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Thread: Dim Sum - dian xin

  1. #1
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    Disney Dim Sum

    This post got me thinking - we need a Dim Sum thread.

    Disney Dim Sum is everything you thought it would look like
    They can only be found at Hong Kong Disneyland and must be ordered two days in advance
    BY JORDAN POBLETEIN WALT DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS — 23 MAR, 2016
    Dim Sum is to China as hot dogs are to America. They are a cultural delicacy consisting of small steamed or fried savory dumpling wrapper containing various savory fillings.


    Various choices of Dim Sum

    So when you add Disney to Dim Sum, you probably have something incredibly edible as much as magical.


    Various Disney Dim Sum (Photo courtesy Joseph Pimentel at the OC Register)

    Every order features your choice of incredibly detailed Dim Sum crafted to look like some familiar Disney characters like the Little Green Men from Toy Story, Baymax from Big Hero 6, and of course Mickey Mouse.

    While they look cute, they aren’t that filling according to our friend Joseph Pimentel from the OC Register who took a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland.

    They do make great food art for your Instagramming pleasure. They can only be found at the Crystal Lotus restaurant inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. They are so popular that you must pre-order them two days before your visit and cost $8 to $12 (US) per order of two to four pieces.

    — Jordan Poblete
    DisneyExaminer Founder + Brand & Content Strategist. Walt inspired Disneyland, Disneyland inspired DisneyExaminer. Catch me at Disneyland. Reach me at jordan@disneyexaminer.com or on Twitter @jordiepoblete
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    Gotta feed this monkey...

    This is truly random but it'll give this thread one more post.



    I'm now wondering if there is a dim sum thread already. Our search engine here doesn't go as low as three characters.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #3
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    Feed the monkey yum cha...

    ...been wanting to ttt this thread but all the dim sum news is restaurant reviews and recipes. This is kind of weak, because you gotta follow the link to see the vid to make it work.

    A Hong Kong dim sum restaurant is trying to attract young customers with food you're supposed to play with
    Apr. 12, 2016, 11:51 AM 26,881

    Yum Cha is a dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong that makes traditional custard buns with a visceral twist. The buns come with "eyes" and are meant to be poked open and squeezed before eating.

    "We wanted to modernize the presentation of Chinese dim sum to ignite people's visual senses and attract younger generation to dine out with their grannies," the restaurant told INSIDER.

    Story by Tony Manfred, editing by Sydney Kramer.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #4
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    Slightly OT



    The Chew
    Published on Apr 12, 2018
    "Bao" star the cutest little dumpling ever! You could check out the whole thing, in theaters this summer right before The Incredibles 2!
    Gene Ching
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  5. #5
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    I like only a few items at dim sum.
    Just habituated to them over time I guess.
    Har gow of course tops the list. Cannot escape the allure of shrimp dumplings and hotsauce.
    Whoever invented that should have a day named after them.

    Pork dumpling, also tasty, big noodle with shrimp and hoisun sauce, pineapple buns...

    ******, now I'm hungry
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  6. #6
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    Now I want to see Incredibles 2 just for this.

    More on bao here.

    The Creator of ‘Bao’ on That Twist: ‘Part of Me Wanted to Shock Audiences’


    Bao, on the counter, and his creator in a scene from the Pixar short.CreditDisney/Pixar
    By Kaly Soto
    June 27, 2018

    Pixar has delved into Indian culture with “Sanjay’s Super Team” and Latino culture with “Coco.” In “Bao,” the eight-minute short that precedes “Incredibles 2,” the animation giant is taking a bite of Chinese culture in a way that may have you rethinking your love of dumplings.

    Bao, a perfectly formed dumpling, is one of the central characters. Fashioned by a home cook making a meal, Bao sprouts a tiny body under his big head. Instead of popping Bao into her mouth, the cook becomes his mother, cradling him in her hands and never wanting to let him go even as he starts to feel stifled by her love.

    Domee Shi, 28, who conceived and directed “Bao,” said the inspiration came from three places in her life, the first being her own experience growing up in a Chinese family that emigrated to Toronto (where the short is set) in 1991, when she was 2.

    With overprotective parents, “I was like this little dumpling bao,” she said in an interview from Greece, where she was vacationing.

    The second inspiration was food. “Dumplings are a huge staple in Chinese culture,” she said. “You make dumplings with your family at the holidays, Chinese New Year. It’s the perfect metaphor for a family-associated food.”

    And third, she said she wanted to put a modern twist on a fairy tale because she liked the way those stories deal with dark and light themes.


