Updated: Sep 26
All photography and food by Georginia Tang @Georgekitchen copyright 2023.
【Finnish Fusion : the new taste of Finnish-French-Asian Fusion recipes 】
I once made a belated New Year’s resolution in the middle of 2020: go closer to nature and share the “Taste of Finland” with everyone!
As for my new year’s resolution for 2024, it will be: To change an old New Year Resolution into an achievable goal for this year !
Sima with Jasmine Flower & Goji
Another new year is about to begin.
Do you have any new plans, new dreams, or new expectations?
Every year, while the handover between the old and the new year comes, we are always full of hope and carry mixed feelings towards our life. Yet what turns out at end of the year is always a bit surprising. How has the year has flown by so quickly?!
People are always full of hope and expectation while welcoming the New Year. For every new year, we make new wishes, hoping all the past can be eased, hoping we could be another new self, and we that can start all over again, as soon as the clock strikes midnight and the New
Year fireworks light up.
Assorted Fusion Sima
Is New Year really just about taking off old clothes, putting on new clothes, blessing each other, and congratulating each other for the year ahead?
New year celebrations remind me of Cinderella in the fairy tale. When the clock strikes midnight, what she welcomes is not a "new year" or a "new day", but the reversion to her original self, her "real self". Returning to the original, simple self may make people feel a little disappointed. However, I believe that everything has to start from "your original true self"! Even in a fairy tale happy ending, there is that moment of "returning to oneself". Similarly, our life would not be fulfilled if we cannot be true to ourselves.
The older I get, the more I realize that there are actually many life lessons that can be learnt from fairy tales. In the new year, I hope that all your wishes and dreams will lead you a step closer to your true self.
When I look back 2020, it seems that I have been living a great life. I then I asked myself this: after living four years in Finland, trying new things, new foods, new cultures, and gaining new knowledge, did I truly gain a deeper understanding of myself?
Am I able to accept and love myself more?
Looking back, the answer is yes. (So these four years in Finland were not in vain, *laugh*…)
Coffee & Cappuccino Jelly Goji & Green Tea Ice-cream Mango & Coconut Piimä Pudding
In 2024, I shall put aside all excuses and doubts, and bravely try any field that interests me. I will work hard, study hard, share hard, and believe that life will eventually lead me towards a goal with a different path that is more in line with the original purpose of my life.
For me, I hope that 2024 will allow me to understand myself more deeply than before, and bring me closer to the path I want to take. This path, for me at this moment, is nature: the wild flowers and weeds in nature, the wisdom / prescriptions / diet / healing and, last but not least, the LIFE in nature.
As fate had it, I stayed in Finland from 2020 as a result of the epidemic. Since I grew up in a simple walled village, Ping Shan Heritage Trail in Hong Kong, I easily and naturally established a connection with the nature of Finland. In my childhood, in the walled village, our family cooked according to the four seasons and the 24 solar terms. The seasons dictate which seasonal flowers, vegetables and fruits are available, and therefore used to prepare both daily dishes and festival food.
Lihapiirakka with Curry Minced Meat Fillings
& Fusion Lihapiirakka
During the past four years, besides learning Finnish food culture, I also learnt Finnish cuisine and baking with my
Finnish best friend, Anu, who is a baking master in Finland. It was she who also encouraged me to go into the wilds of Finland to forage.
In spring, I picked wild plants to make salads, soups, pancakes, and bread. In the forest of the late Finnish summer, I used wild flowers to make jam, juice, and
fragranced water. By autumn, I was no longer afraid of getting lost in the forest, and I learned to identify and pick different wild mushrooms, and use them for food, soup, and tea. As a result, I truly experienced what “you are what you eat” truly means. In winter, when everything was thought to be hibernating, many treasures can still be found in nature. Coincidentally, while I was enjoying the comfort brought to me by natural wild flowers and herbs, I also felt very fortunate to be able to combine them with my grandfather’s traditional Chinese medicinal principles. Traditional Chinese food, always prepared with medical principles in mind, combine well with Finnish aromatherapy principles. It convinced me that nature can bring so much healing and support to all of us.
These leads me to think of what I value in my life and what I sincerely want to do, and to be.
When I was young, I wrote in my school essay that I would become a "veterinarian" in the future. Although I gave up veterinary studies while in Murdoch University in Australia and chose to graduate from the Kingston University with a "fashion design major" in UK, then I ended up having to work in my family’s restaurant business as the third generation in the business. However, I did not like to work at our family restaurant after school during my teens. It’s funny how things turn out in life: as the wheels of fate turn, I am now a chef, culinary teacher and an cookbook author.
Dumplings with Chicken and Finnish Herbs Beetroot and Rutabaga Xiaolongbao
I constantly think of the days when I was in high school in Australia. After class every day, I would go home, finish my homework and housework, then work in the kitchen of our family restaurant. Since I was a child, I have been absorbing my parents’ chat on food therapy at the dinner table. I also inherited my grandmother’s traditional walled village cooking skills through observation and helping out in the kitchen. In my childhood, I learned the craftsmanship of a Chinese dim sum from my master chef aunt, and learned to grow flowers, vegetables and fruits from my grandfather. It is from such beginnings that the knowledge of plants and food, and the skills involved in merging them into cuisine grew in me. As a result, I have been able to fully absorb the beauty that Finnish natural plants as well as the principles of dietary therapy that are available in the wild flower, herbs and berries here in Finland.
