Ok, finally I gave in. I decided to give Secret Ingredient a go, after almost every other HK blogger and most of my friends and colleagues have tried it.
The concept is easy, you order the fresh ingredients, they get delivered to your doorstep and you follow the very simple cooking instructions.
Every ingredient is wrapped up in a separate bag or container that’s marked by a letter. Then you follow the instructions, which are easy: add in half of ‘B’ olive oil to pan, carefully add the ‘A’ Japanese spiced tuna etc. Every step includes a picture and tells you how long it should take.
The clever thing is, it tells you which step to start with – that’s one thing I sometimes find confusing, if I cook a dinner that combines two or three recipes (e.g. the tuna is marinated and than pan-fried, the cucumbers are marinated and spiced, the stir fry needs miso paste) I sometimes struggle with the order of preparations. Do I cook the noodles now, or do I fear that they will get cold and soggy? How long will it take for the tuna to rest, before I need to stir fry the vegetables?
So Secret Ingredient lays this all out for you – and the ingredients are already prepared too! The garlic is sliced, the spring onions are cut, the cucumbers are pickled etc. So you can really prepare the dish in about 15 minutes!
I managed to follow the instructions without problems (it probably doesn’t count that I had to fight a few times with Sam, who felt that he should be involved in cooking) and prepared a nice portion of tuna with noodles and vegetables.
Not only did it look nice, but it also tasted good! Overall the verdict was that we both enjoyed the dish, the portion size was good and it all tasted very nice.
There are a few downsides, for instance it is quite expensive (275 HKD for two) and you get a lot of packaging with all the individual bags and wraps (but the packaging is biodegradable and you can return the ice packs). Also, I would like to know a bit more about what was inside the miso-butter sauce and what the tuna steaks were marinated in – especially if I had guests with food allergies!
But overall it is a nice concept, especially if you can’t come up with ‘what’s for dinner tonight’ and you want to try different recipes – Secret Ingredient also partners with chefs and restaurants so you can try their signature dishes. The menu changes regularly, so check out their Facebook page!
And if you like my picture (and want me to cook from Secret Ingredient for free – which would be a nice treat), like my picture here. THANKS!