Today, we’re launching our Mother’s Day recipe series where five Hong Kong chefs share their moments with mum as well as simple and nostalgic dishes that make them think of her. First up, Chef Chan Kai-ying of fiery Sichuan restaurant Chilli Fagara shares her thoughts on being a mother, memories with her mother, and her mum’s recipe.
Homestyle Mapo Tofu with Minced Pork
What do you think is the best thing about being a mother?
As a mother, I think the most important thing is to listen to your children. I always care for my children and strive to understand their needs all the time. If they are facing difficulties they will share their troubles with me, and I will help to solve the problem with them.
Being a mother and a chef, do you cook often for your own children?
I prepare their favourite foods! A home-cooked meal from mum is always a heart-warming treat. I often cook their favourites – scrambled egg with chilli sauce, as well as fish, tofu, and all sorts of vegetables.
Chef Chan Kai-ying with her daughter Tracy Wong
What was your favourite dish cooked by your mother?
I couldn't choose just one. I have a few dishes which I loved – shredded beef in chilli, sour and garlic sauce, egg with chilli sauce (see below for recipe) and wok-fried slices of pork belly. These plates are all straightforward to make and perfect with a steaming bowl of rice. The egg with chilli sauce brings me a lot of memories of my mother. It was one of the first dishes she taught me to cook and I have been making it for my children to this day. In fact, I added it to the Chilli Fagara menu last year and recommend it for anyone looking for that familiar experience of mom's home cooking.
What’s the best cooking advice you got from your mother?
She taught me a lot, but the most essential thing is to select fresh and seasonal ingredients.
If you could take your Mum out for Mother’s Day in Hong Kong where would you take her?
I would take my mother to Hong Kong's outlying islands to enjoy nature and each other’s company. Then we'd go home to make dumplings from scratch and sip Chinese tea.
Stir-fried eggs with garlic and chilli sauce
50g diced onion
15g dice garlic
5g diced fresh chilli
5g chopped spring onion
10g broad bean sauce
10g chilli sauce
20g chilli oil
20g light soy sauce
- Lightly whisk three eggs and season with salt.
- Heat half of the cooking oil and scramble the eggs over medium/low heat in a pan until the edges are set, and the inside is soft. Put aside.
- Stir-fry the onion, garlic, and chilli in the pan.
- Add all remaining seasonings and bring the dish to a boil.
- Add the eggs and mix well with chilli oil.
- Garnish with chopped spring onion.