Oriental a GoGo
So we took a quick 2 day trip to Hong Kong the other week and like most people who visit the city for such a short amount of time, the only thing on our agenda was to eat until we drop and then shop (do not do it in that order, or else you’ll be tempted to buy bigger sizes than your own-trust me on this). When i travel to foreign places, new or old, i always research some time before to make sure that i have a list of every and any kind of food/drink outlet ready to go. If we suddenly feel like having pastries? I’ve go just the place. cocktails? I read up the new out of the way hot spot on some blog. Entrails and offal? No problem. I highly recommending doing this, as food take such an importance place in understanding cultures and immersing oneself in a country completely. So before taking a trip out, make a list of any genre/type of restaurants and bars that interest you, even if you wont be able to visit them all, it’ll prevent having a bad meal, falling in tourist traps and will save time when the following reoccurring conversation starts up: “What do you want to eat?” “Anything. You choose”….etc…etc…you’ve all been frustrated by this at one point i’m sure.
So, in our 2 days there, we ended up eating in a traditional restricted menu dim sum place for lunch #1, a back alley cantonese restaurant for lunch #2 (yes we had 2 lunches in one day) and a sichuan restaurant for dinner. The next day, we ate in a ramen place for breakfast (dont judge me), a full on dim sum place for lunch and a Vietnamese restaurant for dinner. Im purposefully not giving out the names of these places because i want you to do the research (or im lazy).
The Vietnamese place, was the type of restaurant that doesn’t take any reservation and which draws in a crowd, lining up outside, 15 minutes before it opens its doors; always a good sign, especially if those in line are locals. We filled out little table up with lot’s love and devoured it in 30 minutes. We had bo bun, shrimp toast, fresh soft shell crab spring rolls, steamed vegetables and a bahn mi. Everything was fantastic, except for that anemic, dry, excuse of a bahn mi. So im going to show this restaurant (Nha Trang) how to do it properly.
Black Pepper Chicken Bahn Mi
Black Pepper Chicken Marinade
Mix 2 Chicken Breast (4 filets) (Sliced like sashimi) with 1sp garlic powder, 1 tsp ginger powder, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1 red onion, 2 tsp of black pepper, 3tsp of fish sauce, 2tsp of oyster sauce, 2tsp of vegetable oil, red chilli flakes. Let marinade at least 1 hour.
Pickled Carrots and Daikon
Peel and grate 3 medium sized carrots. Peel and julienne 1/2 Daikon. Seperate in two preserving jars (which have been correctly sanitized). Take a sauce pan and mix in 1/4 cup rice vinegar + 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup white (or raw) sugar, 1 tbsp salt and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, let cool and top off the two jars. Let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight for better results.
Staple Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
Mix 1 thai chilli, 1/4cup of fish sauce, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of lemon/lime or calamansi juice and minced garlic.
Quick and Dirty Mayo
Take a metal bowl stick it in the freezer for a bit, once nice and cold put one egg yolks in the bowl with 1tsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp of vinegar, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of mustard and then add in a very slow stream (over 5 mins) 3/4 cup of olive oil until nice thick and white.
Cook of your chicken until well coloured and still moist.
Assemble the whole thing. Take your small baguette (crispy skin), you want something at least 20cm long, and blast it in the oven so it gets crispy hot on the outside and warm and fuzzy inside. Open it up halfway, put 1 tbsp of mayonnaise, 2 pieces of Laughing Cow (Vache qui rit) cheese, your chicken, drizzle with sauce generously, top with crisp sliced small japanese cucumbers, top with your pickled daikon and carrot, and finally a bunch of fresh picked and washed coriander and some basil if you’re feeling snazzy.