As I continue to feel my way through Hong Kong supermarkets and recipe ideas that actually make sense in this city, I keep coming back to two things -sashimi grade fish and Japanese mayo. Ok, ok. Sure it’s expat-y and not quite embracing what the locals have to offer, but at least I’m getting warmer. And I can make Tom happy with things like this salmon sashimi with pomegranate seeds and a prawn and tobiko salad.
There’s a couple reasons why sushi works so well living in this city. It’s fast, light, and you don’t have to heat up your kitchen to make it. But the main reason I keep finding myself in the fish section these days is because it’s actually pretty good value. The other day I purchased what I would describe as a “slab” of salmon for $90 HDK. From that slab, I sliced what would probably equal six orders in a restaurant. And with that much just for two of us, we stuffed ourselves silly.
In Hong Kong, the selection of sushi grade fish in the supermarkets also goes way beyond the standard tuna and salmon. There’s plenty of opportunities to be creative with fresh scallops, squid, octopus, yellowtail, or tobiko. And the quality is as good as, if not better than, the local Japanese restaurants. Partner your slab of fish with some local veg, nori, and rice and you can be in business for under $200 HKD for two. Considering that just one, good quality chicken breast can cost anywhere from $50-$90 HKD, it’s clear which menu choice makes the most sense.
Now, the second must have ingredient in my pantry is Japanese mayo. It does contains MSG, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. You don’t need much for it to do wonders, so if you’re really concerned, rest assured your consumption can be kept to a minimum. But if you’re like me, I’ve been putting it on everything. I toss it in simple salads dressed with sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy. I even squeeze it on my burgers and dogs alongside the ketchup and mustard.
The recipe below is another simple and easy sushi supper. For the sashimi, slice the salmon, sprinkle with a few pomegranate seeds, and a bit of lime zest. Drizzle with soy and sesame oil and you’re done. For the salad, I love the colour and texture that tobiko, aka flying fish roe, adds to a dish, and you can purchase a healthy portion for around $45 HKD. This container lasted through several meals for me.
For this salad, I bought 200 g of prawns which doesn’t seem like much, but once steamed and chopped is enough to serve four. I prefer steaming to boiling as it retains the natural flavour of the sea.
Mix the prawns with a generous spoonful of tobiko and a squeeze of Japanese mayo. Serve on a bed of shredded cabbage and crack open the sake.