Countdown to Hong Kong : – 7 Days

By , July 16, 2010 11:18 pm

THE DIETING

To take part in the Media Bathtub Race during the Dragon Boat Carnival, we had to sign a form declaring that we can swim at least 100m with light clothing. Safety is paramount. So I guess that’s why I was asked to participate. My waist has a natural float. It is the size of a bicycle tyre now with the potential of growing into a Michelin.

And going to Hong Kong isn’t going to help since there are as many restaurants there as there are shopping districts. So I guess that sort of cancels each other out, right? You eat, and then get trim shopping. No wonder so many Hong Kongers are so slim despite their penchant for siu ngaap (roast duck), char siew (roast pork) and dim sum.

Saving for later

For me, chow dao fu (smelly beancurd) with a steaming hot bowl of cow’s heart and pig intestine is a must when in Hong Kong. I know they don’t sound very appetizing, and the stinky tofu smells like the sewage, but once you get past the stench, they’re really tasty.

Never judge a book by its cover. Never judge a food by its odour.

But of course, those street foods are gonna jam up the bad cholesterol level. So I’m taking the save-now-spend-later approach. I’m watching what I eat for every meal at the moment so as to calm the body before the storm.

Breakfast is a delicious and nutritious meal of oatmeal and raisins with soya milk, lunch is an appetising and mouthwatering bowl of fish soup (with no rice or noodles), and dinner… Well, it’s the last meal of the day so I spoil myself. I do housework with my tongue. I eat dust.

That, of course, is a fast diet to lose the float in a week. But who am I kidding? No matter how much I psyche myself up, when mealtime comes, my mind says eat fit food, my legs say go to the gym, while my hands pays the char kway teow hawker.

“Today is the day I’m starting and sticking to my diet.” Problem is, I say this every day. So I shall put it in words now, and the world as my witness, that for the next 8 days, I’m going to eat healthily. This morning I had the oatmeal breakfast, lunch I had seafood soup with noodles, and dinner I cooked brown rice and this…

Easy Recipe

Hong Kong-style Steamed Fish is my favouritest way of cooking fish because it is relatively fuss-free and it’s very appetizing with rice. Here’s my recipe for this simple yet looks-like-it-took-a-lot-of-effort dish.

Ingredients :

Serves 2 – 3 people

Fish – 300g (I used White Threadfin here but you can also use Garoupa or Sea Bass)

Light Soya Sauce – 2 tablespoons

Water – 6 tablespoons (3:1 ratio between soya sauce and water)

Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Chinese Cooking Wine (Hua Diao Jiu) – 3 tablespoon

Spring Onions, Chinese Parsley, Young Ginger (amounts according to preference)

Cooking Method :

  1. Have the fishmonger gut the fish and ask for a ‘butterfly cut’ (slices both sides of the fish so that the flesh opens up like wings). Asked for it to be lightly scored too.
  2. Wash the fish thoroughly with water, then rinse it with the Chinese Cooking Wine to coat it. The idea is not to soak or marinate it in the wine.
  3. Slice ginger into fine strips and stuff them into the scores of the fish.
  4. Finely slice Spring Onions and break Parsley into segments. Leave aside.
  5. Heat up the wok and when the water is boiling, put the fish in to steam at high heat. A fish this size takes about 10 mins.
  6. At the meantime, pour Soya Sauce, Water, Olive Oil, and Sugar and bring to boil. This is the sauce.
  7. Remove the cooked fish and put it on a flat plate. Pour sauce over the fish and garnish with Spring Onions and Parsley.

Tip for steaming

Here’s a tip for steaming fish so that you get the nice butterfly form. If you just steam it on a flat plate, sometimes the fish meat gets stuck to the plate and disintegrates when you attempt to move it.

Now enjoy your Hong Kong-style Steamed Fish… while I look forward to the dinner aboard a traditional Chinese Junk in Hong Kong next week! Ha. 🙂

Secret Bathtub Training – The Challenges

By , July 16, 2010 2:23 am

With only just over a week until I travel to Hong Kong with my fellow bloggers, it’s time to let everybody in on a little secret.

