Maybe it was just the humidity, but stepping off the train and into the heart of Hong Kong took my breath away. The feeling of being surrounded by the illuminated skyscrapers can make you feel incredibly insignificant. The lights danced across the buildings and into the night, as if each skyscraper was competing to define the skyline. Heading to our hotel, I was so consumed with staring up at the buildings that stretched into the sky that I forgot to tell the cab driver where our hotel was. After a 20 minute drive, 2 U turns and a hundred apologies to the driver, we arrived at our funky and quirky hotel, the O Hotel. We were jetlagged but the energy that vibrated through the city had us eager to get out and explore.
We ventured out into the city, walking down alleyways to visit little shops selling spices, roasted meats and knick-knacks. We visited Man Mo temple, a tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo), taking in the intoxicating smell of incense. We headed over to Kowloon, aboard the humble Star Ferry, to visit the Avenue of Stars and watch the symphony of the lights along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. The markets in Kowloon are a great place to find odd trinkets and jewellery where you can watch the locals haggle and sample food from street vendors.
No trip to Hong Kong is complete without heading to the top of Victoria Peak. We took the tram up to the peak, and we couldn’t pull ourselves away from the spectacular panoramic view of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is where we truly discovered dim sum. Dim Sum, which means to “touch your heart”, stays true to its meaning. These delicious morsels are traditionally eaten for breakfast or lunch, gathered with friends and family, as bamboo baskets piled high on carts pass by the tables for your choosing. I was in heaven! Shrimp and pork-filled dumplings with cilantro or mushrooms, spicy cucumber salad, barbecued pork buns and soup dumplings that burst with flavour in your mouth, were only a few. This is where I discovered wonton dumplings with chilli oil sauce. The taste was incredible and I couldn’t get enough. Once in a while, I get a craving for these delightfully spicy dumplings. My recipe is most definitely not traditional, but it’s still crazy delicious. Hope you enjoy!
- For the filling:
- 20 raw shrimp, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sriracha sauce
- wonton wrappers
- For the chilli oil sauce:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 small chilli pepper (I used finger hot peppers)
- 2 tsp chilli flakes, chopped
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp chicken broth
- 1 tsp honey
- chilli peppers/flakes, green onion for garnishing
- Heat the oil and add the shrimp. Cook until it looks almost opaque, then add ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sriracha. Cook for another couple minutes. Turn off the heat and add the green onions.
- To make the wontons, add approx. 1 tsp of filling to the middle of the wonton wrapper. Line the edges of the wrapper with water. Fold the wrapper so that the opposite corners are touching to form a triangle. Pinch the sides to form a seal, so that no water can get into the wonton.
- Make the chilli sauce by heating the olive oil, on low heat, in a sauce pan. Add the chilli pepper and flakes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients for the sauce and simmer on very low heat. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool.
- Boil the water and add the wontons into the pot. When the wontons float to the top, they are cooked. Plate the wontons and drizzle the chilli oil sauce on top, garnishing with chillis and/or green onions for crunch.