    Domee Shi, right, brought her mother, Ningsha Zhong, to the Pixar studios to show the production team how to make dumplings.CreditDeborah Coleman/Pixar

    Which brings us to the darkest moment in her animated story (beware — there are spoilers ahead). As Bao grows, his mother keeps him close. She tries to separate him from other children to protect him. If his small head gets dented, she gives him a spoonful of dumpling filler and remolds him. But, as children will, Bao agitates for freedom. Soon he brings home a girl sporting an engagement ring and packs his bags. That is the last straw for Mom, and she eats him! The moment has elicited gasps from viewers and in one recent New York showing one woman let out a yelp.

    “Part of me just wanted to shock audiences and do something unexpected,” Ms. Shi said. But, she continued, “It was the logical conclusion between possessive person and delicious little dumpling.”

    The mother is trying to prevent her son from leaving, Ms. Shi said. It’s “a sudden act of emotion that she immediately regrets.”

    Ms. Shi said she did wonder if it was too dark for youngsters, but she was impressed by a comment from a 9-year-old girl who saw the short at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

    “She said, ‘After I watched it I turned to my mom and said you better not eat me after I go off to college.’ She got it!”

    “Bao” has “connected with so many people,” Ms. Shi said, “and not just Asian-Americans. Non-Asian people, too, say, ‘That’s my mom!’”

    The film has a satisfying ending you won’t find here. And Ms. Shi’s story is also going well. At Pixar she is developing a feature, she said. It’s not related to “Bao,” but she said she had put a lot of herself in it.

    And she hopes “Bao” will continue to inspire audiences.

    “If they are Asian I hope they enjoy a bit seeing themselves on screen,” she said. “If not, I hope they learn about Chinese culture and community and are more curious about Chinese food, Chinatown. I hope they call their moms and take them out to lunch.”

    A version of this article appears in print on June 29, 2018, on Page C1 of the New York edition.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    And the winner is...

    Oscars winners 2019: See the full list of winners
    By Chloe Melas, CNN
    Updated 4:09 AM ET, Mon February 25, 2019



    (CNN)The 91st Academy Awards was a night marked by historic firsts, inclusiveness and a final twist.

    The following is a list of nominees and the winners.

    BEST PICTURE
    "Black Panther"
    "BlacKkKlansman"
    "Bohemian Rhapsody"
    "The Favourite"
    "Green Book" *WINNER
    "Roma"
    "A Star Is Born"
    "Vice"

    ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
    Amy Adams, "Vice"
    Marina de Tavira, "Roma"
    Regina King, "If Beale Street Could Talk" *WINNER
    Emma Stone, "The Favourite"
    Rachel Weisz, "The Favourite"

    ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
    Mahershala Ali, "Green Book" *WINNER
    Adam Driver, "BlackKKlansman"
    Sam Elliott, "A Star Is Born"
    Richard E. Grant, "Can You Ever Forgive Me"
    Sam Rockwell, "Vice"

    FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
    "Capernaum"
    "Cold War"
    "Never Look Away"
    "Roma" *WINNER
    "Shoplifters"

    DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)
    "Black Sheep"
    "End Game"
    "Lifeboat"
    "A Night at the Garden"
    "Period. End of Sentence." *WINNER

    DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
    "Free Solo" *WINNER
    "Hale County This Morning, This Evening"
    "Minding the Gap"
    "Of Fathers and Sons"
    "RBG"

    ORIGINAL SONG
    "All The Stars" - "Black Panther"
    "I'll Fight" - "RBG"
    "Shallow" - "A Star Is Born *WINNER
    "The Place Where Lost Things Go" - "Mary Poppins Returns"
    "When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings" - "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"

    ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
    "Incredibles 2"
    "Isle of Dogs"
    "Mirai"
    "Ralph Breaks the Internet"
    "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" *WINNER

    ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
    "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
    "BlacKkKlansman" *WINNER
    "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"
    "If Beale Street Could Talk"
    "A Star Is Born"

    ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
    "First Reformed"
    "Green Book" *WINNER
    "Roma"
    "The Favourite"
    "Vice"

    ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
    Christian Bale, "Vice"
    Bradley Cooper, "A Star Is Born"
    Willem Dafoe, "At Eternity's Gate"
    Rami Malek, "Bohemian Rhapsody" *WINNER
    Viggo Mortensen, "Green Book"

    ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
    Yalitza Aparicio, "Roma"
    Glenn Close, "The Wife"
    Lady Gaga, "A Star Is Born"
    Olivia Colman, "The Favourite" *WINNER
    Melissa McCarthy, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"

    DIRECTOR
    Spike Lee, "BlacKkKlansman"
    Pawel Pawlikowski, "Cold War"
    Yorgos Lanthimos, "The Favourite"
    Alfonso Cuarón, "Roma" *WINNER
    Adam McKay, "Vice"

    PRODUCTION DESIGN
    "Black Panther" *WINNER
    "The Favourite"
    "First Man"
    "Mary Poppins Returns"
    "Roma"

    CINEMATOGRAPHY
    "Cold War"
    "The Favourite"
    "Never Look Away"
    "Roma" *WINNER
    "A Star Is Born"

    COSTUME DESIGN
    "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
    "Black Panther" *WINNER
    "The Favourite"
    "Mary Poppins Returns"
    "Mary Queen of Scots"

    SOUND EDITING
    "A Quiet Place"
    "Black Panther"
    "Bohemian Rhapsody" *WINNER
    "First Man"
    "Roma"

    SOUND MIXING
    "Black Panther"
    "Bohemian Rhapsody" *WINNER
    "First Man"
    "Roma"
    "A Star Is Born"

    ANIMATED SHORT FILM
    "Animal Behaviour"
    "Bao" *WINNER
    "Late Afternoon"
    "One Small Step"
    "Weekends"

    LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
    "Detainment"
    "Fauve"
    "Marguerite"
    "Mother"
    "Skin" *WINNER

    ORIGINAL SCORE
    "Black Panther" *WINNER
    "BlacKkKlansman"
    "If Beale Street Could Talk"
    "Isle of Dogs"
    "Mary Poppins Returns"

    VISUAL EFFECTS
    "Avengers: Infinity War"
    "Christopher Robin"
    "First Man" *WINNER
    "Ready Player One"
    "Solo: A Star Wars Story"

    FILM EDITING
    "BlacKkKlansman"
    "Bohemian Rhapsody" *WINNER
    "Green Book"
    "The Favourite"
    "Vice"

    MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
    "Border"
    "Mary Queen of Scots"
    "Vice" *WINNER
    THREADS
    The Academy Awards
    Roma
    Black Panther
    Bao

    So nice to get some of the films we've discussed here recognized.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  8. #8
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    Props to Domee for Bao.
    She studied up here at Sheridan college in Toronto.

    That college has a reputation for putting out top notch animation people.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  9. #9
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    And the oscar goes to...

    ...China!

    FEBRUARY 25, 2019 9:08PM PT
    U.S. Drama ‘Green Book’ Touted as Oscar Win for China
    By PATRICK FRATER and BECKY DAVIS


    CREDIT: PATTI PERRET

    Chinese companies have been quick to claim their share of Oscar glory since Sunday’s ceremony, despite an awards season that largely shut out films from or about Asia, including “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Shoplifters.”

    Alibaba Pictures, the heavily loss-making film financing and production arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is busily talking up its involvement in best picture winner “Green Book.” The production company boarded the movie as an investor alongside Participant Media, Dreamworks Pictures and Amblin Partners (of which Alibaba is a minority owner) last summer. The film was nominated for five Oscars and won three Sunday, including best original screenplay and best actor in a supporting role. It will hit Chinese theaters on Friday.

    “Even though Alibaba Pictures is a relatively new entrant into Hollywood, we have a track record of choosing quality projects that not only have high entertainment value, but also have positive messages we believe in,” said Zhang Wei, president of Alibaba Pictures. The company also made investments in two other awards contenders, “Capernaum” and “On the Basis of Sex.”

    Another Chinese player, Perfect World Entertainment, which has interests stretching from games to movies, claimed its share of reflected glory with “BlacKkKlansman” (six nominations, including one win in the adapted screenplay category) and “First Man” (four nominations, including one win for best visual effects). Both were co-funded by Perfect World through its five-year finance deal with Universal Pictures.

    China’s propaganda apparatus has gone a step further, including several Oscar winners that have Chinese involvement of some kind as examples of Chinese excellence. On Monday, China’s state-owned news agency Xinhua pronounced Pixar-produced “Bao” a Chinese-centric Oscars triumph.

