Princess Sirindhorn has visited Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province several times and has a special affection for the city.
Zhang spent four and a half hours preparing the 10 courses for the reception, of which four represented Hubei cuisine, namely Hubei-style steamed lotus root roll, three-color lotus root starch jelly, clear fish ball soup and hot dry noodles. The lotus root roll, which was made with 1 kg of lotus root, took Zhang more than two hours to cook.
"The stuffing is a mixture of shrimp meat and mushrooms, which is full of traditional Hubei flavor," the chef said. Zhang was inspired by Tangxun Lake fish balls, a popular snack in Wuhan, when cooking the clear fish ball soup with local sea bass and water chestnuts as major ingredients.
Zhang creatively added chunks of dragon fruit, mango, and kiwi fruit into the lotus root starch jelly to make the dish both tasty and eye-catching.
Zhang brought the ingredients for hot dry noodles, such as the sesame paste and noodles, from Wuhan to Thailand. Although the noodles were among the last few courses to be served, the princess ate the entire bowl of noodles and was amazed by Zhang's culinary skill.
As a long-term promoter of China-Thailand friendship, Princess Sirindhorn learned Chinese more than 30 years ago and is known as a China hand.
Sirindhorn was appointed as professor emeritus at Wuhan University in 2005 and translated Chinese author Chi Li's novel, Her City into Thai.
By Chen Liubing (China Daily)