Wah Nam Hong food bloggers event

Recently, I attended the Wah Nam Hong We love Asia food bloggers event at the Wah Nam Hong store in the Markthal, Rotterdam. Although I am Chinese myself, I personally don't know that much about the Chinese kitchen (besides eating it) as my mom is the specialist at home and I mostly cook Western food, some Japanese dishes, and lately a bit of Korean food (jeon and japchae). I do know most of the basics, but I still managed to learn a lot of new things at the event.  

Wah Nam Hong restaurant in Markthal Rotterdam

The location

The Wah Nam Hong food bloggers event was held at the Wah Nam Hong restaurant, which is located one floor above the supermarket. We were welcomed with Chinese buns, strawberry pretz sticks, choco and strawberry pies, and fortune cookies (my fortune: Be patient and everything will be okay).

The wooden tables and benches in the restaurant look nice and the view on the inner market is very beautiful. Note: the stairs you take to go upstairs are open in between steps (it was a bit awkward for me to walk on them with a dress on). 

Wah Nam Hong restuarant wooden tables and benches
Wah Nam Hong restaurant Markthal Rotterdam view

What was planned for the day

The event consisted of three parts: a tour through the Wah Nam Hong supermarket, a Chinese hot pot and Chinese wok class, and a quiz (guessing and tasting Asian ingredients). We were divided in three groups and we rotated from the three activities.


I started with the quiz and later on, I found out it was better to end with this part as most of the difficult ingredients were explained or could be found during the two other parts. I had serious problems figuring out the Dutch names of the ingredients that are otherwise so familiar to me in Chinese. There were several sauces, different kinds of noodles, vegetables, and spices. A few note worthy ones: watercress, green radish, 5 spices (I thought this was licorice powder!), MSG (I thought this was some kind of salt!), XO sauce with bits of shiitake mushrooms (they actually sell this pre-made in a jar!), and Chrysanthemum leaves

Chinese hot pot and Chinese wok class

Chef Tim Kan taught us how to prepare a Chinese hot pot and how to stir-fry with a wok. 

For a Chinese hot pot, you need a portable gas stove, which you can place right on your dinner table, as you are supposed to sit around the hotpot together and put the things that you want to eat in the boiling hot pot yourself. It can be very convenient to have a pot with a divider in the middle (as shown in the picture), as some of your guests might be vegetarian or you can also have two different soup bases to vary with. If you don't have the knowledge or time to make the soup base from scratch, the chef recommended to get some bags of hotpot soup base, which you can find in the Wah Nam Hong supermarket. On the table, there was a selection of ingredients that you can put in a Chinese hotpot, such as fish balls and different kinds of vegetables. A simple dipping sauce can be made with XO sauce with shiitake mushrooms bits, vinegar, and soy sauce.

Chinese hotpot ingredients pot divider soup base sauces

Afterwards, we moved to the kitchen area and it was fun to see the professional equipment that they work with (I wish my kitchen looked that way). It has an area with running boiling water where you can parboil food before you wok them (the flavors of the boiled food don't stay in the water), a large oven, and a large round dim sum steamer.

Several kitchen essentials to prepare Chinese food were introduced: an iron ring (looks like a baking mold but it isn't) to hold the hot wok on your dinner table, so that you can directly scoop from the wok, a large and deep iron wok lid which is great for steaming things, an metal steaming rack to place in the wok (€1.50), a wok spatula (to flip, flatten, stir-fry, and cut) and ladle (for soup and sauces), and long chopsticks to cook and fry things in the wok with (€0.50). Note: I added the prices as the chef explicitly joked about it, so that we would be tempted to buy them as they can be found on the same floor. It was kind of funny.  

Wah Nam Hong restaurant open kitchen
Wah Nam Hong restaurant wok induction stove

Tour through the Wah Nam Hong supermarket

Lastly, we went on a tour through the Wah Nam Hong supermarket with Caroline Wimmers as our guide. I have been there before, so I didn't think I would learn anything new, but I still did. She told me that the transparent vermicelli that I eat often was made from green beans and that Kirin brand is the supermarket's own brand, and she also introduced the apple gyoza from Ajinomoto to me.

tour Wah Nam Hong supermarket frozen food department
ajinomoto apple gyoza

She said that these apple gyoza are a great alternative for the Dutch "appelflappen" during New Year's Eve. With some icing sugar on top, they look very pretty (although I never imagined myself to put sugar on my normally savory gyoza). I tasted one and the filling is like a subtle apple jam (not too sweet or too sour). Some cinnamon sugar on top would probably make it even tastier.

Popular Posts