Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hong Kong: Sham Shui Po - Post One

So I had probably 80+ amazing pictures of Sham Shui Po, a district in Kowloon known for having some of the cheapest electronics in the world, an extensive jade market and an extremely impressive array of food markets and restaurants. Unfortunately the SD card that came with my Canon decided that it had witnessed some of the most impressive looking sea food and open air markets that it ever would and that it had nothing else to live for. I fully intend to go back to Sham Shui Po for a third time but this time I should manage to have something substantial to share. Until then I do have the food we ate in Sham Shui Po the second time we went:

Street-side Skewer Restaurant in Sham Shui Po
Somehow this meat skewer stand stood out to us amidst the countless food stands and markets in Sham Shui Po. I would wager that it had something to do with the fact that we could smell the meat over the stinky tofu which makes certain parts of the district smell exactly like an open sewer. I haven't actually tried stinky tofu yet but I intend to try it while in Hong Kong so that I will be able to compare it with the Taiwanese variation.

Street Skewers, Squid and Cuttlefish
After selecting the skewers, the merchant dropped them into a deep-fryer for 40 seconds or so before marinating and serving them to us. The squid was my personal favorite of the four, having the best texture and most flavor. The increased surface area and lack of girth seemed to hold the marinade better than the cuttlefish after responding to the deep-fry better as well.

Street Skewers: Pork Intestine and Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog
These skewers were a bit decadent, the raw-foodist in me is just strong enough to make it such that I don't usually jump for bacon-wrapped anything but So-Han was not similarly disinclined. The intestine was more delicious and again I believe this was due mostly to the shape of the skewer, compare how dark the intestine is here versus in the first picture and you can see just how significantly frying and marinating changed the nature of the skewer.

After eating the skewers we wandered around the market, So-Han purchased an amazing tea-pot from a Jade vendor... but really the agent in that transaction was the tea pot which somehow made itself known to So-Han despite being in a bundle amidst a ton of really cool antiques and tea-pots while we were walking past intent on finding food neither of us being particularly interested in looking for tea-pots in Hong Kong as we are each going to regions where tea and tea-ware are actually produced. We ended up finding a restaurant with communal tables and no english signage and sat down to have the following:

Slippery Egg Shrimp Stir-Fried Rice Noodles
This is a dish that is more commonly seen with rice as opposed to rice noodles. We try to order a dish with hor fun noodles such as these in the restaurants we go to because they are perhaps the best medium to convey wok hei. These noodles and the other noodle dish which got eaten by the death of my SD card were some of the most delicious rice noodles I have ever eaten and had an amazing wok hei. The wok hei was so strong that it tasted almost like a subtle burn but this functioned in the same way that charring meat or sugar can bring out new and amazing tastes and textures.

Ginger Scallion Pork Rib Clay Pot
This dish was extremely rich in flavor and the ribs were so tender that they literally fell right off of the bone. One can see the chunks of ginger and cloves of garlic in this dish that were so instrumental in imparting an intensity of flavor to the pork which I rarely see. The clay pot was instrumental in both the intensity of flavor and tenderness of meat. I love clay pots. You can still see the steam rising out of the clay pot if you enlarge this picture.

Other sights of Sham Shui Po taken after the death of my SD Card:

Veggie Stand just North of Sham Shui Po
Hong Kong Man on Bicycle
Corner Apartment on a block near Sham Shui Po
Development Near Sham Shui Po

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