I’m in Gozo, Malta for the summer. It’s been my home away from home since I was 3, when my paternal grandparents emigrated here. While my branches rise over HK, my roots have always been here. It was here I fell in love for the first time, my son was born here, and my deepest friendships have grown. Read more
When I was a child, I hated eating bitter melon (Fu gwa). Not surprisingly, it had a harsh taste that reminded me vaguely of Chinese medicine. Read more
I am having such a good day, it feels like I’m high. No special reason for it. But work was a breeze, and it felt like I was floating on my own little cloud. Wonder if there’s something in the water…
Summer holidays have been booked and this year’s destination is Gozo, Malta. Another small island. This island has had a long hold over my heart. My grandparents moved there when I was a toddler. All my summer holidays were spent there. I made my best friends there. It is the Island where my son was born. We haven’t been back since his birth and I have missed my friends and family there so much. This year my son turns 5 and his passport needs to be renewed and his birth certificate updated so a trip was in order.
If you have never heard of Gozo, let alone Malta, it is a beautiful tiny island set in the sapphire waters of the Mediterranean, an hour away from Sicily and close to North Africa. It is a rare place, with blonde, blue-eyed people, and a language that is a direct cross-breed of Italian and Arabic. It is rich in history, with stories of piracy and invasions and courage of the local people. It is my home away from home.
The food of the island is also wonderful and evocative of the setting. Here are pizzas and pastas of Italy and stews and flavors of North Africa. And now we just count down to those balmy summer days.(5 weeks and counting….)
Since I am confined to legumes and proteins at the moment, I remembered this dish which is one of my favorites. The last time I ate it was at my friend Claire’s family’s summer house, in Qbajjar. We sat out front in the hot summer sun, with the blue waters not more than 50 feet away. It is fast, light and so tasty. Perfect for summer nights when you don’t feel like cooking. Only a handful of ingredients and barely any preparation.
BUTTER BEAN SALAD
- 1 can of butter / fava beans, washed and drained and dried
- good quality extra virgin oil
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- a squeeze of lemon
- 1 small handful of parsley
- a pinch of Maldon sea flakes or good coarse sea salt
1. In a bowl, put the beans in and add as much olive oil as you desire.
2. Add the minced garlic and parsley.
3. Squeeze the lemon juice and add the salt flakes,
4. Toss well.
5. Serve with fresh crusty bread and chopped tomatoes.
Happy New Year everyone!
I am feeling excited about this year. I have a few goals I’ve set for myself, a key one being to get myself fit and healthy again. I’ve managed to be a bit more mindful about what I put in my stomach lately. So in keeping with that, today’s recipe is a lovely, light and satisfying Japanese-style dish, that only takes minutes. It’s nutritious and delicious…
This is a cold noodle dish. Usually in Japan it is made with a dressing containing mirin, a sweet rice vinegar, but I didn’t have any. I did have ponzu sauce, which is an excellent substitute, and can be sweetened with a teaspoon of sugar to make it more mirin-like. This would make an excellent starter or packed lunch.
GREEN TEA NOODLES WITH ASIAN COLESLAW
- 1/3 of a small white cabbage, washed & shredded or sliced fine
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced thin
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp of minced fresh ginger or galangal
- 3 tbsps of Japanese Ponzu sauce
- 3 tbsps of orange juice or calamansi juice
- 1 tbsp of light soya sauce
- 1 tbsp of roasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp of white sugar
- 2 spring onions chopped fine
- 2 bundles of buckwheat noodles – I used a green tea flavoured one from my local supermarket.
First make the dressing : mix the garlic, spring onion, soya, ponzu, sugar, juice and oil together and set aside for 10 minutes. Bring a pan of water to boil in the meantime. Then go back to the sauce and stir well so that the sugar is dissolved. When the pan of water is boiling, unwrap the paper tie from the noodle bundles and drop the noodles in to cook. Boil on a low simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Add the shredded cabbage and cucumber to the dressing and toss well. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. Drain again until completely dry. Add to the coleslaw and dressing and mix well. Serve.
The greatest attractions of Hong Kong for many people are the shopping malls and wondrous variety of food establishments – why eat at home when you can dine in air-conditioned luxury without breaking a sweat!