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The First Chinese Shop in Plymouth

Andy Price is going global with his ingredients from this new Chinese shop in Plymouth.

News 1968 4 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Andy Price visits the newly opened Chinese shop in Harwell Street the first in Plymouth with a Chinese friend who takes him through some of the very special ingredients. Hundred-year egg, century egg or pidan is a type of preserved egg coated in mud and rice husk and salted duck egg is soaked in brine and packed in a layer of salted charcoal paste. They are often boiled and eaten with congee a type of rice porridge from Guangdong, the province around Hong Kong.

Dried octopus, squid and birds nests are used in soup. The nests come from the solidified saliva of different birds usually swifts and swallows and are harvested from caves for bird’s nest soup creating a gelatinous delicacy and pound for pound, one of the most sought after and expensive animal products in the world. Exports have been restricted since outbreaks of Avian flu but the soup is still popular on mainland China with imports coming from Northern Sumatra in Indonesia. The shop owner uses the classic Chinese abacus of five and two with five beads on the lower half and two beads on the upper to calculate using the exchange method - five beads on the lower abacus is equal one bead on the upper. All for £3.2s.6d.