Goji Blue Berry Oat Milk Porridge Green Tea Lingonberry Cream Cheese Mochi
In fact, cooking, nature, health, food therapy and art have always been the fields I am most interested in. Now, by chance, I have begun to have more connections with nature, which may indicate that I should try to learn more in this field. Therefore, I have always wanted to have a dedicated platform/cookbook to share not just beautiful nature photos but much more.
For example, why do Finns eat a certain natural ingredient in a certain season?
What nutrients or functions does it have, and what soothing effect it may bring when you feel uncomfortable?
A certain herb?
Besides being delicious and healing, what is its cultural significance?
I have written in my next cookbook that Finland is the Silicon Valley of health food. Many Finnish foods are delicious and good for health. I eat and drink them every day nowadays. Pan Fried Salmon with Turmeric Butter Wild Mushrooms
What kind of nutrition can the Finnish food products bring to people, and how can they naturally become a part of life? At the same time, it also provides opportunities for friends who like them to buy and taste them.
Moreover, I always felt that it was difficult to eat "vegetarian food" in Finland since Finland has a short summer. After all, the weather in the north is cold and the markets are small, so there are very few "vegetables" on the market. I gradually discovered that God will provide food for different regions. People have different dietary treasures. There are many vegans and vegetarians in Finland. The key lies in discovering and understanding what is available, and making the best use of them. The Finns have an unlimited repertoire on food preservation techniques. I want to share the results of my experiments while learning about ingredients and nutrition.
Food and nature are so deeply connected in Finland. The more you explore Finnish food, the more interesting it becomes, and that makes me want to share even more. Although the desire to share "Finnish health products, natural herbs, and food culture" has existed for many years, I have managed to "systematically gather these information, products and recipes" for everyone to share.
In 2024, I decide not to procrastinate any further. I decided to let go of all the people and things that were not really important, and seriously promised myself a natural year. Carefully record, explore, learn, and share every experience in Finnish nature and every encounter with plants, so that my audience can better understand the rhythm of nature with my whole body, and transform this Finnish “nature path” into part of my life plan and career.
Starting from being curious toward a new country’s cuisine and moving forward with enthusiasm, I don’t know where I will go. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Therefore, I am writing several new recipe books since I live in Finland: "Finnish Fusion-the new taste of Finnish-French-Asian recipes", Taste of Finland…etc.
The first draft of the new recipe book is slowly being built up, and maybe it will be adjusted naturally as I go along. In short, I will give it a brave try first. At least I know that I want to live in nature and use nature more deeply. I want to introduce the Finnish foods that I really love and promote them, and at the same time share them. I hope that more people can live a healthier and more natural life together. This is the promise I made to myself.
Assorted Fish & Seafood Finnish Fusion Recipes
Finnish Pancake with Smoked Salmon and Herbs of Provence
I have been sharing my "Taste of Finland" for four years, and now I hope to share : "Finnish Fusion : the new taste of Finnish-French-Asian recipes " in the near future. And tell you why I fell in love with Finnish food.
The past 4 years, I invited you to taste the local food of Finland. Four years later, in 2024, I want to invite you to go into nature, into the source of everything, to rediscover Finnish food with a hint of French and Asian fusion along with Finnish taste. I am a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, and hold a Grand Diplôme on French cuisine and patisserie (and chocolate and sugar art). I am also a professional Chinese chef.
Five Spices Hash Brown with Sour Cream & Smoked Salmon
" Finnish Fusion: the new taste of Finnish-French-Asian recipes ", in fact, the food and the principles of life are all in it. I have always believed that nature contains not only art inspiration, but also profound life wisdom. Finland has the best ingredients, as well as the most natural vitamins and prescriptions.
As always, I will continue to share my daily food thoughts.
" Finnish Fusion: the taste of Finnish-French-Asian recipes " starts from another perspective and uses "Fusion" as the axis to introduce and share Finnish food culture and recipes that we encounter in life, as well as Finnish traditional therapies and natural wisdom. I hope that through these recipes, I will push myself to continue to learn and share everything about nature and diet. On the other hand, I hope that people who like Finland will know more about the nutritious ingredients of Finland in the north, and even have the opportunity to taste them and feel the beauty Finnish food brings.
I also wish that you will have a more transparent and closer-to-nature attitude in the new year, see themselves more clearly, and be able to realize their dreams. I believe that the more people can sincerely do what they like and turn their dreams into life, the better the world will be. I hope that we can all move closer to ourselves while moving towards our dreams.
I wish you all the best here! This is my thought that I would like to share with you:
"Integrate your inner and outer self, give yourself new possibilities and a new starting point, and make the new year more in line with the original path and purpose of your life. Share food, share live, c'est ma vie"
This sentence completely resonates with my expectations for the new year. I will keep this in mind since I would love to share my experience in Finland. And by writing my " Finnish Fusion Cookbook" I hope to introduce Finnish food and culture into Hong Kong, China markets and vice versa.
Hopefully this cookbook would become the bridge of food culture between Finland and Hong Kong, China, with a touch of French taste too.
Let’s enjoy life, C’est la vie & hyvää ruokahalua!