cooking / Friends / Hong Kong / Lifestyle / Local Food / Recreation

Poon Choi

Over Chinese New Year we were invited to a friends house to play Mah Jong and eat Poon Choi. I had absolutely NO idea what “poon choi” was as I had never heard the term before and my best guess was choi means vegetables in Cantonese, so I assumed it had something to do with vegetables. Titus just smiled at me as I kept nagging him to tell me what it is with “you’ll see”.

Our friend had ordered a delivered poon choi. Ok – so I then assumed it must be a banquet of dishes just delivered to the apartment. When the delivery driver arrived he handed over one huge bag with a big round thing inside it. As the plastic was pulled back it revealed a giant metal bowl filled with what looked predominantly like meat. It looked amazing. All I could say was “wow”.

Prawns, chicken, roast duck, roast pork, scallops … and that was just the TOP layer. What I soon discovered is that this giant bowl is several dishes combined into one big pot. The bowl was placed on top of a gas stove (like you would use for steamboat) and heated up slowly until steam was blissfully rising from beneath. With the meat on top warmed up, everyone began to eat the top layer – the meat. All the meats were delicious.

With enough meat removed from the bowl, green veges were added – in this case chinese lettuce. Left to stew in the soupy juices it took on the mixed meat flavour which was actually very tasty. Also hiding below the meats were more meats – steamed pork, abalone – turnip, mushrooms and other delights all soaking in a brown broth. The turnip in particular was incredibly yummy. The flavour went all the way through the big chunks as they soaked up a lot of the both and juices. As the broth got a little low, more broth was added – extra broth was included in a bottle along with the big bowl of food.

Paper thin tofu and thin bean noodle balls were added to give even more variety and soak up the broth as well. Everyone was so full and there was still food left!

This poon choi fed at least 10 adults! Nothing short of amazing.

As for the big metal bowl? Believe it or not you keep it. It is included in the price which is barely HK$100 per person. It also has a grill inside on the bottom to stop the food burning and sticking to the bottom.

What a great social event to share among friends. We had the best time. Chinese certainly know how to make food a social gathering. I want to do one of these at our place one of these days.

As for the Mah Jong – we had a great time. It was social and we all moved around and shared the spots so everyone got to have a go. Full of laughter and competitive but enjoyable banter it was loads of fun.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s