    “The short is written and directed by Chinese-born Canadian director Domee Shi,” who, Xinhua helpfully explained, “is the first woman and first Chinese writer and director of a Pixar short.” The news agency noted that “Bao” beat “One Small Step,” a “Chinese-American short film, directed by Zhang Shaofu…[which] tells the story of a young Chinese-American protagonist who dreams of being an astronaut.” In the documentary category, Xinhua claimed Chinese success through winner “Free Solo,” directed by Jimmy Chin and Elisabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, and through nominee “Minding the Gap,” directed by Chinese-American Liu Bing.

    While there is much celebration on Chinese social media that “Bao” – a touching, realistic story about Chinese food and family – won such a high-profile accolade, several nationalistic state media reports champion a narrative that the wins, despite originating in other countries, are wins for China itself. The reports play up an old but recently much more prominent idea that people with Chinese heritage all over the world are connected to China by their ethnic identity. “Each of them is connected to China in its own way,” said Xinhua.

    “It is a remarkable success given [U.S. President] Trump’s relentless China bashing,” said another commentator.

    Beyond the rhetoric, however, there is increasing industrial synchronization between Hollywood and China. “The 91st Academy Awards can be viewed as the starting point for a new period of growing influence for China in the international film industry,” said Xinhua. The assertion is only inaccurate in that the movement quietly started several years ago.

    The current dynamics are subtly different from those made in the 2012-2016 period, when Chinese companies were making aggressive and highly visible moves at the corporate level, like Alibaba and Wanda’s serious discussions about buying a piece of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Wanda bought Legendary Entertainment and unsuccessfully bid $1 billion for Dick Clark Productions. Video platform Le Vision/Le Eco made lavish slate announcements in Hollywood as recently as 2016, before gravity and Chinese regulators dragged them back to reality.

    However, what has replaced that five-year surge of Chinese mad money has been a quieter drive to invest, learn, and integrate China into Hollywood. The initiative has been conducted by a smaller number of companies – Alibaba Pictures, Tencent, and Perfect World – which each have long-term game plans and have quietly opened offices in L.A.

    Perfect World’s deal with Universal is largely a passive investment, but the company is simultaneously behaving like a Hollywood indie and developing its own material and scripts. (In China, Perfect World is further partnered with Hollywood names Village Roadshow and WME in Perfect Village Entertainment, a local production venture.)

    “Both luck and persistence are very important. Alibaba Pictures will do everything in its power to support every young director to go global and vie for the Oscars,” said chairman and CEO of Alibaba Pictures Fan Luyan.
    THREADS
    The Academy Awards
    Bao
    Alibaba
    Chollywood rising
    Gene Ching
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  10. #10
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    tea tapping

    This is a common legend but for anyone unfamiliar, here you go.

    Heather Johnson Yu·April 15, 2018·8 min read
    The Mystery of the ‘Two Finger Tap’ at the Dim Sum Table



    I remember the very first time I went to eat Dim Sum. I was in my second year of college and visiting my LDR boyfriend at the time, a snarky Taiwanese guy who had moved to California as a teenager. I had so far enjoyed going to his favorite restaurants, as they had always proved to be crazy delicious.

    This time around, I had no idea what kind of learning experience I was in for; I just knew that as those doors opened and the glorious smells wafted from the kitchen into the waiting area, I was going to be in for a treat.

    Once seated, I found myself unable to take in all the new information quickly enough. The establishment was a sight to behold — dozens upon dozens of large, circular tables seating entire families dotted the floor with servers dashing quickly between them, zipping from the kitchen to the hungry masses and back again.

    But all eyes were on the carts that slowly but steadily chugged along, like merchants peddling wares through a busy street, calling out the names of each plate as they made their journey through the crowd. A steamed bun or a sizzling dish might catch the eye of a peckish customer, and the cart would stop to unload its treasures. The steamer would land with a “clunk” on the table, and the employee would hastily scribble the name of the dish on a piece of paper before speedily turning on her heels to find more ravenous patrons.


    Image via Wikimedia Commons / Mailer diablo (CC BY-SA 3.0)

    “Shu Mai!” Clunk. Scribble.

    “Cha Shu Bao!” Clunk. Scribble.

    “Xiao Long Bao!” Clunk. Clunk. Scribble. Scribble.

    Carts kept coming through, and steamers kept piling up; the taller the tower, the higher the accomplishment, and the more satisfied the customer.

    As this was a new experience for me, I couldn’t help but ask questions at every turn. “What is this one called?” “Can you repeat that in Mandarin?” and “What is in this bun?” was almost on repeat. My seemingly endless queries would be met with valid explanations at first, but after some time my then-beau’s patience began to wane. “Try it, you’ll like it.” “Just eat it.” and “It’s bull testicle.” (he was kidding).

