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Tomato Tofu Egg Flower Soup

Love Poem to Tofu

Love Poem to Tofu, by Mong-Lan

A simple poem, but I like how the indentation and spacing of the lines evoke the slicing of the blocks of tofu. Here’s a recipe that uses tomatoes and a not-so-solitary beaten egg. Or rather, an approximation, since home cooking relies upon intuition rather than measurements. ‘Egg drop soup’ (the name I’ve never known this by) is drunk all over China but not always with the same ingredients (other than the egg). This is the Hong Kong / my home version of it. My household calls it 番茄荳腐蛋花湯 (tomato tofu egg flower soup), but you can call it 荳腐蛋花湯 (tofu egg flower soup) or 蛋花湯 (egg flower soup) too. Continue reading

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Hong Kong monkeys

 

Monkey business

 

This Chinese New Year I don’t have much to celebrate. I’m a monkey and it’s my unlucky year. I do look back fondly though at my trip up to Kam Shan Park (金山公園) three years ago, when I last met the cheeky macaques who have made the park their home. Believe it or not, Hong Kong is not a concrete jungle – over two-thirds of Hong Kong is rural, and I myself lived in a nature reserve! The ancestors of these macaques were probably pets, and today they have lost none of their fearlessness of humans. So do pay them a visit if you’re ever passing through – only beware of leaving food or drink in sight since they are now expert pickpocketers. This one here is minding its own business…fortune-telling perhaps? Must be my kindred spirit in the animal kingdom.

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Ice Ice Crazy

‘Tis the season for ice cream and other summer delights, and I hereby fondly remember the types of ice cream I’ve tried and note down here those yet to try. If you’ve eaten any of these frozen delights or can add to my wishlist, do leave a comment!

Ice cream eaten

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Flying Sarsae High

Sarsae

In the first week in my second term of this academic year, my knees were weakened in pleasure by the sight of some cans of Sarsae on the shelves in the Chinese supermarket Lung Wah Chong (41-42 Hythe Bridge Street, Oxford OX1 2EP). Sarsae was my favourite soft drink when I was a child living in Hong Kong, just ahead of Schweppes Cream Soda, and way ahead of Coca Cola and that lot. A Hong Kong brand (from food company Watson) of what is essentially sarsaparilla, I remember it being hard to find, even on the shelves of Chinese supermarkets in China. The summer before, I had been impressed with Nottingham when I visited, just because a tiny corner Chinese supermarket there stocked Sarsae. So I was overjoyed when I came across Sarsae in Oxford, and bought 6 cans in one go. However, my joy was not matched by the 3 friends to whom I gave cans to try. One, a Chinese mainlander, did not like it. Another, an American, found it too similar to good old American root beer. And the third, a Brit, thought it tasted “like medicine”. But drinking my first can early on in the term, I maintain that it still tasted as good as it did in my younger days. This soft drink, unlike Inca Kola, is not reviewed by Soda Tasting, so I hope that I’ve done this soft drink more justice.