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HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN THE UK’S ASIAN FOOD SCENE, AND HOW HAS IT CHANGED IN THAT TIME?
Since the early 1980s, and there has been a sea of change since then. For example, many sauces (such as hoisin, oyster sauce, soy sauce) and Shaoxing rice wine was once only available at Chinese grocers. Now you can even buy rice wine anywhere.
HOW CAN INDEPENDENT RETAILERS MAKE THE MOST OF THIS HUNGER FOR ASIAN CUISINE – WHAT ARE YOUR MUST-STOCKS?
All they have to do is watch TV food programmes and see what chefs use. They should stock: soy sauce, rice wine, roasted sesame oil, hoisin sauce (which many people use as a barbecue sauce) and oyster sauce as well as chilli oil and sweet chilli sauce.
HOW POPULAR IS ASIAN FOOD AT THE MOMENT IN TERMS OF PRODUCTS ON SHELVES?
Judging on what supermarkets are carrying, I would say Asian food is part of the DNA of British food culture. It is no longer exotic but part of the fabric of British culinary life.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR ASIAN CUISINE IN THE UK?
A great future! I see Asian cuisine on a straight upward trend that won’t abate.
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