September 30, 2023


Be Inspired By Food

GTA chef dishes on East Asian cuisine

Could is Asian Heritage Month and what improved way to discover Asian society than through its tasty food items? This month we’re showcasing four GTA chefs and restaurateurs who will every dish on four unique regional cuisines: West, East, South, and Southeast. It’s a massive continent, see what’s currently being served up coastline to coastline.

Our 2nd halt is East Asia, which involves China, Japan, each Koreas, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia and Taiwan. The dishes and cooking methods range, but the staple elements involve rice, soy beans, seafood and noodles.

Our featured East Asian chef is Ken Yau. Ken grew up in Thornhill and introduced his culinary vocation in some of Toronto’s most prestigious restaurants. He has labored all in excess of the planet: from a three-Michelin star cafe in the U.K., to Australia and Hong Kong. When the pandemic strike in 2020, Ken had just introduced his initially solo cooking business in Toronto. The total premise of k.Dinners, a pop-up supper club sequence, was to deliver strangers collectively for a food. Obviously this was an untenable organization model for the duration of lockdown, so Ken had to pivot. His new venture, k.Sector, is a grocery and shipping principle. Ken normally takes inspiration from his travels, his mother’s cooking and the joy of local community.

Get to know Ken.

(Jonathan Yau)

1. Inform us about your culinary journey.
I commenced cooking really young by making an attempt to perfect the immediate noodle. In university, I originally analyzed to be a veterinarian. At the time I understood that cooking was my contacting, I dove suitable in. I pretty much knocked on the back doorway of Nota Bene and instructed Chef David Lee that I wished to master how to cook dinner. That basic gesture opened so several doors globally and I was equipped to perform with some actually gifted folks in the sector like at the three-Michelin star cafe The Unwanted fat Duck. It was a blend of blind ambition, luck, guidance and a great deal of 1-way tickets. It was overwhelming at to start with since I did not imagine I belonged at any of these “large restaurants” but I was taught early on what my worth was, functioning at these places. Worry was constantly current but I experienced a large amount of mentors who taught me how to control it. I was in no way hesitant to elevate my hand and check with for help. 

2. Favourite foodie childhood memory?
As a child, I beloved mixing distinctive ingredients to generate new flavours. You could put me in a fast-foods joint or a family cafe and I would mix each individual condiment they experienced. I would appear up with heaps of fun and disgusting combos. It was magical but was also adopted by a large amount of stomachaches!  

3. If you ended up stocking the great pantry, what five elements would you pick out?
MSG, rooster powder, soy sauce, Hon Dashi and ketchup. You can fairly considerably include those to everything and it will flavor fantastic.

4. What guidance would you give to cooking newbies, especially individuals taking on Asian cuisine?
Will not consider much too a great deal about the final products assume about the act of cooking for another person or for you. The penalties of burning a dish or including sugar in its place of salt only value some elements. In the conclude, you still made a food you can snicker about and have enjoyable with. You learn greatest when you make faults and when you attempt the dish again, you will know what to appear out for! Cook dinner to share or nurture on your own. That is the coronary heart of Asian cuisine and several cuisines out there.

5. How has the pandemic taken your food stuff small business in a new way?
Adaptation was important. It took me two weeks to sort myself out mentally. After cancelling reservations for k.Dinners, the k.Dumps company design came to lifestyle due to the fact I wanted to introduce ease and comfort foods to anyone whilst also producing folks giggle a small. Just just lately, the business evolved into k.Marketplace, a virtual Asian “grocery” with a variety of goods from dumplings, fast fried rice, sauces and spices. The intention is to really encourage people today to cook dinner extra for them selves and other folks. By way of comfort foodstuff, I bring a highlight on components that may not be acquainted or are generally misunderstood in Asian delicacies, this enables me to combine classic tactics and specific my creativity.

Time to Dish! What is your favourite East Asian recipe?
I would like to share my recipe for Braised Pork Stomach. It is ideal to signify East Asia because it ties in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese components.

(Jonathan Yau)

Braised Pork Belly Recipe


  • 1-2 lbs Pork Stomach
  • 6 pcs of Canned Lychee in Syrup
  • 150g Lychee syrup
  • 6 Salted Plums
  • 6 Umeboshi
  • 4 Perilla Leaves
  • 150g Glutinous Rice Wine
  • 120g Drinking water
  • 150g Soy
  • Optional: Steamed Rice


  • Lower your pork belly into smaller chunks all-around ½ pound chunks
  • Evaluate all your ingredients in a pot and gradually deliver to a simmer
  • Permit it simmer for 2 hours. Eliminate the pot from the heat and enable it cool for at the very least an hour. If you have time, allow the bellies amazing right away and fully choose in all the flavours from the broth.
  • Slice the bellies into 1cm slices and gently heat them up in a bit of broth or they can be liked chilly (slice a minor thinner, ½ cm)
  • Very best served with a bowl of steamed rice

(Jonathan Yau)

For much more about Ken and his business enterprise, stop by, or comply with him on Instagram.

To celebrate Asian Heritage Thirty day period, @CBC is sharing tales from throughout the state to uncover out what it implies to be Asian-Canadian in 2021. Observe the #ProudlyAsianCanadian hashtag and abide by @CBC on Instagram and Fb for written content in the course of the month.