Friday, April 15, 2011

Pomelo Rind Braised With Prawns

While in HK, my friend took us to a local food joint which was located on the first floor of a building near the wet market of Causeway Bay. I can't recall the name of the place and anyway, I read very little Chinese (though I am learning, thanks to Skritter) so even if I did see the name of the place, I'd have forgotten by now.

We had had enough of wan ton noodles and char siew rice and roast goose rice. The rice you get in HK is one mountain! Sometimes we had to share our rice. In Malaysia we don't gobble that much of rice! 

We had met SP at Times Square at Causeway Bay (in Cantonese, "thung lor wan") and we walked towards the wet market, which at 6.30pm was in full swing. Vendors were selling fruits, fish (live ones too), chicken, pork and fresh vegetables. The sky was dark but the bright yellow lights made the market come alive with festivity. The chill was still getting to me though. At 14 C, it was cold for me. Too cold. And the skies were mostly grey when we were there in end March. How I missed my Malaysian sunsets!

Anyway, our dinner place proved to be a locals' joint where lots of Hong Kongers converged for their piping hot dinners. Peeking at the tables filling up fast around us, we saw steamboat, rice with dishes, seafood and more. It was everything under one roof.

Eat where locals eat and you can't go wrong! 

The lady who served us knew we weren't locals. The moment we opened our mouths, she knew. Yet she was also kind enough not to scream at us, as impatient HK people usually do - they're notorious for talking down to tourists who can't keep up with them. Fortunately we have been lucky. No one's ever grumbled at us. 

SP told us of a queer dish made from pomelo rind. She's been working in HK and Greater China for 5 years now and she had come to this joint for the pomelo rind dish but never got to taste it.

Braised savoury pomelo rind 

The cheery lady immediately knew what dish we were talking about. She said it was a pomelo rind dish braised with prawns. At HK$18 for a plate, we felt we had to try it out. She helpfully ordered it for us from another stall. 

The dish came to our table in a jiffy. The pomelo rind was braised till soft, almost mushy and had lots of tasty gravy. Grated nutmeg was sprinkled on top. I didn't know if it was an appetizer or a main dish but it sure tasted delicious! 

When I came home, I told my aunt about this. She laughed and said that she used to despise this dish as a child. My great-grandfather's cook would prepare this dish from leftover pomelo rind (after you've eaten the pomelo fruit) and she'd hated the idea of eating fruit peel! To her, it was a poor man's food. 

It was the first time I'd eaten such an interesting dish though. 

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