Friday, April 07, 2006

Up-ended lunch

My Dad made a very, very local Hakka dish of preserved veg stewed with pork ("Mui choi ju yok"). This is an acquired taste, one that I grew up on and which Westerners usually find incredibly smelly and disgusting.

The main reason for this is the method of preservation. The vegetables, usually a leafy sort with stalk, sort of like "bak choi", is marinated and preserved in dark spices and sauces and left to almost "rot" so that it has a real tang to it. Then the vegetables are dried out in the sun and look like black pieces of fungus. It is no longer easy to get the "good, smelly" type of preserved vegetables anymore and my Dad bribed and begged it off a cook. He then cooked it up with some deliciously tender pork until it was pungent, black and night and thoroughly delicious.

So, it was with some excitement and happiness that I went to re-heat my lunch box of precious preserved veg and pork. Three and a half minutes in the micro and I was ready to go. Paper in my left and lunchbox in my right, I was quickly walking to my office when...

I tripped.

And the rice portion (along with a bit of veg) flew out of my hands and into the hall of our open plan office of the Systems department. Much to my dismay, where usually the office is deserted during this time, three people from that department stood watching as my smelly black food lay between their desks.

Scrambled about apologizing profusely, picking up my rice, spraying the area with carpet freshener and generally embarrassing myself.

Following this, I got into my office and sadly looked at my lunchbox.

It was only the saucy preserved pork and veg left, much too salty to eat on its own. So, down I went to the shops to buy a box of plain white rice for the horrific amount of HK$10 and ate my delectable preserved veg and pork.

As a side note, how can they get away with charging so much for plain rice? Absolute highway robbery! Oh no, I'm turning into my auntie!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yum. My favorite. Sun.