The Underappreciated Veggie Party

August 21, 2016

Sometimes, the loveliest parties can be the simplest. A few weeks ago, my friend J came up with the idea for an underappreciated veggie party while we were out on a hike. Well, I guess I should say she was reminded of a time her friend had such a party and decided to host one in Hong Kong.

The premise is simple. Each attendee brings a dish that includes an underappreciated vegetable to share potluck-style. We’d thought of pumpkin leaves, cabbage, okra, fennel right away, but surely there were more. Half the fun of this party would be thinking of a creative dish to cook and share.

Though I don’t cook (very well), I was immediately interested. The idea sounded so refreshing. Hong Kong can be an exciting, glamourous place. There are always new places to eat, drink, and be merry. I’ve gotten into the food scene a bit and the number of press releases on new openings, summer menus, visiting chefs and more is staggering. But there’s something wonderful about gathering in a friend’s home. It’s much more relaxed and intimate.


J frying the okra cornmeal pancakes


The okra cornmeal pancakes (recipe from


The spread

So one Saturday morning a few weeks ago, eight girls (mostly bankers, one fashion girl, and me) gathered together at J‘s place in Sai Ying Pun to appreciate underappreciated veggies and chat. Some made dishes from scratch (okra cornmeal pancakes, fennel salad with a citrus dressing, cabbage pork wraps), while others brought food (guacamole and chips, cheese pizza).

A simple, quiet, different Saturday morning in Hong Kong.

Steps…so simple, no one really needs this list but…

  1. Curate guest list of people who you think would be interested in such a party
  2. Invite guests, asking each person to bring a dish featuring an underappreciated vegetable
  3. On the day, ask each person to share about their dish. Learn about and appreciate new veggies. Eat. Laugh. Have fun.


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