travel: the comfort table

by hungryrabbit on December 23, 2010

Hong Kong - home for the holidays

Although the restaurants in Hong Kong offer an endless selection of Cantonese specialties—plus an assortment of other Chinese, Asian, and European fare—meals at home with my family are truly something to prize. They not only bring back fond memories of growing up but also reinforce unique household traditions that I sometimes forget living so far away.

Certain dishes, flavors, and textures define our home-cooked meals. One example is tender ground pork mixed with black mushrooms steamed with a soy-jus—a dish that I never thought much of until I moved away from home. Another is our version of Sweet and Sour Pork (which I mentioned in a previous post). It’s not the sticky sweet dish with the same name in Chinese restaurants in America.

Here are just a few samples of what you see on our dinner table:

Photos above:
Top row from left to right: fresh fish fillets prepped for stir fry; finely chopped ginger and scallions await hot oil, beef slices marinated in salt and pepper; heating up oil for flash-fry; Wok-seared Beef Fillets with aromatics

Middle row from left to right:
Steamed Pork and Mushroom with Soy jus; tender Poached Chicken; Pork Roast with super crispy skin; sauteed Chinese Broccoli

Bottom row from left to right:
Wok-seared Beef Fillets with Bitter Melon; Home-style Sweet and Sour Pork, Steamed whole carp with Preserved Lemons; serving up Poached Chicken with Ginger-Scallion Oil

Our Sunday brunch is composed of congee (rice porridge), crullers, and dumpling noodle soup. Unless we go out for brunch, this has been our Sunday ritual for as long as I can remember. Congee may be the purest comfort food—taking that first spoonful makes everything alright.

Photos above:
Top row from left to right: Dumpling Noodle Soup with fresh Choi-sum; Tangerine Beef Rice Crepe with Sweet Soy; Cruller with Salted Pork Congee; A plate full of Rice Crepes with Dried Shrimp and Scallion

Middle row from left to right:
Rice Crepes with Dried Shrimp and Scallions served with Hoisin and Sesame Sauce; Warm Crispy Crullers with light airy center; quick poaching of egg noodles; A large bowl of dumplings and choi-sum await hot broth.

As people travel to family or friends—or attempt to,  if snow-bound Europe is involved–I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Cheery Chinese-Jewish Feast Day Without a Name, etc.

May all your moments be filled with bright smiles and delicious dreams.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian @ A Thought For Food December 23, 2010 at 8:03 am

It looks like you are having such a wonderful time, Ken! Hope your holiday (whichever is being celebrated… but I’ll go with the Cheery Chinese-Jewish Feast Day Without A Name) is full of much joy!

Cathy December 23, 2010 at 8:04 am

Ken, thank you so much for the peek into your family’s kitchen. Wishing I was a neighbor.

foodwanderings December 23, 2010 at 9:33 am

Aww Ken, so beautiful! There is nothing better than a home cooked meal and in your childhood home it looks like a feast. I wish I were in Hong Kong for a Merry Chinese-Jewish feast day without a name.

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle December 23, 2010 at 10:35 am

Ken, I’m so enjoying your trip; seeing Hong Kong from your eyes and within your family is priceless. Happy Holidays…whichever one it is you choose!

Jean December 23, 2010 at 11:08 am

Happy Holidays to you, Ken. I’ve been enjoying your food photos (and eating vicariously through you). Safe travels!

angi January 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Love these photos and hey, I spotted some white-cut chickens in there – good boy! :) Happy new year to you, Ken!

Karen January 25, 2011 at 2:42 am

I lived in HK for 3 years and consider it my second home… love, love, love it. Some of the best food in the world – your post made me feel home sick:( I really miss eating out in Jordan, shopping at the markets, dim sum, congee and eating out at dai pai dongs…

Eleanor Hoh July 22, 2011 at 11:07 pm

You’re so right there’s nothing better than home cooking and having it with family! The associations and memories are priceless. Love those photos, making me so homesick for my mom’s cooking.

You make your own crullers? I think I see a cast iron wok, yay, glad your family uses one too!

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