The last few days has seen a steep curve in the training schedule for the International Media Bathtub race to be held on the 25th July (as part of the much larger Dragon Boat Festival).

My preparation for this event has not been without its challenges.

Firstly, on Sunday I had the contractors come in to hack the training tub out of our bathroom… as you can imagine, my wife was none too impressed to lose our brand new bathtub out of our newly renovated bathroom (nor were my neighbours very happy – HDB do not allow any kind of noisy renovation-type works on the weekends).

The stringent training regimen starts off each morning – the alarm starts buzzing at around 5:00am… I then tie down the bathtub to the roof of my Toyota Wish and head off to Marina Bay to begin a two hour paddle. It’s actually very difficult, because as you can see from this picture, I can’t put my OMY Blog Awards trophy down for long enough to pick up an oar. So really I just float around in the bay in a piece of porcelain for a couple of hours.

"Jia You, Aussie Pete!! Jia You!! 加油!!"

"Jia You, Aussie Pete!! Jia You!! 加油!!"

Then it’s back home again for a quick change of clothes before heading off to hit the pavement in a ‘Rocky’ style 5km run. It’s not uncommon for all the young kids heading off to school to join in behind me and offer me encouragement – “Jia You Aussie Pete!! Jia You!!“. With the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ sountrack buzzing in my head, it culminates with a fist into the air – of course I’m still holding my Blog Awards Trophy!

OK – of course, I jest… there is no Bay Paddle nor even a morning run – and if you try waking me at 5:00am, expect a very grouchy Aussie Pete!… and there’s no way that my wife would ever consider allowing me to dismantle her beautifully designed bathroom.

Having said that, I am concerned with how we’re going to perform in the Bathtub event in Hong Kong. From what I’ve read on the website of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and from people I’ve spoken to, this event covers around 100 metres and may take about 40 minutes to complete… Huh!!? 100 metres in 40 minutes?? How tough is this particular activity, I wonder? Also, given that we’re representing OMY, is the expectation to actually win this race or is it merely just to be able to finish with the bathtub still upright?

The next challenge I’ve got, is what to wear. Darren Ng (Celebrate Life) will be also competing with his blogger counterpart, Violet Lim. If you’ve visited Darren’s website or seen him on RazorTV, you will be no doubt aware of his very ‘hunky’ (as I’ve heard the girls put it) physique. My team mates from the Singapore Wombats Aussie Rules footy team have been daring me to wear just a pair of speedos – should Darren and I both do that, then I’ve definitely lost even before the race has begun!!

A huge thank you to the Hong Kong Tourism Board!

A huge thank you to the Hong Kong Tourism Board!

The official finalized itinery for the four day trip to Hong Kong is almost with us, at which time I’ll be able to decide what some of the extra activities and sites I’d like to do and see – I’ve been to this wonderful place many times, but it’s always been for work (with no time to play). The HKTB has been extremely helpful in ensuring that we are fully armed with as much information on the many things available to us while we’re there – stay tuned for my detailed itinery!! (one outing will definitely be shopping – my wife has given me a ‘leave pass’ for the four days on the proviso that I meet her shopping list requirements… she tells me that Hong Kong is a hub for branded handbags etc – thank goodness for the ‘Visa Card’ competition. I think I’ll need to win the grand prize of HK$500,000 just to pay the credit card bill!!)

I’ll post here again as soon as I’ve finalized my itinery. In the meantime, I’ve been researching other creative ways that Geck Geck and I might be able to win this Bathtub race. I think I’ve found the solution – check out this video below:

[youtube GcQcibnFh0k&NR=1]

夏游香江(序篇)

By , July 16, 2010 1:21 am

出席了香港旅游局与 OMY 开的讲解会,稍微有了这个行程的一点概念。

HKTB-Group
* 谢谢 Darren 提供,Alvin 帮忙拍的团体照。

是的,我们将在下个星期五一起出发到香港!

还在等待更多详情,所以也不能做更详尽的筹备。不过大家放心,思斌我一定会第一时间与大家分享照片与游记的咯~

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