    But there was one thing that stood out to me in particular; when the servers would refill our tea cups, he always tapped two fingers on the table. When he first did it, I thought he was perhaps drawing attention to that particular area of the tablecloth, as if it needed cleaning or something. But after the second time, it became evident that this was done on purpose after something specific occurred.

    My curiosity got the better of me. “Why’d you tap your fingers on the table after the server poured your tea?” I asked.

    I expected a smart-ass answer (something about bull testicles), but what I got was an unexpectedly fascinating tale.



    According to legend, there was an emperor named Emperor Qian Long who wished to travel the world as common people did. He wanted to see life through the eyes of his people without the all the fanfare and prestige that would otherwise be a normal part of his existence. So he donned the outfit of a commoner and required his servants to treat him as an equal.

    Of course, this must have been unfathomable for those accompanying him on his journey, but who were they to go against the emperor’s requests? So they went along with it, walking in step with the royal in disguise.

    Eventually, they came to a restaurant and the group was served tea. The emperor, very committed to the ruse, took it upon himself to pour tea for his servants. This was beyond shocking to the servants, who would normally have to show their gratitude for such an honor by bowing or some other manner befitting of an emperor. But to do so would reveal his true identity, and the jig would be up — everyone would know that their ruler sat amongst them.

    So the servants came up with a simple way to thank their emperor for the gesture — tapping two fingers on the table after the tea had been poured. That way, they could express their thanks to Emperor Long without arousing suspicion, enabling the party to continue their travels without giving away their real selves.

    (This also proved to be quite a practical mannerism, as tapping on the table was far less disruptive to the conversation than turning and thanking the server. The gesture stuck and has survived to modern day usage.)


    Image via Wikimedia Commons / WiNG (CC BY-SA 3.0)

    The story may seem small to some — maybe even trivial — but at that moment I became absolutely enamored with Chinese etiquette. Mannerisms and phrases seemed to hold more meaning, and I wanted to know the captivating tales behind them all.

    Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be during this meal — just as he was finishing his story, a cart full of delicious food passed us by, and he couldn’t help but cheekily take another dig at my ignorance.

    “Oh look, your favorite–“

    “Let me guess, bull testicle?”

    “No, taro puffs. Don’t be racist.”

    He grinned from ear to ear, the joke he’d cracked at my expense too good to pass up. I rolled my eyes and shook my head, making a mental note to get him back later. Taking a sip from my recently filled cup, I accepted the fact that I couldn’t learn the etiquette and nuances of an entire culture in one afternoon; instead, we drank tea and ate dumplings, laughing the day away and enjoying our time together.

    Feature Image via Wikimedia Commons / Lain (CC BY-SA 3.0)
    THREADS
    Tea
    Dim Sum - dian xin
    Gene Ching
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  11. #11
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    Zhenmeat

    Plant-based alternative meats for Chinese food – dim sum, hotpot, mooncakes and more – set for launch
    Created to be the ‘Chinese version of Impossible Foods’, Zhenmeat offers plant- and fungus-based protein products tailored for Chinese cuisine
    Founder Vince Lu says there is a big gap in China’s plant-based meat market as producers target vegetarians, not the general public who consume meat
    Elaine Yau
    Published: 6:15pm, 4 Sep, 2019


    Vince Lu, founder of plant-based alternative meat company Zhenmeat, showcasing mooncakes made with his company’s products.

    Lean, muscular and sharply dressed, Beijing-based entrepreneur Vince Lu Zhongming has come a long way from the overweight and aimless university student he was a few years ago.
    While studying materials science in the US at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Lu struggled with what to do with his life. He was eating a lot of processed meat and gained 20 kilograms (44 pounds) in a semester, leaving him unhappy with his self-image.
    A near-death experience sprang him from his funk: he lost control of his car while driving in freezing temperatures in Illinois and it crashed.
    “It was the worst accident I have ever experienced,” Lu says. “I was rescued with no injuries, but was told I had cheated death. Since then, I have been filled with gratitude. I want to value life and give back to society.”

    .
    Lu before he lost weight.

