Hong Kong’s first Solar-Cooking Day at SHKP’s Ma Wan Park
Local families promote use of renewable energy
The bright sunny Sunday saw the launch of Hong Kong’s first ever Ma Wan Solar-Cooking Day. Sun Hung Kai Properties developed Ma Wan Park to promote positive values of love of life, family and the Earth. The Park’s Nature Garden is open to the public for free and is a perfect place for families to relax and have fun surrounded by lush green scenery. There will be a number of Explore Ma Wan activities in the Nature Garden in keeping with the developer’s ideal of ’Building Homes with Heart’ starting with Ma Wan Solar-Cooking Day. Japanese solar-cooker designer Takizawa Motoharu, Open University dean of Science and Technology Kin Chung Ho, noted chef Kannis Yeung and Ma Wan Park manager Edmond Wong introduced Japanese solar cookers and took part in a cooking fest with local green families to make a range of mouth-watering dishes. Members of the public were able to try preparing sun cuisine and learned how to use renewable energy to protect the environment.
Solar cooking at Ma Wan as interest in renewable energy grows
Solar technology is developing rapidly. Early this year a Finnish chef introduced a project for mobile restaurants powered by solar energy, and YouTube videos showing solar cooking in cars have been popular in Europe, the United States and China. And just recently, the solar-powered catamaran MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar was in Hong Kong. Ma Wan Solar-Cooking Day encouraged people in Hong Kong to try solar cooking and enjoy nature with workshops for families, a green living tour and more.
"Ma Wan Park promotes the positive values of love of life, family and the Earth,” said Edmond Wong. “The Nature Garden is a perfect place for families to relax and have fun with lush green scenery everywhere, and it is open to the public for free. We are following the developer’s ‘building homes with heart’ ideal with a series of Explore Ma Wan activities, starting with Solar-Cooking Day. Ma Wan Park uses renewable energy and we have a renewable energy base in the Park to raise public awareness of the subject. Now, with Japanese solar-cooking technology, families can experience the benefits that solar cooking brings: efficiency, no pollution and natural. The project promotes green living with renewable energy to protect our environment."
Japanese solar-cooker designer and local academic on renewable energy
Japanese solar-cooker designer Takizawa Motoharu was at Hong Kong’s first solar-cooking event to explain solar-cooking techniques and his experience with solar cooking in Japan, as well as the opportunities for using renewable energy.
Mr Takizawa said: “Solar cookers are very popular in Japan with 70% of the schools using them and over 10% of households. This proves that solar cooking is becoming part of people’s daily lives. After the big earthquake in northeast Japan earlier this year, the rescue teams also used solar cookers as one of the relief measures.” Mr Takizawa said that Hong Kong people are generally well off and lead busy lives, which doesn’t leave them much chance to be in touch with nature, so they forget about the joy our natural environment can bring. He hoped that the Ma Wan Solar-Cooking Day would raise awareness of energy conservation in the community. It should also encourage Hong Kong families to enjoy sun cuisine in the outdoors and savour the sunshine and fine food to live a green life and promote awareness of environmental issues.
Kin Chung Ho believes that we should promote solar cooking in Hong Kong, as it is environmentally friendly and healthy. He has done extensive research on environmental and conservation issues and said that charcoal grilling, conventional flame cooking or induction cooking that has gained popularity in recent years inevitably consume finite energy, so renewable energy such as solar power is the only way to truly achieve energy efficiency. Professor Ho said: “There are presently few opportunities for families in Hong Kong to use renewable energy. Most of the devices for renewable energy are made for educational purposes or commercial use. Solar cookers are very popular overseas and are suitable for families in Hong Kong. Besides the educational value and novelty, solar cooking is also a practical use of renewable energy for families. Once you try it, you will see that leading a green life is not as difficult as you imagine.”
Celebrity chef demonstrates sun cuisine
Celebrity chef Kannis Yeung couldn’t wait to try the solar cookers. She was full of new ideas and created a sun cuisine menu especially for Solar Cooking day. Chef Kannis showed five local green families how to cook nine dishes of sun cuisine with Oyapika and Karupika solar cookers. She used the high-power Oyapika cooker to make cajun fillet of fish with tomato corn salsa, stir-fried shrimp with tri-colour peppers, spicy chicken wings and pan-fried king prawns with tomatoes. She said: “Solar cooking may take three or four times longer but because of this, the moisture of the food is locked in making it taste better”.
Energy consumption comparison for the four-course sun cuisine menu
|Sun cuisine||Energy consumption watts / hour|
|Flame cooking||Induction cooking||Solar cooking|
|Cajun fillet of fish with tomato corn salsa||420||167||0|
|Stir-fried shrimps with tri-colour peppers||525||300||0|
|Spicy chicken wings||630||233||0|
|Pan-fried king prawns with tomatoes||525||200||0|
The local families used the medium-power Karupika model to make chicken salad with peach, tofu soup, spicy bean bisque, tomato spaghetti and green tea / red bean dumplings. This was the first time they used solar cookers, but they enjoyed the process and found that solar cookers are easier to use than they thought. As they don’t use open fire or electricity, parents felt safe to let their children take part, and it seemed like an experiment rather than a cookery lesson.
Workshops, green living tours and solar-cooking family menus
Solar-Cooking Day also included family workshops, green living tours and solar-cooked family meals combo to encourage local families to experience the joy of solar cooking.
The Oyapika and Karupika solar cookers will remain at Ma Wan Park after Solar-Cooking Day to promote green living, and the Park’s Liberal Learning Centre will host regular green living tours to Explore Sunny Renewable Energy, Explore Sunny Ma Wan Village and a Sunny Experience two-day holiday camp.
Solar-Cooking Day was the first of a series of Explore Ma Wan activities for families to highlight the park’s themes: Family – Solar Cooking, Love – Nature Wedding, Art – Eco Art Jam and Nature – Tree Blossom to let everyone enjoy Ma Wan’s natural beauty and convey the messages of love and family.