I love travelling because it gives me the opportunity to experience cultures, traditions and local food which we don’t get very much nowadays in urban Singapore. The other reason why I love travelling out is because I love visiting their markets! Soaking in the sights and sounds, smells which are familiar and yet exotic at the same time, market visits are always full of surprises and hence, much anticipation! Market visits allow me to “sample” what the locals eat, and how they are different from what we get here in Singapore. And even with the same ingredient available here, varieties may differ which makes it so interesting!
In our most recent trip to Hong Kong, we chanced upon a vegetable which I’d not seen before, Crystalline Ice Plant aka Ficoïde Glaciale (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) which is often dubbed as 冰花菜 or simply 冰菜 in Mandarin as its scientific name 冰叶日中花 is simply too long! I saw this vegetable being cooked on an online TV show shared by my friend Hody and got very curious to how crunchy (脆口) it is, even after cooking. Thankfully we managed to spot some at one of the local supermarkets and promptly put a punnet into our shopping basket. It stores remarkably well and were still good despite being a few days since we bought it. Probably slightly passed the prime to be used as a salad vegetable as what it is commonly used, so I cooked it the style which I would normally do for a quick water convolvulus aka kangkong stirfry. Not surprisingly, the 腐乳冰花菜 Crystalline Ice Plant with Fermented Beancurd turned out really yummy!