Jul 30, 2017

Hong Kong T'ang Court - Where You Can Find Cod Version of "Crème Brûlée"

While in Hong Kong, why not try some Cantonese delicacies? 

T'ang Court 唐閣 is one of the only two Cantonese restaurants that was awarded three Michelin stars in Hong Kong. The other one is Lung King Heen 龍景軒 at the Four Seasons.

Frankly speaking, I was aiming for a dim sum feast at Lung King Heen. However, this restaurant can get very popular during the weekends, when more dim sum selections are offered. I called a month ahead for a weekend lunch spot, but was informed that the earliest available slot will be after 2:30 p.m. My stomach won't survive that long without a proper meal during daytime, so there it was my plan B.

Perhaps not as grandiose as the Victoria Harbor view of Lung King Heen, but I was glad to find crème brûlée-liked cod dish at T'ang Court. Cod is known for its flaky and fatty meat, which tastes very good, but I never knew it can be THAT delicious and completely blew my mind.

Some condiments on the table -

We came in early at 11 a.m., but most of the customers actually showed up after 1 p.m., do the locals tend to have late lunch on the weekends?

There were two big menus, mostly a la carte dishes, some sets, and just a few dim sum options. The ones we really wanted to try were all a la carte dishes, so decided to give only one dim sum a try. Just a brush of taste.

Fried pastries filled with shredded turnip and diced Yunnan ham -

Be careful, it's steamy hot inside.

The shredded turnip inside was thicker than expected, but I found out why once biting into these cicada cocoons looking pastries.

The turnip was so juicy and filled with aroma that reminiscence of Chinese stock. That's why, the shredded turnip were swelled from absorbing all the essence during the cooking process. Paired with flaky buttery pastry, it's good, but can also be very filling. So don't be too greedy, we still have some more dishes to come.

Sautéed cod fillet with soy sauce and cod fish taro puffs -

Also known as crème brûlée of the cod world.

At a first glance, the chunky fish actually looked quite like Japanese karraage. The thin soy sauce-colored coating had an irresistible crunch and the secret fell on finely chopped celery. 

Celery can also be used in dessert, providing a certain degree of sweetness with a touch of cinnamon and fennel aroma. When used here, it blended nicely with the sweet and savory sauce and provided a nice crunch to the velvety fish beneath.

The fried taro puffs were delicious as well, but it could be very filling just like the previous turnip pastries. Trust me, for someone who doesn't like taro (that's me), even I agreed that these puffs were pretty wonderful. The creamy taro past inside is a must, but the wok hei infused threads all over the filling were even more addicting.

Roasted suckling pig and duckling -

It's like chicharrón in sandpaper form. 

Look how thin the skin was, and the crunchiness remained even above that 1mm layer of snow-white fat.

The suckling pig came with a little round bun beneath, think of it as a mini version of Chinese burger, or the petite "bao" from that famous joint in New York.

The duck was pretty good but the halo definitely got stolen when served next to the suckling pig. Not mentioning that buttery cod fillet.

Mixed vegetables and mushrooms with vermicelli in clear soup -

Something light in between so my palate could take a break from all the intense-tasting food. The waiter put the pot on the side and scooped out individual portions for us. 

Light, but not bland. I think if I didn't have all the flavorful dishes to begin with, the gentle sweetness drawn from the veggies can be detected even more easily on the tongue. Texture-wise, the bok choy was so tender, just like the translucent onion pieces found in chicken stock.

Roasted crispy pigeon -

While in Hong Kong, must have pigeons!

Don't get all weird out with the idea of eating pigeons, it's just like eating pheasant or spring chicken.

If you're a fan of dark meat, this is the one to go for. The pigeon had a more intense dark meat aroma similar to aged chicken. Also the wings were extra crispy and perfect to munch on. 

The crispy pigeon came with a slightly spicy and fruity citrusy vinegar sauce. It added another layer of excitement to the dish, but just by the bird itself was deeply flavorful already. 

By the way, the fried lotus root chips were addicting, only wished that I could get a big bowl of that while catching up TV series at home.

Those were a lot of food for just two people, and we did manage finishing nearly all of them, except for one fried taro puff and some left over vermicelli in the pot. As usual, there's always extra room for dessert.

Baked sago pudding filled with lotus seed paste -

Freshly baked dessert that made me thought about my favorite bread pudding back in San Diego, CA. Let's just say this was the Asian version of bread pudding. Warm, filling, and comforting.

Hours passed, we took it slow and enjoyed a few more cups of freshly brewed tea before venturing to our next spot in Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong has changed tremendously over the years, especially when my last visit was over 10 years ago. It got so crowded that even walking on the street bumping ones shoulder became an intolerant task. Shopping malls, restaurants, and cafes were all packed with people, which might be ok at first, but trust me, after few hours you just want to run away from it. 

Unlike Japan, which is also packed with people, but it feels much more organized and even the strangers are polite toward one another. So these 2 to 3 hours dining slot at T'ang Court was also a getaway from the mass (mess). Not quite related to how the food tastes like, but the peaceful moment at the restaurant more or less raised a few points in my mind.

T'ang Court 唐閣 currently holds 3 Michelin star status.

T'ang Court (inside The Langham Hotel Hong Kong)
8 Peking Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
(852) 2375 1133
Website: The Langham Hotel T'ang Court

Operating hours:
Mon - Fri 12:00 noon ~ 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. ~ 11:00 p.m.
Sat, Sun, public holidays 11:00 a.m. ~ 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. ~ 11:00 p.m.

Jul 23, 2017

A Little Upgrade - Sunny Side Up Eggs with Scrambled Toppings

It's always comforting to have eggs in the meal, not mentioning when oozing yolks are involved. This recipe grasps the concept of Thai omelet, but instead of beaten egg mixture, the spotlight now falls on sunny side up eggs with the same crispy edges. Fried bottom, crispy edges, and gooey yolk, but wait, that won't get the job done just yet. Scramble some aromatic toppings to complete this egg recipe. Comforting yet healthy at the same time, don't you think so?

Sunny side up eggs with scrambled toppings - 


  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup shelled edamame or broad beans
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper


Blanch shelled edamame or broad beans and give them a few chops.

Trim off the scallion and chili stems and chop the remaining section. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.

Drizzle some olive oil to a non-stick pan, use slightly more oil then usual. It's going to be a semi-fried sunny side up instead of lightly seared egg. Turn to medium high heat then drop in the eggs one by one. You might want to break each egg in the bowl first to avoid any unwanted shells. 

Sear till the edges of the eggs turn browned and crispy. Maybe use a spatula and gently remove the bottom of the eggs from sticking onto the pan half way through. Also remember to sprinkle some salt on the eggs during the process. Once the sunny side up eggs are ready, transfer onto a serving plate.

Keep using the same pan and add in the ground pork. Searing and lightly stir-frying the pork to draw out more fat, but do add a little more olive oil if the mixture still look too dry after a while. Wait till the ground pork starts to brown, add in garlic, scallion, chili, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. Give it a quick stir and cook for a couple more minutes.

Pour in some soy sauce and Sriracha, cook till the mixture nearly dries up. Lastly, mix in chopped beans and turn off the fire soon after.

Transfer these scrambled toppings to the sunny side up eggs. 

It might take a few practices to perfect the texture of semi-fried sunny side up eggs. If crispy edges sounds like a challenge, it's always better to aim for gooey egg yolk instead of crispy sides.  

Also make sure to serve this dish right away when the yolk is still runny. That velvety yolk definitely adds a few more points to this recipe.

Try something different, instead of soy sauce, fish sauce works well too for that extra savory kick. 

Other egg recipes:

Jul 17, 2017

Ugly Delicious? Lightly Braised Tomato Beef

A mixed up between squashed tomatoes, nearly melted onion slices, and beef chunks, the end result might look messy, but definitely delicious.

One of the bento side dish favorites too.

Lightly braised tomato beef - 


  • 1 lb thick cut beef slices
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 red chilies
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bundle Chinese basil


Peel and slice the onion, peel and slice the garlic cloves. Destem the chili and finely chop the remaining section. Cut the beef into large size thick cut pieces. Roughly chop the basil leaves. Drain the canned tomato juice and set aside for later use.

Drizzle enough olive to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Turn to medium high heat and add in sliced onion. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Give it a quick stir and cook till edges of the onion slices turn slightly browned. Transfer the garlic and chilies over. Keep cooking till the edges of the onion slices are nearly burnt. It'll take few minutes at least.

Transfer the beef to the pan and sear both sides. 

Add in the oyster sauce along with drained tomatoes. Turn to high heat and cook till the juice reduced by half, this will take a short moment too. 

Mix in chopped Chinese basil and give it a quick stir. Turn off the heat immediately. You can also save some fresh basil leaves as garnish in the end.

Plate and garnish if desired. 

This dish seems gooey with ingredients sticking to one another. But that's the point, with such a lightly braised recipe, its gooey appearance means all the flavors are now intertwined and ready to be devoured.  

Other beefy recipes:

Jul 11, 2017

Bento Side Dish Recipe - Kimchi Tamagoyaki

I've made cheese tamagoyaki and mentaiko tamagoyaki before, now it's time for kimchi to shine!

Kimchi tamagoyaki - 

Ingredients (single serving, double the amount if needed)?

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped kimchi
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • Some olive oil


The steps of making tamagoyaki are about the same even though different fillings are used. Refer to my previous post for a more detailed description with step-by-step pictures on how to roll up tamagoyaki.

Instead of the cheese I used before, just swap it out with chopped kimchi. Also there is no need to add more tsuyu or light soy sauce to the egg mixture since kimchi can be quite salty on its own. 

Kimchi flavored tamagoyaki makes a great addition for bento. Kimchi provides a spicy kick, and the eggs are always comforting, so putting these two together can hardly go wrong. 

So what should I test out with tamagoyaki next?

Other tamagoyaki recipes:

Jul 7, 2017

Lightly Braised Silken Tofu and Ground Pork (豆腐羮)

This is a simple yet comforting dish that my mom used to make when I was a kid. She likes to add some shirasu but I have omitted that due to environmental reasons. However, without shirasu, the flavors are still good and satisfying, especially with additional help from one other ingredient, keep reading and you'll find out the answer in the end. 

Lightly braised silken tofu and ground pork -


  • 1 box silken tofu
  • 0.5 lb ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock (preferably infused with ginger)
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Some corn starch/water mixture
  • Some chopped cilantro
  • Some white pepper powder


Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Trim off the scallion stem and chop the remaining stalk. Drain the tofu and roughly cut into big cubes. Finely chop some cilantro leaves and set aside for later use. 

Use Chinese style chicken stock if possible. Otherwise you can warm up the stock and add a couple slices of ginger. Bring to a boil and keep it as a simmer for about 10 minutes to draw out some of that gently spiciness from the ginger. Turn off the heat and keep the stock on the side for later use.

Use a pan or a pot with some depth since we are going to pour some stock over. Drizzle enough olive oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan.

Turn to medium high heat. Add in ground pork, salt, and pepper. Give it a quick stir till some fat starts to render. Transfer chopped garlic and scallion over. Sear till the meat has been fully cooked through. 

Pour over the stock and bring to a boil. Carefully add the tofu to the mixture and bring to a boil again. Lower the heat a little if needed, this mixture needs to be reduced to concentrate the flavor, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle some white pepper powder. Taste and adjust with salt.

There is no need to nicely cube the silken tofu in the beginning. The tofu will break into smaller pieces during the cooking process from stirring and mixing. Don't worry about getting the perfect shape, cubed or mixed shapes, they all taste just as good.

Prepare some corn starch and water mixture on the side. While the tofu mixture is hot but not boiling, pour in the corn starch water and keep stirring at the same time to prevent lumps. 

Plate the food and garnish with some chopped cilantro leaves.  

I also like to add some cubed shiitake for extra spongy bite. On top of that, shiitake can further bump up the umami level. If using shiitake, remove the stems and cube the caps, stir-fry it after the ground pork is about 50% cooked through. Try it yourself, won't you?

Other tofu recipes: