Date
30 May 2017
In preparing the empurau fish (front), remember not to peel off the scales, or else the fish fat will be lost while steaming. Photo: HKEJ
In preparing the empurau fish (front), remember not to peel off the scales, or else the fish fat will be lost while steaming. Photo: HKEJ

The best way to forget all your troubles

Not so long ago I had a dream.

I saw the beautiful Victoria Harbor and all the shops selling gold, jewelry, luxury watches, cosmetics, branded handbags and milk powder were closed down overnight.

It became a death city!

When I woke up that day, the city’s wealthiest man, Li Ka-shing, gave his annual forecast, describing this year as the worst in the past two decades.

Uncle Four had his own grim prediction: property prices would fall by 15 percent or more.

How could one not be afraid after hearing those words from the wise old men?

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s vested interest groups continue bickering, further depleting the energy of the city. 

Those who are capable of leaving will do so, if they haven’t yet. Capital outflow will worsen.  

Soon Hong Kong will be marginalized and turn into just another typical Chinese city.

By that time, the symbols of the city’s prosperity and uniqueness — horse racing and partying, “one country, two systems” — will have been history.

Anyway, I should stop grumbling and go back to my own basic law: food.

My best friend, who is also my great drinking buddy, brought two 3-kilogram empurau fish, better known as “The Unforgettable” (忘不了) in Chinese.

It’s really generous of him to treat us to such a wonderful Malaysian cuisine.

Remember not to peel off the scales, or else the fish fat will be lost while steaming.

The correct way is to first rub the fish with some salt, steam it and then top it with cooked soy sauce, ginger and scallions before serving.

Each bite will be so rich in fragrant oil and crispy scales.

Alternatively, you may remove the fish scales after steaming.

Deep-fry the pieces with salt and pepper and you’ve got yourself the best side dish to go with the beer.

When evening fell, we went to Oyster C, a famous restaurant in North Point, where the boss is also the chef.

Trained in a five-star hotel, Fai Gor is an excellent culinary master who does lamb racks and steaks so perfectly.

His Spanish seafood paella, cooked with chicken stock and saffron, smelled and tasted so heavenly.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 15.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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DY/JP/CG

HKEJ contributor

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