfTheYoniverse Fri 21-Mar-14 01:47:20

Does he find the food too bland?

Great advice from Momb and Living. The structure of the meal matters. get some rice on his plate at every meal is your priority.

The staple for every meal is a bowl of rice with a topping/side of meat + steamed/stir fried green leafy veggie and yes clear soup (a simple chicken broth boiled with a slice of ginger and a sprinkling of spring onion).
A big stir fry or curry with rice would work well or a big stir fried noodle dish ( lots of variations) or a big steaming bowl of noodle soup would work a treat too.
Very good idea to go to a supermarket together. Take him to the ready made oriental sauces. If you always keep soy sauce, fish sauce, a sweet chili dipping sauce and maybe sesame oil, he should be able to season his food to his taste. A dash of those and a sprinkling of fried shallots and fresh coriander or chopped spring onion work well as a last minute addition to liven the flavor of pretty much any rice dish.

The meat preference might depend on where he's from.
If he's from the straits/south east asia (singapore, malaysia, vietnam etc...) spicier stir fries will appeal as well as curries. mainly chicken/fish seafood. Only a small portion of protein and bulk up with lots of gravy or veg.
Look for these ready made sauces
Each packet has instructions to a simple meal cooked in minutes.
The website also has a recipe section. lots of easy ideas.
If you want to do any from scratch let me know (we worry about MSG intake in asia as its in everything). But occasional use of those ready made packets is fine!

If he is from Mainland china/Hong kong the preference is for roast meats (mainly barbecued pork loin,crispy pork belly, roast chicken and duck).
Marinate pork loins in sweet char suey, roast and slice
Glaze chicken or duck and roast
roast pork belly and serve with a sweet and sour dipping sauce or chili sauce etc…..

Get pot noodles, that's the best snack and maybe even what he would prefer for breakfast.

Hope that helps!

Hoppinggreen Fri 21-Mar-14 21:32:14

Most supermarkets do the packets of dried noodles.
The Chinese kids I knew at boarding school lived off these.

Mumzy Thu 27-Mar-14 17:43:09

Favoured snacks of Chinese friends: A big bowl of plain steamed rice, fried egg on top, snips of spring onions and good splash of soya sauce. Also good with trout or salmon fillet cooked in microwave
Supernoodles ( the Chinese or Japanese versions are nicer IMO make sure they are very soupy by cooking with extra water) with steamed broccoli or other veg, topped with a few slices of fried spam.
Crunchy peanut butter with toast
MacDonalds
Steamed dim sum (you can get these in the frozen cabinets in the bigger Chinese supermarkets really useful for storing away and cooking what you need)
Chilli sauce is eaten with everything
HTH

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