Being back in London, I felt like this blog was no longer necessary (not that I posted much anyway…). Most obviously, because I am no longer in Hong Kong, and with that: I am no longer being exposed to such delicious food – food that makes my mouth water and my thighs go weak with a yearning sense of decadent demolishment; food that I sometimes – at first – don’t even want to touch because it sits on the plate looking so pretty and perfect, like a saintly projection tempting me with its velvety, glistening goodness or rugged, handsomely charred edges, bringing me closer with that familiar, fond, faint aroma or overwhelming, steaming pungency. Food, glorious food.
However, what I am doing in London is cooking. I was also cooking in Hong Kong, but in London it is more out of necessity, because as an impoverished student of Humanities I am not able to afford the overpriced harvest of London’s dining scene. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to get good, cheap fresh seafood here so the dishes I make in London are consequently very different to my Hong Kong choices. I also cannot afford meat everyday so vegetarian dishes have become quite regular on the menu.
So, I get nostalgic. And at present, I’m looking at some old pictures of my DIY food porn from Hong Kong. I know this sounds so housewifely of me but I do love making dinners, especially for my “Sweet Sweet Boyfriend” who loves food as much as I do, if not more… I sometimes worry he likes my company more for my cooking more than for anything else. I’ve yet to disprove this, but if he’s full and happy, I guess I’m happy too.
On one of my last days in Hong Kong, we had yumcha at Lei Gardens but decided to go a bit crazy for dinner too. I took him to the Tai Po food market and we decked out on fat prawns, razorclams, two red snappers and some Thai spices. I don’t know how we managed to demolish everything you see below, but we did. I’m not sure if I’m ashamed or proud.
The razorclams were sautéed in a lemongrass/coconut broth with kaffir lime leaves; the prawns were spread open (I de veined all those little bitches, keeping my prawns stylish even when they’re spreading their tails for the camera) and grilled them with a ginger/garlic/spring onion paste, drizzled with limes and a bit of soy; and the fish was steamed China-style but – since I’m always tentative doing any Chinese dishes for my Chinese boyfriend – I tried to bring it into the Southeast Asian path. We were absolutely stuffed and finished the night with our usual standard: a cheap bottle of red wine and a catnap here and there.
I am nostalgic for all that seafood in Hong Kong. But not much beats a bottle of cheap red with that boy.