Pat Heung, Hong Kong
A beautifully simple dish that was a quick solution for a hearty healthy meal everyday. Although this may not sound appealing in this day and age, it was definately a dish that made use of the ingrediants that were readily and cheaply avaliable. This used to be eaten with sweet potato rice, which is literally rice made with homegrown sweet potato in order to span out the rice rations when times were hard.
Besides being eaten together as family, this dish was always eaten during the wedding banquet at the brides house, before she was given away. It was a sign of loss, rather than celebration, as the family were losing their daughter. During these times the whole village would gather to eat together outside around small tables, while the bride hid in her house with her 'sisters' (female friends and relatives). When the time came, the men would go to 'find' the bride and had to fight in order to bring her away.
Bruised garlic and ginger and dried shrimps are added to a smoking hot wok to create the deep flavour of the dish. Fish balls, white carrot and dried pig skin are added with a pinch of sugar to bring out the flavours and soy sauce. After half an hour, it should be ready to serve, with a handful of chopped spring onions.