Back in 2006 (was it that long ago?!), my parents and I took a trip to China and Hong Kong. A few things stick in my mind about Hong Kong: riding the Star Ferry across the harbour and looking out across the beautiful city; buying very cheap electronics from the super high-tech shopping malls; and visiting a market that sold a whole load of foods that, to us, seemed entirely bizarre. Everything seemed to be served on a stick: scorpions, cockroaches, starfish, even lizards...!
The market was a fascinating insight into the 'real' Hong Kong - the huge buildings and bright lights are stunning, but it was great to see something a bit more 'behind the scenes' too. So, we wanted to try something to eat - but the lizards on sticks were hardly calling our names.
Instead, we found a lady making little fried balls with egg and cabbage. She was ridiculously skilled - she just had a special pan similar to a cupcake pan, but with small semi-circular cups, and she used chopsticks to rotate the batter bit by bit until it formed a perfect sphere. They were delicious! I even managed to dig out this photo of her, taken all the way back in 2006.
Unfortunately I'm not nearly as skilled as this lady was, nor do I have one of those special pans, so I made my own version instead - egg bites packed with beansprouts, mushrooms and onions. Although they're not quite the same as the ones we tried in Hong Kong, it was really nice to reminisce about our trip while I was making these!
The vegetables stay nice and crunchy, and the dash of soy sauce adds a huge amount of flavour, reminding me of my favourite Chinese dish, egg fu yung. They made a great lunch alongside a Chinese-inspired salad! I personally think they're best served immediately, but if you prefer, you could serve them cold in a packed lunch or picnic.
I baked these egg bites in a normal cupcake tray. They took a little bit of coaxing to get out of the pan, but once I figured out a good method, they weren't too much trouble. I found the best way was to use a sharp knife to loosen the edges, and then use a large spoon to scoop underneath the egg and release it from the tray. Make sure to grease your pan liberally!