Sunday was an indulgent day of flavors from home! Hope you’ll be inspired to visit Hong Kong one day because honestly, it is THE best place on earth for the finest foods and greatest shopping!!!

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Sunday East meets West Brunch

While I filed my taxes, the wonderful BF made brunch for the both of us. Here is a much deserved spotlight on the best dish ever: Chinese braised beef with daikon radish and eggs in a soy sauce & star anise broth. Everything is cooked overnight until the meat & radish melts in your mouth. Star anise is said to taste a little bit like licorice, but it works really well with soy sauce in this dish. YUMMY!! (We refilled the bowl twice!)

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Pepperidge farm cinnamon raisin bread was on sale for $2, so we toasted some up with butter. It is SO darn good with the Cenutry egg & tofu dish – the sweet and salty combo I tell you…invincible!

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We can’t seem to go one week without Chinese Century Egg and Soft tofu topped with spring onion and furikake. Nick & I are obsessed with the oyster sauce and dumpling sauce combo.

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For dessert, we had homemade egg tarts I baked the night before. Sadly, they turned GREENish overnight for some reason!!! Maybe because I used more eggwhites than yolks than the recipe called for, but they still turned out tasting pretty authentic. I also had a camera-shy cherry yogurt on the side.

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Because I only had 2 egg tart molds, I used muffin tins for the remaining tarts. Plus, we didn’t have evaporated milk, so I used water. muahahah I ain’t EVER making egg tarts again. I’ve failed TWICE already. This is what happened the 1st time, when I overbaked them. It eventually deflated, but the damage (to my pride) was already done.

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Anyways, we ended up taking a giant nap after I finished my taxes, and I took a trip to my best imaginary friend Trader Joe’s to pick up the much talked about Sprouted Rye Bread (for $2.99) so I could create my first official tofu hummus sandwich (come back tomorrow)!!!

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I’m so excited to try this breaaaaad!!

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Dinner in Chinatown

Who the heck drives to Chinatown in the snow on a Sunday night??? People who crave Chinese steamed fish. For a great bang for your buck, you can enjoy an authentic, delicious, and satisfying Cantonese dinner at Ken Kee Restaurant for under $50. (I HIGHLY recommend it!)

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If you ever find yourself in an authentic Chinese restaurant, you will see a condiment tray resembling the picture above. You also won’t be served fortune cookies at the end of the meal. (BOOOO. I heart fortune cookies!!) Chinese people use white pepper instead of black and the default vinegar is red.

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Dish #1. Rice noodles with shredded pork and pickled cabbage

One of my most craved Chinese dishes! This was deliciously flavorful and served with lots of bean sprouts and sesame oil.

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We had some leftovers here (mainly noodles and pork) so I brought it home to whip into another lunch feast.๐Ÿ™‚ Check back to see what it transforms into!

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Dish #2. Sweet, Spicy, & Sour marinated Cucumbers

Typically marinated in spicy oil, vinegar, and brown sugar

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I polished this dish off completely. It is seriously, awesome. I mean, $2 for a slice of heaven from home.๐Ÿ™‚

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Dish #3. Beef and Chinese Broccoli Noodles

Nick’s favorite dish is a stir-fried beef with vegetable served on top of a bed of deep fried Chinese egg noodles. He likes to save them overnight so the crispy noodles soak up all the sauces from the stir-fry. This is a super popular Cantonese dish in Hong Kong.

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We didn’t finish this dish intentionally so Nick could bring it to work for lunch.

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Dish #4. Seafood Congee

This is super-thick traditional Cantonese congee that is loaded with various types of sea creatures, including scallops, imitation crab meat (which is mainly made of fish), prawns, fish fillets, and squid.

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I ended up demolishing this giant bowl. Nick had a small bowl of it and I had like…6? It was seriously yummy.

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Dish #5. Stir-fried Chinese Okra with Black Fungus & Onions

Though a little more oily and much saltier than I’d hoped, the Chinese okra had spot on flavors to the ones prepared in Hong Kong. The Chinese okra has a slightly bitter after-taste but is supposedly great nutritionally speaking. I heart the smooth yet crunchy texture of black fungus!

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No leftovers here!

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Dish #6. Soy sauce Squid

Squid basted in soy sauce and sliced thin. The squid was chewy and crunchy all at the same time, but very salty and required some good old seafood congee to “diffuse” the strong flavors.

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Yeah, no leftovers here either.

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Dish #7. Chinese steamed tilapia

THE DISH that Nick and I have been craving since January, this is one dish that my mom will make for me every night for dinner when I visit home. It is literally a fish steamed with ginger and spring onion in soy sauce, and right before it is served, the chef pours scalding hot oil over the top of the fish for boosting flavor and color.

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Seriously SO good for less than $10. Obviously, no leftovers here either. Here are my takes on the restaurant:

Overall -4/5 (My favorite go-to Cantonese restaurant)

Taste -4 (A tad salty on most of the dishes, but authentic flavors!)

Originality – 3 (Served anything and everything you’d expect)

Plating – 3 (Average for a speedy Chinese restaurant)

Value -5 (You can’t get any better than this)

Service – 4 (FAST and decently polite waiters made this a pleasant experience)

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Dessert

Of course I went home to cook my lunches for the rest of the week while I enjoyed this awesome fella! A Red Bean bun from the roomie’s parents they’d gotten from the Chinese bakery in Argyle (the “little Chinatown” of Chicago).

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I LOVE the glossy tops of these buns. They’re lightly sweetened thanks to a brush of milk on the top before the bakers pop them into the oven. The inside of the bun is fluffy but slightly more dry than I like them. (Must go to my favorite bakery in Chinatown for the best of the best!) But I’m not complaining!! I heart adzuki beans!!!

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MAN! I can’t believe it’s Monday again. I’ve actually been SULKING all weekend because the instructor of my favorite gym class is leaving for good. I WILL NEVER have another Sexy Bodies class after this Thursday and I am seriously FREAKING OUT!!!!๐Ÿ˜ฆ Without him, I won’t have a bootcamp to whip me into shape!! GAHHHHH!!!

I am now seriously thinking about starting to become a runner. OH how original, I know. Anyone want to offer some advice (ANY advice!!) to a PETRIFIED newbie who has no stamina whatsoever???

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Can you believe in more giveaways?

Check out One Frugal Foodie’s giveaway here!

Simply Fabulous has treats here!