⟨ Food ⟩

A Sleepless Night

Shoyu Koji Cod Ochazuke

Words & Photography / Jo Liu

那夜下班,不想回家,我沿着電車路線一直走,從中環慢慢走到堅彌地城海旁,我們的堅彌地城海旁。1小時6分鐘的路程,我便花了1小時6分鐘去放空腦袋,途中看到影像與聲音,一一拾起又放下,就像我們之間的片段,拾起,放下,重覆。這是近乎修練的一種習

思念對方時,我們便走路。由中環至北角、銅鑼灣到西環、天后至柴灣,我們各自走着思念對方的路。

「我們走的路大概足以環繞香港島一周。」我說。

「不,至少有兩周。」你不花半秒回道。

你似乎對空間與距離比較有概念,我卻知道即使數字計算得再準確,我們只存在於平行時空。在同一個城市,走一樣的路,坐一樣的小輪,時空永遠也未能交疊,我們沒法在對方的生活裡出現。一刻的相遇,不過是物理學上存有惻隱,容許兩道直線終究還是能相遇,儘管只是一瞬間的事。

我在堅彌地城海旁那把長椅坐下。我們曾經在這長椅上坐了好久,為了把對方的臉好好看清,為了把相遇的一瞬間延至永遠,至少我倆是如此心存希冀。現在,一個人在舊地坐着,「then I have all the time to think about you」,這是借你的話說。

回到家裡,天空剛泛起魚肚白。我拿出雪櫃裡的白飯,翻了翻冰箱,有一片小小的鱈魚。在廚房裡慢慢地燒水,煮了柴魚高湯,泡了茶,把鱈魚煎了,白飯熱了,給自己做一碗小小茶漬飯,在寧靜的清晨洗去徹夜無眠的冷。

很久以後,我打開那塵封已久的通訊軟件,看到你傳來蘇打綠的歌《無眠》,就在那夜。


It was another late night after work. Not in the mood of going home, I started to stroll along tram route from Central to Kennedy Town Praya – our Kennedy Town Praya. The walk took 1 hour and 6 minutes, and I spent all those minutes to space out. Whatever seen and heard on the road were unseen and unheard, just like the snippets of our moments were picked up, let go and repeat. It has almost become a ritual.

When we miss each other, we walk. We walk from Central to North Point, Causeway Bay to Sai Wan, Tin Hau to Chai Wan. We walk on our own on the same road thinking about each other.

“The distance we have walked should be long enough to round Hong Kong Island once.” I said.

“No, at least twice.” You replied within a second.

You may have a better grasp of distance, yet, however the precise calculation is, numbers cannot tell that the fact that we live apart in a parallel universe; we walk the same road and take the same ferry in the same city but our existence simply happens to be in different dimensions. There is mercy though, two straight lines might cross at some point, even it will only be a fleeting moment.

I settled on the bench at the Praya, on that very bench where we spent so much time gazing at each other’s face, trying to turn an ephemeral junction into eternity – at least we were so wishing. Now, sitting here alone, “I have all the time to think about you”, a quote of your words.

It came to the break of dawn when I was home. I took a bowl of rice out from the fridge. Going through the freezer there was a teensy weensy piece of cod fillet. I put the kettle on, made dashi, seared the cod fillet, and made myself a bowl of ochazuke to wash off the weariness of a sleepless night in a morning of tranquility.

Months later, I opened the app where we used to chat on, and found an unread message from you. You sent me a song called “Sleepless Night” from Soda Green, on that same night.

醬油麴鱈魚茶漬飯 (一人份)

材料:

白飯  1碗、鱈魚  1小片、水  3杯、煎茶/玄米茶茶包  1個、柴魚湯包  1包、醬油麴  2茶匙(可以用適量鹽代替)、油  1茶匙、紫菜飯素  適量

做法:

  1. 鱈魚洗淨抹乾,抹上醬油麴,備用。
  2. 白飯翻熱,備用。
  3. 倒兩杯水到鍋裡,煮沸後轉中火,下柴魚湯包,煮約5分鐘。
  4. 煲水泡茶備用。
  5. 下少許油至不黏平底鍋裡,中火把鱈魚煎至兩面金黃。
  6. 把熱茶及高湯倒進茶壺,按口味下鹽,不加也可。
  7. 熱飯盛起,放上鱈魚,灑上飯素後加茶即可。

Shoyu Koji Cod Ochazuke (For one)

Ingredients:

Steamed rice  1 Bowl,Cold fillet  1 small piece, Water  3 Cups, Sencha/Genmaicha Tea bag 1 Piece,Dried dashi pack   1 Pack, Shoyu Koji 2 Teaspoons (Can be replaced by salt), Oil  1 Teaspoon, Furikake  To taste

Method:

  1. Clean and pat dry the cod fillet. Marinate it with the koji and set aside.
  2. Reheat the rice and set aside.
  3. Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Put in the dashi pack and boil it for around 5 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Steep the tea bag in hot water and set aside.
  5. Add oil to a non-stick pan and sear the cod fillet over medium heat until both sides are golden brown.
  6. Pour the hot tea and dashi into a teapot. Season it with salt, or skip it.
  7. Place the fish onto the rice, top it with furikake. Pour the hot tea mixture over it. Ready to serve.

 


Jo Liu

It’s raining outside, crisp and bleak. Three chubby sparrows took shelter on my balcony and I gave them the baguette bits left on my breakfast plate but they flew away. I stayed in, played Damien Rice on vinyl and made apple crumble. Repeat.

Instagram: foodialoguehk