Friday, October 19, 2012

Drying and dried seafood

Hundreds of shrimp drying in the sun on Cheung Chau

Dried fish arrayed in an artistic manner in Macau

For many people, fresh is best when it comes to food.  But while I do feel that way with regards to such as my sushi and sashimi, I also do like my share of pickled and otherwise preserved edibles.  Still, it's only since moving to Hong Kong that I've come to like looking at -- and photographing -- dried foods; not least since they often are arrayed in eye-catching style!

One of the thing that fascinates me about Hong Kong (and neighhboring Macau) is how people can feel so secure about leaving seafood (as well as such as lime and tangering peels) out in the open in public space such as busy roadsides.  Something else I found intriguing was my learning that while dried salted fish was viewed in the past as food for the poor, dried shrimp is actually more expensive these days than fresh shrimp -- with the reason being that dried shrimp is considered to possess a more desirable intense flavor than its fresh equivalent!

If truth be told though, I generally prefer eating fresh shrimp to the dried variety -- and raw shrimp and prawns at that (particularly in sushi-ya and Thai restaurants)!  At the same time though, I also am fond of both Hong Kong-style and Malaysian-style shrimp paste (that's made from dried, fermented shrimp)!  And while I like Malaysian shrimp paste (i.e., belacan) best when mixed with other ingredients to make Penang rojak, I like the Hong Kong-style shrimp paste best as a dip for cooked squid -- something I was introduced to at the amazing Wah Kee over in Mui Wo (which I found out about via the very cool Tom Eats, Jen Cooks blog -- though Tom, if you're reading this, sorry, it's Wah, not Wai, Kee... :b ).


The Fragrant Harbour said...

My concern would be the roadside pollution getting into the seafood while it was drying on the street!

YTSL said...

Hi "The Fragrant Harbour" --

Since the only motorized vehicles on Cheung Chau are emergency transport like ambulances and fire engines, I'm figuring that there's not that much roadside pollution to worry about... ;b

sarah bailey knight said...

hi ytsl,

After a quick view of your first photo I thought it was a piece of fabric and your second photo was of jewelry silver sunflowers. Then I took a closer look. What fun!

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

I'm glad you took a closer look but teehee re your first impressions of what the photos were of! :D

Joel and Minxi said...

One of our favorite spots in Hong Kong was the fish market in Tai O. Whole dried shark is something you've got to see to believe.

We blog about Hong Kong as well and would love to share links and ideas with you.


Joel and Minxi

YTSL said...

Hi Joel and Minxi --

I've never seen whole dried shark... and I've been to Tai O quite a few times already! The thing though is that I usually go there post-hike these days. Ah well...

Re your blog: I checked it out and my, it sure has a lot of ads on it! :O