And so I started cooking.
.......Mike and I ate 90% of our Hong Kong meals during our two-week stay either standing up at street hawker stalls or sitting on plastic chairs at 'temporary markets,' watching steam pour from tiny, makeshift, plastic-tarp draped kitchens, clicking together neon-orange plastic chopsticks and watching hilarious Cantonese period-drama soap operas on wavery old televisions placed in the corner, drinking watery Chinese tea while waiting for steaming bowls of fish ball soup, tender baby bok choy, or stir-fried pork slices with noodles. I developed a taste for all of this that I may never satisfy again until we revisit Hong Kong. I can't re-create the ridiculous soap operas, the peculiar smell of soy, rice and diesel and who knows what, the insane freshness of the seafood (from live crab in a streetside market tank to aromatic curried crab on your plate in less than ten minutes!) or the insistent bustle of Hong Kong streets as you are jostled down the road narrowly avoiding pedestrians and taxicabs in your search for the lunch/dinner/snack/hangover remedy/whatever you so desperately need.........but i can re-create some of the more memorable staple dishes we relied on during our time in Hong Kong.
......Pork spring rolls, or 'Sping Rolls,' as they were referred to at our favorite outdoor street-level dining place in Kowloon district's Temple Street Night Market. Filled by me with ground pork, cabbage, carrot and scallion, just as they were on Temple Street.
I can't cook roasted quail eggs, stuffed duck's foot or deep-fried octopus on a stick (or CAN I??) at home, but the basics are easy enough to cover. Hong Kong, you and your markets and stall and bizarre, tiny street-level shops of all kinds are embedded in my memory. I can't wait to come back.
Homemade Pork Spring Rolls
Saute ground pork over medium heat until meat is about halfway cooked, add shredded cabbage, grated carrot, and finely chopped scallions [I don't measure things like this, your amounts may vary. Add until it looks good, maybe 50% pork and 50% vegetables. You've probably guessed that you can easily make this vegetarian by skipping the ground pork and just using veggies! So easy.].
Continue to saute until pork is completely cooked, add a splash of soy sauce [...or a few splashes. I personally love salt. See the name of this blog for evidence.] and remove from heat. Let cool slightly.
Place a small amount of this mixture onto a wonton wrapper [storebought is great, but they're easy to make as well], tuck sides & roll shut. If you are finding it difficult to seal these all the way shut, dab a little cornstarch-and-water paste on the seam and it will act a bit like glue! Great trick. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes. After they've set up in the fridge, you can throw them into a freezer bag and then--duh--into the freezer. They keep well like this and make a great instant meal down the road! If you're going the freezer route, thaw them ahead of time by placing them in the fridge or putting them BRIEFLY in the microwave, then dry them thoroughly before cooking.
Dip in sauce of choice. I like sweet & sour type sauces with a hit of sriracha, or straight-up soy or fish sauce. Enjoy!!