I first heard the term “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” when I was a teenager in Western Canada. It was coined by “Toddish McWong,” a Vancouver student of Chinese descent whose university asked him to help out with their Robbie Burns Day celebrations. Since then, Gung Haggis Fat Choy has, according to McWong himself, “come to represent a celebration of combining cultures in untraditional ways.” And that is what this blog, my family and I are all about.
I’m a Canadian of Japanese descent and my husband is a Canadian of Scottish descent. We now live in England. We have two daughters, aged one and four, and I just went back to working full time after the New Year. Since I started working, I’ve gotten into the habit of doing a ton of cooking on the weekend and freezing some of the output so we can have dinner on the table quickly when I get home after work during the week. Since I love trying different types of international cooking and since I want to teach my older daughter about the world, I had the idea of doing a particular country’s food and tying it in with related educational activities every weekend.All the food on this blog will be strictly gluten-free because I’m gluten intolerant. It will be low-FODMAP to moderate-FODMAP because I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the low-FODMAP diet is somewhat helpful in keeping the symptoms under control. But really, this blog isn’t about restrictions – it’s about loving food and celebrating the world’s diverse cultures, albeit not necessarily in the most authentic way.
We started our international food weekends last week and since it was Robbie Burns Day, we decided to do Scotland. This weekend, since it’s Chinese New Year, we did China. In the future, I’ll do one post per country but since I just started this blog, they’re getting rolled together into one big, delicious ball of Gung Haggis Fat Choy.
For our Scottish weekend, we made modern haggis, neeps and tatties (that’s swede and potatoes for those not in the know), and shortbread. Yes, haggis. No, no sheep’s stomach, heart, lungs or liver involved, even if my husband did think it looked like brains at a certain stage in the process.
For our Chinese Saturday, we made kung pao chicken, mu shu duck, Chinese steamed fish, tofu and vegetable stir-fry, and almond cookies. The next day, we also made “ants climbing a tree” for lunch. No actual ants or trees – the “trees” are noodles with small bits of pork and vegetables clinging to them.
Because this would get ridiculously long if everything was here, I’m making separate posts for the recipes. Enjoy!