Where to Eat in HK: Under the Bridge Spicy Crab

April 12, 2016 § 1 Comment

Work will bring me to Hong Kong in a few weeks and I am reminded of the last dish I had a few years ago in Wan Chai. We walked from Gloucester to Lockhart Road to look for Hong Kong’s famous Under the Bridge Spicy Crab Restaurant. Known for their authentic and mouth-watering typhoon shelter crabs.

Back in the day before modern HK, there lived a community of fishermen living in typhoon shelters. Within this community rose a distinct culinary culture that centered on freshly caught seafood. As Hong Kong’s status as a fishing city decline, this community started moving to land, the younger generation trading up for better jobs.


We found the modest restaurant with staff that hardly speaks English. With an atmosphere like this, it almost always promises an authentic meal. The star of the show is the bits of garlic, chili peppers, and spring onion stir-fried till crisp then tossed with the deep-fried mud crab—insanely addictive. I love this version because I prefer fried or just steamed crabs sans any sauce, which sometimes masks the sweetness of the crab.  The dry chill-garlic bits, albeit on the oily side, adds just the right flavour and heat to the crabs.  A must-try when in the area.

See you in a few weeks Hong Kong. I hope to devour your impressive crab dish once again. And hopefully, introduce you to the people traveling with me.

Shop 6-9, G/F, 423 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai

A Master Sauce

October 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

XO Sauce that is.  It’s the sauce of all Chinese sauces; I call it a master sauce as it makes any dish extraordinary.  XO Sauce – it sounds opulent and it is but alcohol it has not, not a drop. It’s actually chopped dried seafood, usually scallops, fish and shrimps, cooked with chili, onions, garlic and oil.  Served once upon a time only in gourmet seafood restaurants, a few companies today produce it commercially – I love Lee Kum Kee’s XO Sauce and you can find it in selected high-end supermarkets.

Expensive yes but I love that it is made more available.

It is exquisite on its own but it adds oomph to noodles and pasta dishes, vegetable dishes and even on fried rice.  When I’m famished and feel like something succulent, or if I want to impress but don’t have time, XO Sauce saves the day – never fails.  Any vegetable available should suffice, really.  Here’s a favorite!

Stir Fried Broccoli and Mushroom with XO Sauce

What you need:

  •  200 grams Broccoli florets, rinsed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 100 grams mushrooms (shiitake or brown)
  • 2 tbsp. XO sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. peanut or canola oil

 What you do:

  1. Blanch broccoli in boiling water. Drain.
  2. Stir-fry broccoli in oil.
  3. Add garlic and XO sauce.
  4. Stir well and serve with rice.

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