Archive for July, 2011

Khana Khazana (Indian in HK)

Thoroughly enjoyed the Southern and Northern Indian sampler platters. The standouts were a coconut chutney that was pureed, spinach/vegetable logs and a deep fried lentil donut. Indian cuisines are incredibly diverse…so much to learn!

Southern platter!

Northern platter!

Milk tea experience

I’ve been told that Hong Kong locals frequently suffer from sore throats and that milk tea (bubble tea) is often a soothing remedy and tasty. I ordered a mango green tea with tapioca pearls and found it refreshing on a particularly humid evening.

a small piece of the menu

Martha Sherpa Cooking Course: Dim Sum

I had a humbling cooking experience trying to make dim sum yesterday at Martha Sherpa’s Cooking School in Mongkok. We made five different types of dumplings/potstickers. All dishes had the same filling, ground pork belly and chives, but each dough was slightly different. I consider myself more of a cook than a baker, but I realize the need to become comfortable with making my own dough. In this case it is for asian dim sum, but I should venture into Italian pasta making as well.

Each dumpling required precision measuring on an electric scale (in grams), different dough folding techniques, and several cooking methods (boiling, frying, steaming). I have a number of items to pick-up in Chinatown when I get home, a worthy investment.

The chili sauce and homemade spice infused soy sauce were so delicious. And freshly steamed buns and dumplings are not only fun to eat but fun to bring friends together for the cooking process. (almost a necessity for the amount of work required) I look forward to experimenting with different types of fillings.

Boiled dumplings in red oil sauce

Kothay (Potstickers with pork)

Sound Jean Bao (Pan fried pork buns)

Siao Lung Bao (steam dumplings with pork and soup filling)

Tsui Wah Restaurant (HK)

“super local place” according to Ceci. 🙂 This diner looking restaurant has three floors, not including a fourth VIP floor, and was packed when we went for dinner on a Wednesday night in Central. I allowed my HK friends to choose our dishes: pork cartilage with instant noodles, beef tendon and brisket, and prawns with fried noodles. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked all three dishes, even the tendon! The tendon and cartilage was a jelly-like consistency and the flavor was a rich beefy/porky stock. Great adventure!

Pork cartilage, yummy

Beef tendon and brisket with 'brisket sauce'

First fish purchase at the wet market!

I did it. I pointed to a whole live fish at the wet market and they filleted it up for me on the spot. It was black and the fish mongerette mentioned the name in chinese…no idea what kind it actually was. No matter, I was the proud owner of two fresh fish fillets. During the butchering process, the woman held up the head and backbone of the fish and gestured, ‘would you like this as well?’ I nodded ‘no, thank you’ and immediately felt the disdain in her look (or perhaps judged myself) on the wastefulness of leaving the bones behind. A fish stock would be only 30-45 minutes away…but, alas, for next time.

Now for steaming. I hadn’t thought much of steaming anything in my dishes, let alone meats. But I have noticed here that ovens are rare and the main cooking techniques are by wok or steaming. By the good reason that steaming would keep fish more moist, I decided that my fresh fish would have to go this route. I bought a bamboo steamer to place in the wok for 1USD. I seasoned the fish with garlic, dill, lemon, olive oil and salt/pepper. After 10 minutes of steaming, which may have been too long for fillets versus a whole fish, I had delicious meat morsels! I am a steaming of fish convert.

Tender and flaky.

Congee Noodle King (HK)

On the suggestion of eating congee thanks to a friend and the suggestion of place by openrice.com, I visited Congee Noodle King in Central, HK. Although I had a wide variety of animal digestive tract parts to choose from, I found myself in a vegetarian mood and chose the chinese mushroom congee. The rice porridge came out warm, smooth and flavorful. The bland looking exterior belies a rich soup base and tasty mushrooms to finish the meal. I was only adventurous with the unidentified sauces to add soy sauce, but I’d imagine I missed a few good flavors by skipping them. The shop itself was small and full of atmosphere. While the waitress didn’t speak English, the menu was in both languages so my pointing to a dish worked well enough. A great first congee experience!

Yumm.

Cute shop front

Oh the choices...

Hullet House Afternoon Tea (HK)

Perhaps one of my favorite afternoon tea services thus far in life. The tea was flavorful and hot. The tea sandwiches were a mix of traditional and smart experimental. The plain and raisin scones came out warm with cream and jams to coat. And each of the desserts were beautiful, unique and tasty. Additionally, the view and heritage site of The Parlour was exceptional.

Lovely.

FMIOTW: Mustard Greens (HK)

As simple as fresh greens are, I never get sick of them. I was pleasantly surprised by the slight spicy kick of these mustard greens from Kadoorie Farm. A quick toss in the frying pan with some onion, garlic, salt and pepper and you have a healthy side dish.

don't let mundane appearances fool you!

Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Gardens (HK)

Kadoorie Farm is accessible by public transportation and is only an hour outside of Hong Kong. It seems like a nature preserve where the organization is trying to exemplify responsible mountainside farming practices. It is so much more than an organic farm. Along with the chubby pig below, there were photo-perfect views after every set of stairs…good motivation. AND, it was only 1.50USD admission!

Also, I had the most delicious banana of my life. It had a hearty texture and tasted slightly like an apple, not pithy at all.

what?

The fog set the mood.

Mountainside farming

FMIOTW: Lychee (HK)

I decided to buy an unidentified fruit at Mongkok market this past Wednesday. A friend later revealed that they were lychee! I had no idea that the clear, juicy lychee fruit was covered in a reddish shell.

mystery solved. i will buy more than 5 next time.

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