8. Modernization of Hakka food and eco-industries

As people are becoming more health-conscious, Hakka food has to change to keep up with its pace. Combining features of Hakka food and modern food concept, organic farm operators in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli are mostly Hakka people. For instance, the Kunlun Medicinal Botanical Garden in Taoyuan County is growing over two thousand kinds of medicinal plants. There are also many organic farms in Zhongli and Hsinchu, providing an environment for organic food and home delivery. It creates revival of refined agriculture and provides places for holiday recreation, merging with eco-industries and bringing people the opportunity to return to the days of simple village life. Meantime, it fulfills the goal of a pesticide-free, pollution-free environment. Jumping on the bandwagon of modern life trend, in Europe, America, and Japan, certification of organic farms is all the rage. With the promotion of organic foods, less oily, salty and low cholesterol foods are being promoted. The marketing and packaging of Xian Cao Tea of Guanxi, Hsinchu is a product of recent years’ health, longevity concepts.

Taiwan Hakka food is going to become healthier. CHA last year joined force with Sheraton Taipei to hold the new Hakka gourmandism event. In the event, the chefs attempted to incorporate Japanese and Western cooking methods into Hakka cooking. Examples were the use of large amount of distillers’ grains, using Ban Tiao and laver as sushi skin, and adding plums to Mei Gan Kou Rou to reduce cholesterol. This way, Mei Gan Kou Rou’s flavor is kept or using low-fat chicken to replace pork. Also in the event, Hakka Ban Tiao is used to make Italian pasta, or Mediterranean seafood noodles are turned into Hakka stir-fried Ban Tiao. In addition to being made into a soup, the long beans often used in Hakka areas may attempt to sprinkle Thai curry on salmon and prawns, becoming a fashionable dish. Prawns and orange sauce make a good combination too. As long as there is creativity, Hakka food can become popular, healthy food.