    The crash prompted him to get back into shape, revert to a healthier diet and become a regular gym goer. He studied protein properties to learn how to better fuel his workouts. After graduating he set up a start-up called Fuchouzhe, which makes protein bars to boost nutrition and sports performance.
    Based on Fuchouzhe’s success, he went further. He launched a plant-based meat start-up – Zhenmeat – with the goal of developing it into a Chinese version of US-based Impossible Foods.
    With African swine fever prompting widespread pig culls and rising calls for reduced meat consumption in China, overseas substitute meat producers are salivating over the huge China market.
    According to a report by The Good Food Institute released in May, the market size of China’s domestic plant-based meat industry in 2018 was about 6.1 billion yuan (US$850 million), 14.3 per cent higher than the previous year. The US market size that year was US$684 million, up 23 per cent over 2017.
    Although less than 10 per cent of Chinese participants surveyed as part of the report identified as vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian (fish but not meat eaters), 86.7 per cent had consumed plant-based meat products.


    Plant-based meat mooncakes from Zhenmeat.

    US plant-based meat firm Beyond Meat plans to start distributing in China in the second half of this year. Also planning a mainland China launch later this year is Hong Kong-based Right Treat, which developed pork alternative Omnipork from peas, soy and mushroom proteins. After entering the Hong Kong market last year, US-based Impossible Foods plans to launch its products in mainland China within the next two years.
    Lu’s Beijing-based start-up Zhenmeat is stealing a march on these overseas rivals, rolling out its products this month.
    “Running Fuchouzhe allows me to understand protein’s nutritional properties and supply chains. China’s breakneck economic growth has led to a big demand for quality protein,” he says.


    Peppers stuffed with Zhenmeat products being served in a Chinese restaurant.

    Ahead of the launch tomorrow (September 5), Lu has been touring China to promote Zhenmeat’s products, which include plant-based sausage and steak, and faux meat mooncakes and meatballs.
    In an April talk at the Food and Beverage Innovation Forum in Shanghai, Lu described the products as a mixture of plant- and fungus-based protein including pea, mushroom, soy and brown rice protein, with pea protein being the main ingredient.
    Zhenmeat sources organic peas from Canada. Peas have high nutritional value and contain eight amino acids – more than soybeans, Lu says, adding the other sources of protein in the products ensure they are comprehensive in nutrition. People need 18 kinds of amino acids, which single sources of beans don’t provide, he says.
    I am 180cm tall but weighed 100kg, which was quite terrible. Within a year of my diet switch, I lost 20kg. Plant-based protein is the food of the future
    Vince Lu
    While Impossible Foods’ Impossible Burger uses soy protein, pea protein is increasingly being embraced as a main ingredient for plant-based alternative meat producers. Beyond Meat uses pea instead of soy protein. California-based Ripple Foods, meanwhile, produces pea-protein alternative dairy products.
    “There’s a big gap in the plant-based meat market in China as the current Chinese plant-based meat manufacturers mostly serve the vegetarian market instead of the general public who consume meat,” Lu says.
    “The traditional vegetarian faux meat [served in Chinese Buddhist restaurants] has a heavy taste of beans. The taste, texture, colour and smell does not resemble that of real meat. The success of those American companies [like Impossible Foods] has inspired us to make plant-based meat that tastes like real meat.”


    Protein bars from Fuchouzhe.

    Lu credited the success of Impossible Foods to its use of heme, a molecule containing iron responsible for making plant-based meat taste like real meat.
    “Heme is found in animals’ blood and muscle, and also plants. No mainland meat alternative producers use heme in their products, so Chinese consumers are sacrificing the gastronomic satisfaction coming from eating meat when they consume Chinese plant-based products,” Lu says.
    Impossible Foods has secured the patent for its use of heme in its meat substitutes, so Zhenmeat is studying how to replicate heme using its own technology, which may take up to three years.
    “Currently, our products use natural flavour extracts and spices to imitate the taste of meat. Our products have higher protein content than real meat. The quality fats in our products come from coconut oils,” Lu says, adding that without heme, his products can attain only 70 per cent of the desired target for taste and texture.


    Lu sampling Zhenmeat products with a Chinese chef.

    Zhenmeat has so far secured five million yuan from Chinese investors. Unlike overseas plant-based meat producers which offer mostly burger patties and other Western food offerings, Lu says his products will target Chinese cuisine.
    “Our products will be sold online and offered in various Chinese restaurants including dim sum, Sichuan and hotpot eateries. We have no plans to expand outside China,” he says.
    Lu is convinced the business will do well, having personally benefited from cutting out meat.
    “I am 180cm tall but weighed 100kg, which was quite terrible. Within a year of my diet switch, I lost 20kg. Plant-based protein is the food of the future.”

    This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: for substitute meats, the stakes couldn’t be higher
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    Winter 2020

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    By Williy Pang



    WINTER 2020


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