|Day 12 – Final Day in Hong Kong
The early(er) to bed last night paid off for us as we completed our last day of instruction with Martha Sherpa on spicy dishes from Sichuan.
We started off with another market tour – this one quite different from those “in-country”. By and large everything was cleaner, larger scale, “fancier”. There were virtually zero slaughter operations occurring except for 2 remaining chicken stalls held over by popular demand for those who just “had to have” freshly slaughtered poultry. Martha said that the next virus scare will finally end it all and it’ll be over in HK.
That being said, the seafood stalls were running full blast with anything and everything that swims or hops. We thought we had seen it all until we saw an order of 20 frogs get butchered in about 5 minutes – not for the faint of heart – there was some concern that Erica might loose her breakfast!
Martha helped us in the all-important area of sauce acquisition at the market and we loaded up with lots of “secret ingredients” we thought we might have trouble getting in (and into) the States. We also loaded up on more tea.
Back in class we prepared:
Braised fish in Sichuan Sauce – great.
Stir fry shrimp with sweet spicy sauce – great.
Stir fry string bean with pork, dried shrimp and pickle vegetables – Home Run.
Stir fry beef with firm tofu, cabbage and mixed sauce – really good.
Kung Pao Chicken – Grand Slam Home Run
The Kung Pao Chicken is a well-known name but there is no relationship between the dish we prepared and the one you buy at the US shopping mall food court. It was a revelation!
Same with the beans – just an unbelievable upgrade.
So we ended up with a bunch of “go-to” dishes for back home.
After class we went back to the hotel and hooked up the concierges one final time. They were simply in love with us and we’re all “best friends” forever. We had dinner at the top-end restaurant at our hotel – well known in the area. We pre-ordered the meal with the help of the concierge and they even had the chef come out and greet us during the meal.
What we found out was that we’ve become really good, but there’s still a Great Leap Forward” to the top-shelf. That’s of course a good thing – we have something to aspire to.
Getting excited about going home to loads of work and the holiday season, “Team Goat” had to part ways.
Stephen & Fred did an early am pack-up and headed to the airport at 6:00am for what turned out to be an welcoming uneventful 30 hour trip home, Stephen arriving just in time for his restaurant group’s Christmas Party! We detailed all the “stuff” we were packing on our Customs form and they pulled us aside for a few questions and a scan of the bags. Our explanations earned a few laughs and goodwill and they let us through with all the booty. Once again, honesty paid off in spades!
Erica and Jon reported an equally calm journey home to LA. Thank Goodness.
Trip Summary to Follow.