Ever since we moved to Hong Kong, our food shopping routines and habits have changed. I used to do my food shopping online, at least once or twice a month and top up fresh ingredients at least once a week at any supermarkets nearby. Supermarkets here offer online shopping but I just don’t find the whole experience quite the same (after trying a few times). I only restrict myself buying non-perishable stuff. I wouldn’t go into too much details as I plan to write a separate post about my shopping experience in Hong Kong.
The availability of ingredients are different and some are significantly pricier than in the UK/Europe. Yes, you guess it right! Anything that is not consumed daily/frequently or produced in large scale in this part of the world costs a bomb! Sometimes, it’s just mind-boggling to see those huge price tags – especially ingredients that I ate frequently when I lived in London.
My diet hasn’t changed significantly. I buy those expensive ingredients from time to time. I go to wet market occasionally though I don’t buy everything from the wet market.
When comes to vegetables, what do I eat? I used to eat tenderstem broccoli, kale, spinach, courgettes, asparagus, green beans…etc. Now, I eat choi sum, Chinese kale, bok choy…etc. So, I consume more leafy greens and they are abundant here. The most common method to prepare Chinese vegetables is to stir-fry, boil or steam. It’s quick and easy! But, I do miss some of the Western vegetables, which are sold at silly prices over here! Well, grass is always greener on the other side. Right now, I wish I could easily access to Western ingredients. (Yes I can get them but I’m not happy to pay double or triple the price!)
Well, enough of ranting! This post is about an easy Chinese recipe – Choi Sum with Garlic Oyster Sauce. Choi Sum or Choy Sum (菜心) is also known as the Chinese Flowering Cabbage. It has green medium-wide leaves, slightly tough stem, where some have yellow flowers grown on it. It’s kind of pretty! Price wise, it’s darn cheap – 450g sold at HK$ 10 or HK$ 12 or could be cheaper! Whereas, it is sold (at Tesco UK, I checked!) at £1.60 per 200g. Perhaps, it makes me feel better now? It’s all about globalisation – import and export of foods seem really common in the world we are living in, isn’t it?