Tag Archives: Tofu

Asian Food Trip – Hong Kong – Part 1

Dinner at Tao Heung - Crispy Chicken, Sautéed Pea Shoots in Broth, Steamed Garlic Giant Grouper (龍躉) Slices, Fish Fragrant Eggplant (鱼香茄子)

I can’t say I’ve had bad meals in Hong Kong. Some places might be mediocre but they are never “bad”. I think it’s because Hong Kong eaters have such a discernible taste that you cannot possibly serve bad food and stay afloat.

When I decided to go on a girls trip with my mother and my toddler girl, I researched on Yelp and online for restaurants and food places to check out. I don’t know if I ended up hitting any of the places on my list! Once I was there, we were eating on the go. Food is literally everywhere—big restaurants, little restaurants, fast food, fast but good food. If you’ve been to Hong Kong, you know what I mean. One can never go hungry.

We ended up eating at places we visited and nearby areas. My mother also knew of some places to check out from her previous trips (she pretty much goes once a year). Plus my older brother who works between mainland China and Hong Kong took us to different places to eat. Even people we met gave us recommendations on where to go. I have to say all Hong Kong people are food lovers!

When we think of chain restaurants in North America, we picture cookie cutter places that serve consistent but mediocre food. However in Hong Kong, chain restaurants could sometimes be better than the one off restaurants. They have standards to adhere to and the staff are usually friendlier than other local restaurants. Having said that, we did check out a restaurant that was famous for their roast goose but we were rather disappointed.

We had our first meal in Hong Kong at Tao Heung (稻香) near our hotel. We literally stepped outside of the hotel, looked around and saw their huge sign at a nearby local mall and headed towards it. Since we know it’s a chain restaurant, we were sure it would be decent. We were super hungry so we ate half of the food before I even took the photo.

Crispy Chicken – Standard at Cantonese restaurants. I find North American chickens to be blander. But in Asia, they are so much tastier.

Sautéed Pea Shoots in Broth – Fresh, tender and delicious. Even my 2-year old child could distinguish the taste of fresh vegetables versus not so fresh ones. She was gravitating towards them and couldn’t stop eating these yummy veggies.

Steamed Garlic Giant Grouper (龍躉) Slices – My mom said that you cannot eat it whole because it’s too big to steam on its own. Restaurants usually sell them in pieces instead of whole. They sliced them and steamed them like they would with whole fishes.

Fish Fragrant Eggplant (鱼香茄子) – This dish is a misnomer because there’s no fish in it at all. It is a seasoning mixture in Chinese Sichuan cuisine, and also refers to the resulting sauce in which meat or vegetables are cooked. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuxiang) It was very tasty with a hint of spice. Cantonese adopted this dish and made it not as spicy.

Dinner at Tao Heung - Crispy Chicken, Sautéed Pea Shoots in Broth, Steamed Garlic Giant Grouper (龍躉) Slices, Fish Fragrant Eggplant (鱼香茄子)

Dinner at Tao Heung – Crispy Chicken, Sautéed Pea Shoots in Broth, Steamed Garlic Giant Grouper (龍躉) Slices, Fish Fragrant Eggplant (鱼香茄子)

Below are the photos of the infamous roast goose restaurant. Tourists can actually buy it freshly roasted and the restaurant has a system of packaging it so that you can fly back to your home country with it (providing your flight isn’t that long and your country allows you to bring back meat items.) My brother took us there because we happened to be in the area so we gave it a try. This infamous roast goose restaurant was not as good as expected, and quite expensive for what it is. The roast goose was drowned with this brown sauce. It’s almost as if they were trying to disguise the lack of crunchiness of the goose skin. However, some might like that style of roast goose. But I prefer the crispy skin.

Roast Goose – Drowned with brown sauce. Why would they do that?

Lai Fun (瀨粉) in Broth – Usually people eat lai fun with roast goose. The lai fun’s texture was perfect and the broth was pretty tasty.

Roast Goose and Lai Fun

Roast Goose and Lai Fun

Qilin (麒麟) Tofu – The layers resemble the scales of Qilin (a Chinese mystical, mythical lucky creature). It is made up of tofu, Jinhua ham (金華火腿), and Chinese mushroom. The tofu is very soft and pairs very nicely with the salty ham and mushroom.

Qilin Tofu

Qilin Tofu

Century Eggs (皮蛋) with Pickled Ginger – I have to admit it was one of the best century eggs I had. Apparently it’s their house specialty (soft yolk)—paired nicely with the pickled ginger.

Sautéed Chinese Mustard Greens (芥菜) with Chinese Mushrooms – Tender and tasty cooked in oyster sauce.

Century Eggs and Chinese Mustard Greens

Century Eggs and Chinese Mustard Greens

There are more yummy Memorable Dishes to come as I travel through Hong Kong with my mother and daughter. Every time I come back to visit, there is always something new to discover!

Read in the series:

Asian Food Trip – Hong Kong – Part 2
Asian Food Trip – Hong Kong – Part 3

Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

Mapo Tofu

Mapo tofu – a staple childhood favourite for Chinese children. My cousin reminded me of this dish as one of her childhood favourites. I remember eating it as a kid and now make it often for my kids. My second son absolutely LOVES tofu! Hence, this is one of his favourite Memorable Dishes!

Mapo tofu derives from Sichuan province of China which is a region known for its spicy food. The version my mom used to make was not spicy at all. As the dish travels from the northern part of China to the south, it becomes milder for the southerner’s taste.

You don’t have to be Chinese to love this dish. It’s such a versatile and easy dish to make. Everyone in my family loves it! Kids love it because it’s saucy and goes well with rice. Old people love it because it’s soft and they don’t have to chew as much 😉

Just to let you know this isn’t an authentic version of Mapo Tofu. It’s a homemade version geared towards kids. Now that my kids are older and enjoy spicy food, I add a bit of chili bean sauce AKA Doubanjiang. You can add as much or as little chili bean sauce as you want or omit it altogether to suit your family’s taste. This Memorable Dish can become a staple in your repertoire of dishes to make for your family.

Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of Ground Pork
  • 1 tbsp of low sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp of Sesame Oil
  • 1 tbsp of Water
  • 1 tbsp of minced Garlic
  • ½ tbsp of grated Ginger
  • 1 package (530 grams) of tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Chili Bean Sauce AKA Doubanjiang (optional)
  • ½ cup water or chicken stock
  • 1 sliced Green Onion for garnish
  • To thicken sauce
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water

Preparation

  1. Marinate pork with soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, sesame oil and water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. If you marinate the pork in the fridge, make sure you bring it back to room temperature before cooking it for best results.
  3. Heat oil in a wok or a large frying pan.
  4. Add garlic and ginger and pork. Sauté until it is done.
  5. Stir in oyster sauce, water or chicken stock and chili bean sauce (if using).
  6. Gently put the cubed tofu into the meat mixture. Stir until it’s heated through.
  7. Mix 1 tsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp water in a bowl.
  8. Then add the cornstarch solution into meat and tofu mixture.
  9. Cook until everything thickens.
  10. Garnish with sliced green onions.
  11. Serve with steamed rice.

Notes

I like using the soft tofu but if you like a harder texture, use medium to firm tofu.

http://www.memorabledishes.com/mapo-tofu/

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons