Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Steamed Eggplants & Silver Fish

Yesterday we went to Tai O village, a former fishing village on the western side of Lantau island. We walked from Tung Chung (we could see the planes taking off and landing at Chek Lap Kok airport as we walked along the coastline) to Tai O under a scorching sun. Today in the SCMP they said that yesterday was the hottest day of the year with records as high as 34 degrees C in the city! No wonder we sweated a lot! 
We reached Tai O at about 1:30pm and went straight to a small local restaurant called Lìhn Hèung Jáu-gâ (Lotus Fragrance Restaurant). Although it does not look anything special, we like going there each time we go to Tai O.  The dishes are local, light, and delicious.

People waiting to get a table

We ordered our favourite: Steamed Eggplants with Silver Fish (ngàhn-yú). This dish has been once recommended to us by the lady boss and each time we have it! Last time we went to Tai O I brought back some dried silver fish so I could make this dish at home. But, as I put less oil in it's less fragrant than at Lìhn Hèung. That gives us one more reason for going back to Tai O!

Steamed eggplants and silver fish
I like the contrast between the eggplants which are tender and the small dried fish slightly crunchy. The addition of spring onion sprinkled on the top of the dish not only bring colour to an otherwise "pale" dish but also a tinge of pungency. The hot sesame oil poured over the dish makes the dish more fragrant.
We also ordered a dish of mixed seafood, fried fish maw (fâ-gâau), black fungus (wàhn-yíh -cloud ear) and angled luffa (sî-gwâ -silk gourd). This is not a stir-fry dish. The ingredients are cooked in a light fish broth. I like the earthy taste of the silk gourd.
We could not order more for the 2 of us as the dishes are rather large.  We washed our meal down with fresh Qingdao beers.  Afterwards, we felt refreshed and crossed the village passing by the many shops selling Tai O's famous dried fish and shrimp paste (hâ-jeung) as well as other products: dried shrimps (hâ-máih), octopus (jêung-yùh), fish maw (yùh-tóuh), etc.

1 comment:

  1. I have a few good friends whom are 'Tai O natives', one mailed a pack of dried shrimps to me when I was in Canada to feed my nostalgic soul, that was very warm, I missed the smell of the sea in Tai O!
    I like this eggplant with silver fish, looks good and I am sure it has the taste of the sea too!