⟨ Food ⟩

Drizzle in Spring

Taiwanese Sesame Oil Chicken Pot

Words & Photography / Jo

農曆年過後,雨一直下,細細綿綿,落地無聲,在空氣中似有還無的。望出窗外白茫茫一片,看不到對岸,是霧又是雨。

她來到,依舊沒打傘。拍拍外套上的雨點、瀏海上的水珠,水氣掛在睫毛上,眼睛一眨便落下,她就由它在眼下,直至乾透,了無痕跡。

「很冷,要點熱的喝!」

她點了檸檬薑蜜,我叫了茉莉花奶茶,一份麻油雞麵線,二人分着吃。我倆在一起時,大部分時間都是她在說話。她說話時,圓滾滾的眼睛睜得更大,好像發現了新大陸,或是鴨子長了第三隻腳的樣子,即使再普通的一件事,在她口中說出來再也不平凡。

食物送上來,我給她盛了點熱湯和粉絲,也夾了一件雞腿肉,我喜歡吃煮得軟軟的大白菜,給自己盛了一碗菜和粉絲。我吃着粉絲,聽她說最近的磨人事,起初語調還是那副老樣子,繪形繪聲,但話到某處,卻忽爾靜下。

我懂的。

這幾年,她身邊的位置總是空着,人來的來、去的去,心裡有個位置,等着對的人來填滿。每次見面,總想給她一個擁抱,給她做一道溫暖的菜,在寂靜時,在空白格留下一些溫暖。


It’s been raining since the first day of Lunar New Year. Lingering in the air, almost invisibly, patches of drizzle touch the ground so lightly that not a drop of sound is made. The shore is hidden amidst the rain and haze.

Here she comes, without an umbrella as usual. She taps away the raindrops on her coat and fringe, and the mists hanging on her lashes fall under her eye while she blinks.

“It’s freezing out there. Let’s get something hot to drink!”

She has a ginger and lemon honey drink, and I have a jasmine milk tea. We also order a Taiwanese sesame oil chicken noodle to share. She does the talking most of the time when we hang out. Her dolly eyes roll bigger when she talks; as if a new continent is found or a duckling with three legs is seen. Everything seems more interesting in the way she talks; nothing is mundane.

Food is served. I fill her bowl with the steamy soup and glass noodles, and topped with a piece of chicken thigh fillets. I like the cabbage cooked tender, and have my bowl filled with the veggie and glass noodles. She begins to talk about what’s recently bothering her, vividly like how she normally does. And suddenly, silence fills the air.

I understand.

The spot beside her has been vacant. There are passersby all these years, yet there is a void to be filled by the mr. right. Every time we meet, I always want to give her a hug, and make her a heart-felt dish that would fill her up in times of solitude.

麻油雞粉絲鍋(二人份)

材料:

雞腿  兩隻、黑麻油  4-6湯匙、薑  8片、杞子 6粒、圓肉  3粒 、粉絲 一束、米酒  半杯、鹽  適量、水  適量

做法:

  1.     杞子、圓肉及粉絲以清水浸泡15分鐘。
  2.     雞腿洗淨,抹乾備用。
  3.     黑麻油下鍋,以中火加熱。
  4.     下薑片,以中火煸至金黃,約8至10分鐘。
  5.     下雞腿,略煎。
  6.     下米酒,煮約一分鐘至酒精揮發。
  7.     其餘材料全下到鍋裡,水沸後轉小火,燉煮45分鐘。
  8.     以另一個鍋煲水,水沸後下粉絲,煮至略軟。
  9.      粉絲盛起瀝水,放到麻油雞鍋同煮一分鐘即可。

Taiwanese Sesame Oil Chicken Pot (For Two)

Ingredients:

Chicken thighs  2 pieces, Dark sesame oil  4-6 tablespoons, Ginger 8 slices, Gojiberry  6 pieces, Dried longan 3 pieces, Dried glass noodle  1 bunch, Chinese rice wine ½ cup, Salt To taste, Water

Method:

  1. Soak the goji berries, dried longan and glass noodles for 15 minutes.
  2. Clean the chicken thighs and pat dry.
  3. Heat up the dark sesame oil in a pot over medium heat.
  4. Add ginger slices, and fry them for 8 to 10 minutes till golden
  5. Add chicken thighs, and slightly sear.
  6. Add Chinese rice wine. Cook for around 1 minute till the alcohol is evaporated
  7. Add the remaining ingredients, and add enough water to cover the ingredients. Bring it to boil, and then lower the heat to simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
  8. Boil some water in another pot. Add the glass noodle, and cook till the noodle is slightly softened.
  9. Drain the noodles and cook it in the chicken broth for 1 minute.  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