Countdown to Hong Kong : – 7 Days


To take part in the Media Bathtub Race during the Dragon Boat Carnival, we had to sign a form declaring that we can swim at least 100m with light clothing. Safety is paramount. So I guess that’s why I was asked to participate. My waist has a natural float. It is the size of a bicycle tyre now with the potential of growing into a Michelin.

And going to Hong Kong isn’t going to help since there are as many restaurants there as there are shopping districts. So I guess that sort of cancels each other out, right? You eat, and then get trim shopping. No wonder so many Hong Kongers are so slim despite their penchant for siu ngaap (roast duck), char siew (roast pork) and dim sum.

For me, chow dao fu (smelly beancurd) with a steaming hot bowl of cow’s heart and pig intestine is a must when in Hong Kong. I know they don’t sound very appetizing, and the stinky tofu smells like the sewage, but once you get past the stench, they’re really tasty.

Never judge a book by its cover. Never judge a food by its odour.

But of course, those street foods are gonna jam up the bad cholesterol level. So I’m taking the save-now-spend-later approach. I’m watching what I eat for every meal at the moment so as to calm the body before the storm.

Breakfast is a delicious and nutritious meal of oatmeal and raisins with soya milk, lunch is an appetising and mouthwatering bowl of fish soup (with no rice or noodles), and dinner… Well, it’s the last meal of the day so I spoil myself. I do housework with my tongue. I eat dust.

That, of course, is a fast diet to lose the float in a week. But who am I kidding? No matter how much I psyche myself up, when mealtime comes, my mind says eat fit food, my legs say go to the gym, while my hands pays the char kway teow hawker.

“Today is the day I’m starting and sticking to my diet.” Problem is, I say this every day. So I shall put it in words now, and the world as my witness, that for the next 8 days, I’m going to eat healthily. This morning I had the oatmeal breakfast, lunch I had seafood soup with noodles, and dinner I cooked brown rice and this…

Hong Kong-style Steamed Fish is my favouritest way of cooking fish because it is relatively fuss-free and it’s very appetizing with rice. Here’s my recipe for this simple yet looks-like-it-took-a-lot-of-effort dish.

Ingredients :

Serves 2 – 3 people

Fish – 300g (I used White Threadfin here but you can also use Garoupa or Sea Bass)
Light Soya Sauce – 2 tablespoons
Water – 6 tablespoons (3:1 ratio between soya sauce and water)
Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon
Sugar – 1 teaspoon
Chinese Cooking Wine (Hua Diao Jiu) – 3 tablespoon
Spring Onions, Chinese Parsley, Young Ginger (amounts according to preference)

Cooking Method :

1. Have the fishmonger gut the fish and ask for a ‘butterfly cut’ (slices both sides of the fish so that the flesh opens up like wings). Asked for it to be lightly scored too.

2. Wash the fish thoroughly with water, then rinse it with the Chinese Cooking Wine to coat it. The idea is not to soak or marinate it in the wine.

3. Slice ginger into fine strips and stuff them into the scores of the fish.

4. Finely slice Spring Onions and break Parsley into segments. Leave aside.

5. Heat up the wok and when the water is boiling, put the fish in to steam at high heat. A fish this size takes about 10 mins.

6. At the meantime, pour Soya Sauce, Water, Olive Oil, and Sugar and bring to boil. This is the sauce.

7. Remove the cooked fish and put it on a flat plate. Pour sauce over the fish and garnish with Spring Onions and Parsley.

Here’s a tip for steaming fish so that you get the nice butterfly form. If you just steam it on a flat plate, sometimes the fish meat gets stuck to the plate and disintegrates when you attempt to move it.

Now enjoy your Hong Kong-style Steamed Fish… while I look forward to the dinner aboard a traditional Chinese Junk in Hong Kong next week! Ha. :o)


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