My son’s secondary school does not allow Form One students to eat out.
They can either order lunch boxes or bring their own.
My son, who is in Form Two, now enjoys his own lunch. Starting this school year, I give him a HK$50 meal allowance, along with his regular weekly pocket money of HK$100 for traveling and daily expenses.
Situated in Mid-Levels, the school has few eateries you can find that offers lunch at such a price and of good quality.
That’s why he asked if he could have packed lunch instead.
Since I already cook breakfast for the family, preparing a lunchbox would take me another 30 minutes at the most.
It’s not difficult to get up early for that.
I promised to make him two lunch boxes a week.
He doesn’t like reheated or re-microwaved food and the weather is still too challenging for rice, so I do only Chinese noodles, spaghetti, macaroni or rice vermicelli.
It is a must to use glass containers or else the food will be tainted with some odors.
My pick for today was shrimp roe broad noodles made by a 50-year-old local noodles factory.
As the lunchbox would not be consumed until five hours later, I cooked the noodles only 70 or 80 percent ready, drained the excess water and lightly stir-fried the noodles with goose fat and dark soy sauce.
At the same time, I prepared “onsen tamago”(Japanese style soft-boiled eggs).
It’s easy when you have the specific “onsen tamago” cooker, where you put the eggs and boil them for eight minutes.
My choice for the day was an extra large free range egg from New Zealand.
By making a well in the noodles, I secured the egg in the food container with a “cushion”.
Hopefully, my son handled the box with care so the lovely egg yolk would not burst.
The traditional way to cook a Munich Weisswurst is to boil it.
In order to yield a crispier texture, I pan-fried the sides of the sausage with goose fat and smoked ham from Austria.
Of course, vegetables were not missed.
I boiled some stalks of choy sum along with the noodles. You might argue it was too few, but my son is not fond of veggies and it was the right portion for him.
How much did all this cost? Eggs: HK$8.30; Munich Weisswurst HK$9.90; shrimp roe noodles HK$5.50.
With the choy sum, smoked ham, goose fat and dark soy sauce are in place, I would say it cost only HK$25.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct. 19.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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