Classic HK style Clay-pot puddings
A lot of Hong Kong people grew up with clay-pot puddings as their childhood companion. Held in a small bowl, this authentic snack of HK, is eaten with bamboo sticks holding it up. Covered with red beans, the appearance is nothing fancy, yet the texture is smooth and chewy. There are a number of manufacturers in the market, but the puddings from Shun Hing Lung stand out from competitors. All credit goes to the boss, Mr. Mak, who insists on using freshly ground rice milk, which brings to the mouth an exceptionally creamy sensation with a hint of rice aroma. Behind the scene of deliciousness, goes in it a lot of effort and hard work.
At 4 am, the lamp at Shun Hing Lung is already lit. It’s time the boss starts his busy day. Dwelved in the production of puddings at the workshop at the back, he is responsible for all puddings production, making over a hundred pieces as well as three other types of cakes out of his two hands, namely tea cakes, sago puddings and red bean cakes, some of which are sold in the shop whilst the rest are wholesaled to other shops. The boss, Mr. Mak, only gets a chance to take a break until 11 am since daybreak. Even though there are a handful of employees to help, he still does everything himself, helping out at the cashier, making cakes, rarely stepping out of the shop.
Although the shop has been opened since only seven years ago, the brand, Shung Hing Lung, has over 60 years of history and was founded by the boss’ father-in-law. Sixty years ago, Mr. Mak’s father-in-law owned a workshop in Hung Hom. However, no shop was rented at that time, so the puddings were just sold in a push cart. When his father-in-law retired, Mr. Mak felt sorry for the disappearance of Shun Hing Lung, and so he took over the business and set up a shop in To Kwa Wan. He continued using the shop’s name, Shun Hing Lung, and inherited his father-in-law’s skills. Like other traditional craftsmanships, the production of traditional puddings lays stress on skills, “Mistakes always occurred at the beginning, but practice makes perfect, the more you do the better you get.” said the boss.
Savoring Shun Hing Lung’s pot puddings, you will find its mouthfeel different from other makes. It turns out that one of the secrets is ingredient. Sticky rice is more widely used elsewhere whilst productions here stick to freshly ground rice milk. The boss explained: “I grind fresh rice milk everyday. The texture will only be creamy enough with wafts of rice aroma if rice milk is used. The red beans inside the puddings come from Tianjin. The texture is particularly smooth, and each day it takes two, three hours of simmering till softened. The mouthfeel is just right when collocated with the smooth pudding. The process requires attention to skills as well, for example when brown sugar is poured into the rice milk, the temperature should be hot enough such that the two can blend together. After that, one has to wait until the temperature of the mixture turns warm before pouring into the small bowl of red beans, otherwise the distribution of the beans will not be even enough. Red beans will sink to the bottom if the temperature is too high but will remain floating on the surface if on the contrary. Every little detail counts.
Starting work every day at 4 am, the boss admits its toilsome and had tried hiring chef to help, but they eventually resigned due to long working hours. In the end, the boss is left to make all cakes in the shop on his own. Despite high workload and high labour output, he still persists, “In spite of the hard work, [I] still plan to hang on for the kids.” Not only is this his motivation to work, but also a little wish as a father.
|Name:||Shun Hing Lung 信興隆食品|
|Address:||182 Ma Tau Wai Rd, To Kwa Wan, Hong Kong
|Recommendation:||Clay-pot Puddings 砵仔糕|