5 Junk-Ready Recipes That Aren’t Another Pasta Salad

Junk Boat Food Hong Kong

5 Junk-Ready Recipes That Aren’t Another Pasta Salad

By Ailee Slater

You love pasta salad. I love pasta salad. We all love pasta salad. But do we really need another pasta salad on a junk boat?

This summer, just say no to bloated cherry tomatoes, sun-limp ham and aggressively boring chunks of processed cheese; all congealed together in a starchy, undercooked clump of pasta. Because the only noodles on a junk boat should be the hot pink ones you precariously straddle while pouring yourself a plastic cup of wine and slowly drifting out to the South China Sea.

Ready to stand tall against the tyranny of pasta salad on self-catered junks?
Here are five recipes that will have you noshing in style on your next float:

Five-Layer Dip
This five-layer dip from Food Network goddess Ellie Krieger is an invigorating smack-to-the-tongue of flavor and it also hits the apex of the junk boat food Venn diagram – it’s filling, it’s tasty, and you don’t need a fork to eat it.

Ellie’s dip starts with a layer of homemade bean dip; and if you don’t have a blender, keep it rustic by smashing your beans with a potato masher or heavy mug; whatever’s on hand. Next is corn seasoned with cilantro and lime, followed by a layer of guacamole and a simple tomato salsa. Finish off with a sprinkling of cheese, and pick up a bag of tortilla chips on your way to the boat.

Lasagna
If you can prepare a pasta salad, you can prepare a pan of lasagna. Even better, because lasagna is the ultimate freeze-and-reheat food, you can make this a few days, weeks or even months ahead. Then, simply defrost when you stumble home the night before the junk, pop it in the oven while you cry in the shower in the morning, and look like a person who totally has their life together when you show up to your junk with a big ol’ pan of lasagna.

For the easiest version, use store-bought tomato sauce – but if you want to make this dish really sing, louder than that guy Steve jamming along to Taylor Swift as the boat pulls back into Victoria Harbor, use homemade sauce and don’t skimp on the fresh herbs.

Giant Sandwich
Making a sandwich? Go big or go home. Scout out a gigantic loaf of bread from one of Hong Kong’s insanely overpriced Western grocery stores, fill with meat, cheese and vegetables, then refrigerate overnight with something heavy on top to weight down the loaf. The next day, really lean into your hipsterdom by slicing and serving on a big wooden chopping board.

Chili Cheese Dip
Your morning started with the abrasive ringing of the telephone and your best friend on the other end of the line shouting WHERE ARE YOU?!?! and now you need to pick up some eats before you miss the boat. Do you:
a) Grab a bag of pizza flavored Calbee chips and call it a day
b) Bring more beer; you’ll eat when you’re dead
c) Make a 1-minute, 2-ingredient dip and impress all your friends
d) Wait though seriously WHERE AM I?!?!

Come on people. Sort out your life. C is the correct answer, and you only need two ingredients – a block of cream cheese and a jar of Thai sweet chili sauce. Grab both as you’re running to the boat; once you’re on board, plunk the cream cheese on a plate, pour over the chili sauce and serve with saltine crackers. Trust me – people will love it so much they’ll forgive you for having overslept and delayed the boat by half an hour.

Hummus Quesadillas
Can you open a plastic container? Do you know how to use a butter knife? Congratulations! You can make hummus quesadillas. Spread hummus on a tortilla, sprinkle on cheese, vegetables or any other topping of your choice, fold and slice into wedges.

The possibilities for quesadilla fillings are a wide-ranging as your imagination, albeit not quite as disturbing. This recipe recommends sautéed spinach, olive and sundried tomatoes, but you might also try a summery combination of avocado, tomato, salt and pepper; or go with feta and cucumber for a refreshing Mediterranean take on what is now definitely cultural appropriation in bite-sized form.

We are going to have a catered lunch from La Rotisserie at our Get Down Junk Boat Party but join us and feel free to bring any of this great culinary creations on board.

What We Learn From Our Dating Experiences

What we learn from dating in Hong Kong

By Jamie Elizabeth Ho

As much as we’ve all been there and resented the feeling of being hung high and dry, the
beauty of dating is learning Life’s lessons from the Heart, because yes, the Heart does drop
knowledge too:

(a) How to deal with rejection
It may sound sappy as tree sap to you all, (and no doubt it really is) but there is someone
special for everyone. If the person is not into you and doesn’t want to be in a serious
relationship, that is their choice. Perhaps, they feel that someone else would be a better fit for
you, just as someone else would be a better fit for them. As personal as it is to go on dates
with someone and get to know them, whether they choose to continue wanting to get to know
you via talking, texting, meeting up for dinner dates, movie dates etc., or not, that shouldn’t be
taken personally.

But Why?
Easier said than done. Believe me, I know. Let’s take out the emotional drama and simplify this
to a more functional practical approach, take a step back and look at it like a job application.
Sometimes, we go for an interview and find out perhaps this is not the right fit for us. At the
end of it all, our potential employers wouldn’t take it personally, and neither would we. Bottom
line, it’s just simply because you were being True to yourself, what felt right for you and the
others involved.

If someone doesn’t feel the same way, have no fear, that just means there is room for a better
match to come along and fill that gap. If their heart is not in it, why would we want to invest
our time in an empty relationship?

(b) How to deal with the fact that we can’t control anyone but ourselves
We can control the way we act, what we think, how we feel, as well as how we respond and react to
some extent, but when it comes to other people that is beyond our control. Yes, it’s scary, but such is
the risk of love which is to love without any expectation. Every time, I find myself in a frustrated love
rut, I ask myself , ” Would I still give my time, love and effort to this person, EVEN IF this person
doesn’t love me back?”

If the answer is yes, then great.This means you operate from giving love without any
expectation. You don’t expect the person to fall deeply madly in love with you, because you
just want to honor the person by showing your admiration through feelings of love.

( c ) How to open our hearts up with courage at the risk of getting our hearts broken
This lesson is extremely difficult to learn, because us humans HATE being vulnerable. Despite
this, a good reminder is to bring us back to our center, our core truth which is that we can always choose.
Is it better to have loved then not to have loved at all? Love takes big risks, sometimes you fall sometimes
you don’t, but what’s important is that you know that the right person will show up
when the time comes. We learn what having faith means.

(d) How to love ourselves
Probably, the hardest lesson for most, when we experience situations such as these where the
person we are in love with, disappears or stops talking to us, we learn that it is in these
moments, we have no choice but to bring it back to loving ourselves.

So for those of you, who are beating up yourself for wasting time with the people you have
dated in the past, it’s not all that bad. At least, what you’ve extracted is valuable experience
for your personal growth, so when the time comes for The One to show up, you will be The One
for them.

Never-Ending Happy Hour: Hong Kong Pub Crawl

by Sandeep Sharma

So you’re new to Hong Kong – maybe you’re visiting for the weekend, maybe it’s a short holiday or maybe you’ve moved here for a typical white-collar job. On Google and by word of mouth from your Hong Kong long-timer friends you hear of Lan Kwai Fong. The name itself is quite a mouthful for a new expat yuppie, so you decide to venture out there with a friend of a friend to see what the nightlife is like. You’re drinking the 7-11 “Buy Two for $30” Apple ciders and being denied entry into Volar, Dragon I and basically any actual club. The streets are great but let’s face it, it’s full of either broke University kids or minors trying to Snapchat. That’s where Pub Crawl comes in – a guided tour through select bars and pubs in Hong Kong’s very own. With free shots at each of the selected seven bars of the night and discounted beers – it really serves as a vehicle for a newbie to venture out into Hong Kong and befriend expats and locals alike.

The night usually begins with some pre-gaming at the IFC rooftop followed by rounds through seven relatively decent quality pubs where there’s a free shot for every “Pub Crawler” and discounted drinks. The crowd of fresh blooded people -new to Hong Kong and still allowing the insane adrenaline of the city to sink into their skin – would remind anybody of their first few months in Hong Kong, where the parties ended at 8 am and more often than not, the mornings were spruced with a “walk of shame” and a wonderfully chirpy hangover. The relatively low price for joining ($100 HKD) unfortunately means that occasionally the crowd at the Pub Crawl may not be the best mannered or behaved lot.

The inherit problem with the pub-crawl is that it is truly something that suits the needs of visitors or the “once in a year” party animal – but not to those who are used to the debauchery which Hong Kong boasts of. While for a newbie it maybe nice to “get down” to some hip-hop at a bar with other “FOBs”, for those of us who know about the hyped clubs, ice bars and bunkers – it maybe a waste of money. The pubs selected are relatively obscure with the night ending with an entry to a decent dance club. This setting is ideal for the aforementioned people and truly it serves as a great way to introduce newbies into the decadence and moral dilemmas that Hong Kong so often puts us in. If the Pub Crawl actually went ahead and diversified itself to cater to the needs of the pseudo-party lovers then perhaps by expanding their base, they could cater to the varied needs of Hong Kong’s party animals.

After trying out the Pub Crawl, you might want to meet HK’s other party animals. Us! We’re partying for All That Junk‘s 1st Anniversary Party. Come join us 🙂

Is Romance Waiting Just Around the Corner?

Editor’s Note: All month All That Junk has explored, analyzed and discussed dating in the chaotic romantic climate of Hong Kong but we don’t want to leave you down beat. In this bubbling metropolis, there is still hope and our great writer Fabienne Lang points out the happiness still to be found.

By Fabienne Lang

As a single girl in Hong Kong, the question is not whether or not a man will or will not buy me a certain type of flower on this particularly consumerist day. No, I’m not at all the bitter type <cough>. The question is, will I every find love living in Hong Kong?

This vibrant and magnetic city certainly allows for budding romances to occur. Us singletons could easily meet our next Romeo or Juliet dancing away on the next big night out, screaming support at the Rugby Sevens, struggling up one of the Twin hills, or God forbid, at one of the abundant networking events Hong Kong seems to spout out of everywhere.

However, Shakespeare is sadly long gone, and if none of these social scenes is your cup of tea, don’t despair! All you need do is swipe right, or it’s equivalent, on the next innovative online dating app. After all, we have to keep up with the modern world over here in the Orient.

Now what?

Once you have found your match, how do you keep the romance alive in between all the exhaustive, yet fun, socialising? Just one more drink with your mates at Staunton’s? I don’t see why not! And what happens when you come home day after day from work well past dinner time, shattered?

Coupled up Hong Kongers learn how to handle work, life and love faster than a minibus screeches to a halt. It’s quite an art juggling romance and all that HK has to offer, and I salute those that master it. If they can do it, so can we!

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