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What I ate this week – Hong Kong

August 14, 2015

Hello hello long time no chat lovelies!

If you’ve been following me on Instagram then you’d know that I’m off in Asia at the moment. As much as I love blogging and sharing recipes with you all, I’ve just been trying to concentrate on spending time with family so excuse my lack of posts for the next little while.

Since I haven’t exactly been able to get myself in a properly baking supply stocked kitchen I’ve decided to do a series of posts on what I’ve been eating since I’ve been here!

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My granny loves going to the village areas by the water to buy both fresh and dried seafood. She’s not really allowed to eat too much of it for health reasons but since she rarely comes out to this area and likes to indulge we let her a bit of shellfish every time we come out to Lau Fau Shan.

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We don’t normally stay late enough for dinner but we got hungry and decided to eat here for once. Plus, my granny was feeling extra naughty that day and wanted to have some shellfish.

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We ordered these steamed scallops that were topped off with glass noodles, garlic and scallions.

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The scallops were so big and flavorful! As much as I love the benefits of living by the Pacific back in Vancouver, the scallops we have back home pale in comparison to these ones!

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Next up was something I’ve never had before…sea snails! They were really chewy and you dip them in this soy and vinegar based sauce. I wasn’t a huge fan of them so I only had a couple.

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Last but not least of the shellfish we had was this type of clam. I’ve never seen it before and don’t really know what it’s called but it was firm and chewy. It was prepared similarly to the scallops, steamed with garlic on top.

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Then for dessert, me and my granny got tea cakes and maltose crackers. The tea cakes are similar to Japanese mochi where it has a glutinous rice dough on the outside but instead of having a sweet filling, it’s a more savory one that usually consists of veggies and a protein. My granny loves the ones from here because the dough on the outside isn’t too thick and the granny who sells them packs it full of veggies! I literally grew up on these  and maltose crackers so it was such a nostalgic treat for me to have!

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The next day I went out with my cousin and her family for dinner and boy can they handle the heat! They asked me if I was okay with eating fish or spicy things and of course I said yes since those are two things that I adore…except little did I know that this would arrive at the table!

The amount of chili peppers on it made the hotpot mouth numbing but it was just SO good. The fish was flash fried so it was crispy on the outside while staying perfectly moist on the inside. And the pickled veggies in it added the perfect bit of balance to the heat. As much as I wanted to stop eating it because I felt like my mouth was on fire…I was addicted.

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After having such a stomach straining dinner the night before, I decided to start my day with a bowl of fruit.

Two of my go to must have fruits here is the milk banana and the wax apple. You can’t get these back in Vancouver so I make sure I get my fix of them while I’m here.

Milk bananas are starchier than the “regular” calabash bananas we’re used to and they have a almost creamy custard like texture to them. Wax or rose apples don’t really have a flavor to them since all they’re really made up of is water and cellulose fibres but that’s what makes them interesting to me.

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I ended up deciding to only have one of each so I could save the rest for the next day so I had a “white biscuit” instead. These Chinese style biscuits are soft, chewy and are oh so addicting. They’re slightly sweetened and I seriously can’t get over it’s texture because I’ve never encountered anything like it before and unfortunately I have yet to find a recipe for them so I can’t replicate them at home 🙁 If you ever come here, you have to try them!

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Dinner that night was hotpot at Yoshinoya. Brother deer loves the terriyaki rice bowls here and has to come to this fast food restaurant at least once everytime he comes back to Hong Kong. I think it’s become more of a tradition than anything at this point actually.

Anyways, they started serving hot pot and I decided to get the one with the cheese tomato soup base, sweet potato noodles and chicken. Yeup…cheese…in soup. I didn’t really taste any of the cheese in the soup though so it wasn’t too strange.

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I usually have the same breakfast everyday so I’m going to just skip to lunch on this one. I was out shopping and stumbled upon this Malaysian style cafe. Oddly enough, they don’t actually serve toast boxes here.

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I decided to try the laksa noodle soup. The broth was really rich in coconut flavor and the shrimps were cooked to perfection. I don’t think I’ve had a better laksa noodle soup but then again I rarely order this dish so I don’t have much to go on comparison wise.

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One of the things I like to do when I’m out and about is to look for baking inspirations in bakeries which also means often times I’m enticed by the bread they have to offer!

So today instead of having a proper dinner, I decided to have a variety of buns instead. Heh. This is a cuttle fish bun which I presume is inspired by Japanese takoyaki (octopus balls) because it was filled with pieces of squid and topped with takoyaki sauce and bonito flakes.

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I also stumbled up on this cute Japanese bakery that day and picked up a few buns from there as well 🙂 Yup. I had 3 buns for dinner and they were all oh so delicious.

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I got the green bean sakura bun and the purple sweet potato bun from here because they looked unique. I didn’t think either bun was anything special when I tried them though. They weren’t very fluffy and I couldn’t really taste the green bean or the sweet potato despite the fact that the bun was laced with it.

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When in Hong Kong…you have to get bubble waffles! I absolutely adore this stuff but rarely get them back in Vancouver because they are so expensive ($4.50CAD). I mean they’re only $12HKD ($2CAD) a bag so how could I not take advantage of any opportunity to have them? So bubble waffles for breakfast it was!

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I had lunch with my cousin the next day at this Korean restaurant. Their menu was partially Western and Japanese influenced so they offered really interesting menu items.

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We got the traditional Korean tteokbokki (spicy rice cake) because we both love our rice cakes. My cousin can’t really handle spicy food but the menu said it was only level 2 in spiciness so we ended up getting it.

Well…it ended up being pretty darn spicy even for me and I love spicy food! And since I was the one who convinced my cousin to just go for it since “it probably won’t be that bad” I ended up having to gobble the whole bowl up on my own!

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We also decided to get a sampling of all their top selling sushi items. The red one is a beet root, shrimp and kimchi roll, the black is a squid ink and BBQ squid roll, and the yellow one was a curry chicken katsu roll. I thought that the use of natural dyes to colour the rice made the rolls really unique but they weren’t good enough for us to want to order it again.

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Of course you can’t end a girls day out without dessert so we went to this little cafe that served liquid nitrogen ice cream! I didn’t end up taking a picture of our visit this time so here’s photos from when we went back in December.

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Back then we got the gingerbread ice creamd and it was my first time having liquid nitrogen ice cream. It was soooooo much creamier than the stuff you get in the cartons and it was super awesome that we got to watch them make it in front of us!

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Before I go, here’s a few pictures of my granny’s amazing garden and all it’s wonderfulness. I swear she could start her own grocery stand since she has so many different plants in her garden! She has sweet potatoes, kumquats, papayas, carrots, bananas, kale, lettuce, a variety of Asian greens, chili peppers, longan, a variety of Asian gourds, green onion, and ginger!  PicMonkey Collage

One of the things I love the most about being here and spending time with her is learning her little tips and tricks about cooking and gardening 🙂 Afterall, grandparents are full of wisdom and knowledge! She showed me how she makes rice wine from scratch and although she didn’t let me help since she has a certain technique to making it, it was nice to hear about the process.

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Well, that just about wraps up my week, I hope you’re all having a fabulous summer and enjoying the sunshine as much as I am!

Hopefully I’ll be able to share with you all again real soon,

-Cynthia

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