Sunday, March 11, 2018


One of the specialties of Hong Kong is typhoon shelter crab (避風塘炒蟹 'bei fung tong chaau haai'). In which that genuine typhoon shelter flavour (避風塘口味 'bei fung tong hau mei') is achieved by the generous addition of fried garlic and chilies. And I do mean generous; per pound of crab, use four or five heads of garlic (50 to 60 cloves), which you separate, peel, and chop. Soak it in water for an hour. Drain, pat well dry with paper towel to dab up the moisture, and fry golden-crisp. Remove from the oil and set aside, to be added to the dish when finishing the cooking. Soaking it in water first prevents it scorching or darkening too much.

Sometimes you don't have a crab. Shrimp will do. And noodles.
For 避風塘蝦炒麵 ('bei fung tong haa chaau min')。
Typhoon shelter shrimp chow mein.

In any case, the smell of the pre-prep (frying all that garlic) nicely hides the fact from one's apartment mate that one is smoking a cigar in the kitchen.

After dealing with the pipe club all afternoon, I needed something soothing (the cigar) and something bold (garlic and chilies) to restore my palate.
She, dozing all day in her room, didn't.
She grumbled a bit when I returned to the effect that she hated the spring forward fall back crap (summertime started today), and the fact that we'd have an hour more sunlight was precisely "meh" in her estimation.
Apparently she slept through it; no body told her about the time change.
She went back to sleep shortly after I came in.

She isn't a girlfriend, just someone nice that I trust, with whom I share quarters, but I've always thought she looked very sweet when asleep.

So I don't want to make her scream angrily by causing the apartment to stink of cheap cheroots. Hence overdoing the garlic.

A dish like 避風塘蝦炒麵 really also needs a handful of beansprouts for a textural effect, but not having that I used stalky mustard (芥菜 'gai choi') instead. As well as a smidge of oyster sauce.

The apartment reeks of garlic right now.
I think I'm covered.

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