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You may have other culinary goals if you're in Manchester, England, but put Sweet Mandarin on your "to-visit" list to deviate from regional fare. Twin sisters and owners Helen and Lisa Tse recently released their first cookbook. First up, hawker-style chicken skewers you don't have to leave your kitchen to enjoy. 

 

You may have other culinary goals if you're in Manchester, England, but put Sweet Mandarin on your "to-visit" list in case you feel like deviating from regional fare. Twin sisters and Sweet Mandarin owners Helen and Lisa Tse put modern Chinese food on the map with their popular restaurant, and recently released their first cookbook. First up, hawker-style chicken skewers you don't have to leave your kitchen to enjoy. 

Hong Kong was, and still is, famous for its amazing range of culinary offerings. As Chinese immigrants poured into Hong Kong to escape the Japanese invasion of China during the 1920s, the streets boasted increasing numbers of restaurants and street hawker stalls known as dai pai dongs. Although the dai pai dongs were no more than tiny metal carts, they served up a wide array of street foods — including these chicken skewers, as well as other snacks such as pungent preserved beancurd, fishballs, and Shanghai dumplings called potstickers because they stuck to the pot.

One of the reasons the dai pai dongs were so successful was because the vendors had the foresight to put most of their items on a stick, making eating on the go possible. The rise in foodsellers reduced prices and made food available to the masses. These foodsellers could be found throughout the city and turned snacking into a Chinese institution. If you had the appetite, you could eat from morning until midnight. Chicken skewers with peanut satay dip became a firm favorite with the nation.

Reprinted with permission from Sweet Mandarin