Hakka cuisine workshop tours New Zealand, Australia

Cooperating with the Overseas Community Affairs Council, Hakka Society of New Zealand (紐西蘭客家同鄉會), Hakka Association of Queensland Australia (澳洲昆士蘭客家會), and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Auckland and Brisbane, the Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) brought the Hakka Cuisine Touring Workshop (海外客家行動灶下) to New Zealand and Australia in August.

Led by Hakka chefs Chiu Pao-lang (邱寶郎) and Chen Chi-wen (陳騏文), the culinary delegation headed for Auckland on Aug. 4 and 5. Cooking demonstrations and the NZ Hakka Master Chef Competition (紐西蘭客家廚神美食大賽) were held at Auckland Seafood School. More than 100 participants attended this event, including members of the Hakka society, overseas compatriots, and epicures.

Head of the Hakka Society of New Zealand Chang Ming-he (張明和) stated that this is the second time that the workshop has visited New Zealand to promote Hakka cuisine. The joyful activity always draws many attendees, added Chang. He also mentioned that the chef competition was launched to help participants make Hakka dishes in an easier way and satisfy their hunger for dishes from their homeland.

On Aug. 6, the two chefs visited Auckland’s
Matipo Primary School and presented a cooking class to the school students. Simple but fascinating Hakka dishes were made by the pupils, including pumpkin bun (黃金南瓜包), rice dumpling stuffed with red bean paste (紅豆泥冰心粽), and steamed nine-layer cake (九層糕). Through this activity, the students learned more about the seasonal ingredients and the virtue of cherishing food.

The delegates then traveled to Brisbane in Australia on Aug. 10. The Hakka chefs brought several creative Hakka delicacies, including red yeast chicken (紅麴醉雞腿), stewed rice noodles with shrimps and preserved vegetables (福菜鮮蝦燴粄條), fried rice buns (金箔紅麴煎桃粿), sautéed salted pork with green garlic shoots (開胃蒜苗鹹豬肉), Hakka-style pepper chicken (客風椒麻雞), and steamed tapioca cake (白玉涼糕), amazing overseas Hakkas, local dignitaries, and foreign ambassadors.

Hosted by HAC and the  Oceania Hakka Federation (大洋洲客屬總會), the Global Hakka Cultural Meeting and Taiwanese Hakka Convention (全球客家文化會議暨臺灣客家懇親大會) in Brisbane was attended by Hakka expatriates as well as the culinary delegates on Aug. 11. Chefs presented innovative Hakka dishes and desserts and provided hands-on activities such as making the “Lei Cha (擂茶)” drink and a type of rice cake known as “Mi Qi Ba (粢粑)” for attendants to enjoy the unforgettable flavors of Hakka cuisine.