19th November 2019
Hong Kong has for centuries been the epicentre for many things including commerce, trends and most importantly for us foodies, FOOD! I count myself lucky every single day that Hong Kong is my home from home and the foods which are only just becoming popular here in the West have been part of my diet since I was knee high to a grass hopper.
On my last visit I explored the hundreds of Dai Pai Dongs (Street Food Hawkers) that pepper the streets on every corner and in every nook and cranny. Street carts who specialise in just one dish whether that be freshly roasted duck or juicy wanton noodles. I’m still amazed at discovering that some of these run down stalls hold the coveted Michelin Star, something that here in the UK you have to display 5 star linen, glassware and service to attain.
Food eaten in Hong Kong is primarily Cantonese cuisine which I’m trained in, working as a Chef in Poppa Wan’s restaurant back in the late 80’s and 90’s. The head chef at the time (Mr Wong) trained in Hong Kong before he moved to England and passed over what he learnt to me as his junior sous chef.
The recipes that were taught to me I now pass on to you!
Fillet Beef and Black Beans
With Green Peppers, Onions and Birds Eye Chilli
Cantonese cooking perfection; with the rich, aromatic umami sauce emphasising the tender fillet beef, right through to the little bit of background heat from the fiery chillis.
A true Cantonese classic!
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 5 MINUTES
340g Fillet Beef (sliced into bite size slithers)
2 tbsp. of Fermented black beans
1 large Garlic clove (finely chopped)
1 Onion chopped into chunks
1 Green pepper chopped into chunks (or if you have them you can used mixed colours)
1 Carrot chopped into slithers
1 Green Birds Eye chilli (optional)
½ tsp. Salt (or to taste)
½ tsp. Sugar
½ tsp. White pepper
1/4 cup of Stock (or water)
Dark Soy sauce
2 tsp. Corn flour mixed with 1tbsp water (thickener)
In a large wok or deep sided frying pan add oil and heat over a medium flame. Add onion and garlic and mix (30 seconds). Now add the remaining vegetables and mix for a further 2 minutes. Add beef and stir in well, next adding all other ingredients except the corn flour and dark soy sauce. Mix for another minute. Add stock and dark soy sauce and as soon as the sauce boils thicken with the corn flour mixture. Turn off the heat and add a splash of sesame oil, mix and serve hot.
Whole King Prawns
Served in a rich sticky tomato sauce
I can still hear Poppa Wan slurping as a whole King Prawn, shell and all is moving its way around his chops. Food is meant to be enjoyed, and this dish packed with flavour gets you really involved. Sticky hands, saucy chops and a smile!
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 10 MINUTES
12 fresh King prawns, shell on
2 tbsp. Oil
1 tbsp. Ginger, minced
3 tbsp. Ketchup
1/2 tbsp. Sugar
1 ½ tbsp. Chinese Rice Wine
1 tbsp. Garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Soy sauce
Give the king prawns a good wash in ice cold water, then with a very sharp knife slice the back of the prawn and remove the vein (digestion tract). Rinse again in ice cold water and drain.
Heat a wok over a high heat, add oil, then ginger. Stir for a few seconds until you can smell the fragrance of the ginger. Add king prawns carefully to avoid the oil spitting. Stir constantly over medium heat until the prawns begin to turn orange. Now you can add the minced garlic and stir fry for 20 seconds, then add the tomato ketchup, sugar, Chinese rice wine and soy sauce and stir fry until the sauce is dry enough to cling to the shrimp. Remove from heat and serve hot.
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