Inspirations from Vancouver’s Chinatown: HOT & SOUR DUCK & MUSHROOM SOUP

Upon entering the Millenium Gates of Chinatown this afternoon we were overwhelmed with the wonderful aromas of Chinatown’s many restaurants. An abundance of options for leisurely dimsum, bakeries, Hong Kong style cafes, the list goes on.

We walked slowly, sampling many delicious treats along our walk until we decided to stop into Foo’s Ho Ho Restaurant on 102 East Pender Street and asked the waiter to serve us a more traditional Chinese meal instead of the typical American style options found on most menus.

Our meal started off with a delicious Hot & Sour Duck and Mushroom soup which was the highlight of our afternoon and the real subject of this article. After much inquiring with our waiter, he happily shared with us the recipe for their famous house entre. We hit the Chinese market then after in search of all the ingredients, all locally grown to try to reproduce this amazing recipe to share with you all today:


To start you are going to need a slow cooker which, if you don’t already have, they can easily be found at where they review many of todays top models. Vancouver’s Chinatown is thriving with markets selling fresh local produce so this is your step two.

Preparation time: 15 Minutes, plus making a homemade vege stock (optional)

Cooking time: 3 hours on LOW, plus 20 mins on HIGH



1.5 ounce dry Asian mushrooms, such as oyster or cloud ear

2 duck legs, about 9 ounces each, skins and fat removed

6 Thai shallots or 3 large French shallots, halved

1 dry red Thai chili, seeded if you like, and halver

1.5 teaspoon sugar

4 cups vege stock  or water

2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus extra to taste

1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch

1 cup bean sprouts

salt and freshly ground black pepper

cilantro leaves or Thai basil leaves to serve

Put the dry mushrooms in a strainer and rins under cold running water to remove any dirt.

Put the duck legs, mushrooms, shallots, chili and sugar in the slow cooker. Pour the stock, fish sauce and lemon juice over, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover the cooker with the lid. Cook on LOW 3 hours until the juices from the duck run clear when the thickest part of the meat is pierced with the tip of a sharp knife or skewer. Remove the fuck from the cooker and leave the rest about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the shallots and chili and discard. Put the arrowroot and 2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl and stir until smooth, then stir the paste into the cooking liquid. Switch the cooker to HIGH, re-cover and cook 15 minutes until the soup thickens slightly.

When the duck is cool enough to handle, remove all the meat from the bones and cut into thin pieces. When the soup has thickened, return the duck into the cooker with the bean sprouts and stir to heat through. Add a little more fish sauce, lemon juice and salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

This recipe will teleport you right down to Chinatown and give you and your family an authentic Chinese eating experience. 


To learn about the history, attractions, restaurants and markets of Vancouver’s Chinatown, visit:

To find a review of today’s most sought after slow cookers, visit:

For more slow cooker recipes, visit:




Farm-To-Table In The Okanagan

We just came across this excellent video produced by Destination British Columbia which beautifully captures the wonders of the Okanagan Valley. The short tourism ad portrays the abundant farmlands, the world renowned vinyards, the warm community dynamic and overall experience that the Okanagan Valley offers. It is a place that truly embodies the “support local” philosophy and the farm-to-table freshness of everyday produce. Enjoy!

British Columbia Spot Prawns & Chorizo: Pressure Cooker Recipe

Here in British Columbia we pride ourselves on our thriving farmland which grows some of the worlds most renowned produce. The relationship between our farmers and independent grocers is forever strong. Customers want sustainable, consciously grown products; grain and grass fed meats, non-sprayed produce, local preserves. Our rivers and oceans host some of the worlds most popular trout, halibut, salmon, prawn, coming everywhere from the Prince Rupert area to the top of Vancouver Island.

To many grocers, their mandate is to remain 100% BC. Some independent grocers carry 92% produce grown within 100 miles while getting the rest from the Okanagan, Squamish and elsewhere. Local growers develop boutique collections of wood-smoked chanterelle mushrooms, haida gwaii seaweed, sea asparagus straight from the high tides of the ocean shore, wild teas. Completely unique offerings, unique to the region. 

Our featured recipe today contains delicious British Columbia Spot Prawns & Chorizo made in a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are magnificent tools for cooking which will cut your cooking time down by more than half. Consider that cooking alone uses 8% or electricity consumption of the average household with electric stoves being 1 of 3 major appliances. We pressure cook all through the winter here to keep our expenses low. For more information on pressure cookers visit There you will find a wide variety of models to suit your needs. Most popular amongst them are the highly sought after Fissler models which you can find here . The Fissler brand as long been recognized as the Rolls Royce of pressure cookers.

BC Spot Prawns & Chorizo Risotto



200gr chorizo

1 celery stock

1 large onion finely chopped

1 large clove of garlic

60 mils of white wine (try an Okanagan Valley Sauvignon Blanc!)

600 mils of stock, chicken or veg

1 cup of risotto 

300 gr pran

half cup parmesan

60 grams butter

60 mils parsley


Set the pressure cooker to simmer add a splash of oil. Add the sausage, onion, garlic, celery stock, risotto and a splash of wine and stock. Put on lid and cook for 6 minutes. Then open up and stir in the prawns and add parmesan and butter. Add pepper and parsley to taste. 

Pressure-Cooker-Cooking also review the Presto line of stainless steel pressure cookers which are at a more affordable price point with high customer loyalty. Read their review in detail here:

This is such a simple and delicious meal that cooks in such little time and really shows the true flavours of some of British Columbia’s finest seafood and produce.