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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A taste of Hong Kong

While we can’t travel around the world, we can still take our tastebuds on a journey through different cuisines, flavours and techniques. This week, food writer Libby Kimber brings you two recipes from Hong Kong’s street food scene, from chef ArChan Chan.

Recipes extracted from Hong Kong Local by ArChan Chan, published by Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99. Photography © Alana Dimou, food stylist © Bridget Wald.

Sai do si (Hong Kong-style French toast)

Serves 2

  • 4 slices soft white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 Tbsp kaya jam (see note)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 20g butter, plus extra to serve
  • Maple syrup, to serve

Spread two slices of the bread with the kaya jam. Sandwich with the remaining bread and gently press to seal.

Whisk together the eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Dip the sandwiches into the mixture to coat evenly.

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coated sandwiches and fry for 1 minute each side or until golden brown, then stand the sandwich up and the edges for about 30 seconds each. Serve hot with extra butter and some maple syrup.

Note: Kaya jam is a sweet spreadable condiment made from coconut milk and sugar. It’s very popular in Singapore and Malaysia and is normally a light yellow–green colour. There is also a caramelised version, which is a darker brown colour.

steamed scallops

Steamed scallops with glass noodles

Serves 4

  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fried garlic (recipe below)
  • 20g glass noodles, soaked and drained
  • 8 fresh scallops on the half shell, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp thinly sliced spring onion, green part only

Place the soy sauce, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and mix until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the minced garlic and fried garlic.

Cut the noodles into 5cm lengths. Place a thin layer of noodles onto the scallop shells, underneath the scallops. Spoon the garlic and soy sauce over the top.

Pour water into a large saucepan to a depth of about 3cm and bring to the boil.

Arrange the scallop shells on a steamer tray or plate (without overlapping), then cover and steam for 1.5–2 minutes or until the scallops are just cooked. Depending on the size of your steamer you may need to do this in two batches. Sprinkle with spring onion and serve hot.

Fried garlic

  • 20 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2L canola oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 4cm piece ginger, sliced
  • 3 dried bird’s eye chillies
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

Rinse the garlic in water for 2 minutes, drain well and spread out on paper towel to dry for 15 minutes.

Pour the oil into a wok or large frying pan and heat to 160°C or until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 30–35 seconds. Add the ginger, then the garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring gently, for 30 seconds, then add the dried chilli, stirring so it doesn’t all clump together. Cook until the garlic is lightly golden, then strain into a clean saucepan. Spread out the garlic mixture on paper towel to drain and cool. As it cools it will become crispy. Season with salt, then store in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 4 days.

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