About Kayiu

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Saucy Spatula Kayiu Ho

I grew up knowing food, tasting food, and making food. My mom is my biggest influence. She was once a great chef and had ran our family restaurant 14 hours a day, 362 days a year. She was the Iron Chef. There’s also my older brother who cooked with her day in and day out on thousands of lunches and dinners. Cooking in my family is not just food, it’s how we bond.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Hong Kong, then moved the States and became a New Englander for about 6 years before becoming a New Yorker.

So you’re Chinese?

Yes, by ethnicity. Most of the time, I say that I’m Cantonese and from Hong Kong. To really get down to the technicality, I am a British colony-born Hong Kong Chinese. And I’m also a Hakka.

How does your background shape who you are as an food enthusiast?

The restaurant that my family ran when I was younger is all about traditional Hong Kong-style food – what you’d normally find at a Cha chaan teng. It’s a fast-paced, hectic environment during rush hours. I learned a lot from my Mom in all those years that I helped out at the restaurant.

Growing up with such a great combination of backgrounds of being a Hakka and living in colonial Hong Kong. I was exposed to an amazing food culture at a young age. At home, my Ah Gong (grandfather) could be cooking a traditional Hakka dish while my mom boils a pot of pasta in the same kitchen. There are always choices when it comes to food in Hong Kong and those choices have built up my palate and desire to explore new tastes.

Are you professionally trained in the culinary field?

No way, Jose. I’m a home cook. I pick up new skills and inspiration from reading and testing recipes in my kitchen.

So what do you do as a profession?

I currently work as a Graphic & Web Designer in a marketing agency in New York. However, I first learned to love print design, in High School then later in Pratt Institute.

You work as a designer — why start a food blog?

I really enjoy food and anything to do with it, it’s something that I hold dearly in my heart. In the past, through my job at Babble, I was exposed and introduced to some great food bloggers like Smitten Kitchen, Joy the Baker, Blogging Over Thyme, 101 Cookbooks, A Cozy Kitchen, etc… I was inspired so I started putting together this blog in 2012.

What are you trying to achieve with Saucy Spatula?

Saucy Spatula is a platform for me to share my passion, my background, and continue to explore my heritage through cooking. I want to share the food I grew up eating in Hong Kong, and new dishes that I was influenced and inspired to create.

Food is never just food. The engine that drives food to places is culture and history, and it’s important to know and question where ingredients come from to understand and appreciate food.



Connecting with me is easy – feel free to drop me a note via social media! And of course e-mails are always welcome. If you have a bigger note to send through, fly those to SaucySpatula(at)gmail(dot)com, and I’ll be sure to reply as soon as I can!



Any photographs and content on this blog may not be duplicated or republished without permission. If you would like to share a recipe, please use your own words and provide appropriate credit with a link back to the original post. Thanks!


Hey, thanks for checking out my about page. It means a lot to me that you’re here! Enjoy browsing around and let me know if you need anything.

Have fun!

  • Tambra

    I’ve just been searching the Internet for any “real” Hong Kong style recipes. I ran across your blog and was thrilled to see something I found that I have been searching for since I was a child… Which was your version of the iced red bean and coconut milk recipe… I grew up living next door to a family from Hong Kong, and can remember on a hot summers day being given the best treat ever! ” frozen red bean Popsicles” ! My neighbors ,which I dearly called hah gong and hah boo (sp?) fed me as often as I could barge into their kitchen!! ( lol) I’m originally from NY but live in AZ now.. To my dismay you can not find this style or flavor of cooking anywhere here… I will be trying all these recipes! I’ve longed for the taste of my childhood!
    Thank you

    • Saucy Spatula

      Ooooooh! I love those red bean popsicles! One of my favorite summer treats as well :) Ah Gong and Ah Por treated you well it seems!

      Thank you for stopping by Tambra! And thank you for leaving a message. Love hearing about your story!

      • Tambra

        Question… Could I do this recipe for those Popsicles? I remember Ah Por making a soup first… Than freezing them… I’m assuming that if I follow your recipe it would come very close.
        Thank you for the reply

        • Saucy Spatula

          The iced red bean recipe is actually a play on a common summer drink that you can get at a cha chaan teng in HK. So it wasn’t meant for making the red bean popsicle. However, I would guess that if you have the ratio correct between the coconut milk, water, sugar, and red bean.. it might come out of the freezer just fine! Ah Por probably make the liquid first by heating up coconut milk, sugar, and the red bean then pour into a mold for freezing? Good luck!

  • Kevin Li

    Hey Nice Blog, I’m similar to you. Canadian born New Yorker Canto who loves cooking and living in Brooklyn! Keep up the great recipes..

    • Saucy Spatula

      Thanks for stopping by Kevin! Hope you enjoy the content!

  • Greentealatte1

    My mom is from Hong Kong so I’ve been looking for Hong Kong inspired food blogs! Happy to find yours.

    • Saucy Spatula

      Glad you came across my blog and leaving a message! Enjoy!


    Just stumbled upon your blog while doing research about Hakka food and culture. It’s great to see others interested in promoting the culture as well! I enjoyed reading about your background. I’m compiling a worldwide Hakka restaurant list. Do you know of any Hakka restaurants in the New York area other than the Tangra restaurants that are mentioned in The Hakka Cookbook? They don’t necessarily have to serve “Hakka” food, just owned/operated by Hakka people. Any input you have would be appreciated!
    – Lilian Ling

    • Saucy Spatula

      I wish I know! I’ve actually have not come across a Hakka restaurant in NY. There might be some here that are owned by Hakka people but I couldn’t have known. I love your idea of compiling a list of Hakka restaurants. Good luck! And thanks for stopping by!

  • nc

    Love your blog. Did you ever eat at New South Wind in Chinatown before it closed? I’m looking for their Hakka recipes!

    • Saucy Spatula

      Thanks nc! No, I never ate at New South Wind :( Wish I had though! There’s so many types of Hakka.. Are you also a Hakka?

  • Tommy Cheng

    Nice blog. I’m picky about food, but very newbie in cooking. Your recipes seem easy enough to follow. Thanks! Haven’t had HK style french toast in a while and tempted to make your recipe. Does the pan frying get a close enough texture?

    • Saucy Spatula

      Thanks for stopping by! Pan-frying is not the same as deep-frying so you won’t get that super crunch. The HK style french toast on the blog is my take on it for making it at home without deep-frying, and as an healthier alternative! :)

  • Josephine chan

    Loving the blog! Keep up the good work.

    • Saucy Spatula

      Thanks Josephine! See you around 😉

  • JiaYin Zhang

    Interesting girl, So you can read Chinese right?

    • Saucy Spatula

      I can read and write Traditional Chinese but not so much Simplified Chinese :)

      p.s. I love browsing your instagram photos!

      • JiaYin Zhang

        haha .enjoy reading yours too~! have a nice day ahead!!~