Hong Kong 3: Day 3 Dinner

Dinner tonight in the HK Recreation Club at Causeway Bay was hosted by C (classmate of Hub) and his wife, who are both architects and they have a lovely 14 year-old who studies in London and comes back to HK every 6 weeks. This is the second family I've across where kids study in London and go back to HK every 1 1/2 months. Is London so bad?

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Cantonese, who make up the majority people of HK, are famous for their soups which they believe rejuvenate and strengthen the body. Cantonese soups are simmered for hours until all the goodness of the ingredients are drawn out into the stock. Despite the stress of living in such a competitive and cramped city, the people of HK have dewy fair skin, lean bodies and a high level of energy, mostly attributed to the tong sui or soups they must drink at every meal. I really must learn how to simmer soups for hours until they are so absolutely tasty, like the one in the picture. One sip and I wish I could cook soups like that.

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Pork leg braised with red salted prunes.

An unusual dish that uses red hum mui, salted prunes normally eaten as an appetite pick-me-up or by those who have morning sickness. Sorry for the poor picture quality--it's unnerving to keep people waiting while I click away and I usually click once per dish with strangers around.

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Crispy-fried white pomfret in special soy sauce. Absolutely yummy.

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Crispy fried chicken.

I think you can't go wrong with chicken dishes in HK. First of all, the chickens are freshly slaughtered and specially bred so the meat is scrumptiously moist, tender and sweet. Secondly, all chefs in HK are of a certain caliber or they get bumped off.

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Petola (a gourd) with dried scallops, wood ears (an edible fungus) and straw mushrooms.

Refreshing after all that fried meat dishes.

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Pipa tofu, with prawns and other ingredients--I forgot to notice.

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Red bean soup.

C's wife chose the dishes very well: Chinese meals would include a combination of meat such as poultry or pork or beef, a seafood, a veg dish and a mixed dish (such as the tofu), plus a soup. A totally delicious and satisfying meal eaten with enjoyable company. I'm told by my China friends that the formula in China is one dish/item per person, excluding starters. Because of this formula, Chinese meals are best and more variable when you have a big group.