After receiving formal training at Pru Leith’s in London, Pam Shookman worked in a number of London restaurants and ran the test kitchen for Eric Treuille at Books for Cooks in Notting Hill. She spent many years living and eating across east Asia, including periods in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong. She was food editor for Time Out Beijing, contributed to Slow Food and The Insider’s Guide to Beijing and ran cooking classes.

As her book was going to press Pam was diagnosed with cancer from which she subsequently died in London. She was passionate about helping people to cook and to use fresh local ingredients. She enjoyed high-end dining but it was street food, in all its quirky local manifestations, that really excited her. This book is a reflection of that commitment to the fresh and the local. She intended that it should be of practical use, carried into markets, becoming stained and dog-eared in the process.

The publication of this book following her death is due in no small measure to the enthusiastic support of Tony Tan, author of Tony Tan’s Hong Kong, and her husband, Peter Wood. All royalties go to the Hong Kong Cancer Fund.