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.

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.




By Philip White

Looking for lunch in bustling Central, bewildered by the choices? Still mourning the loss of Mr Bing? No fear! This is the first of many guides to some of the best lunch spots in Central.

1# Passion – 1 Lyndhurst Terrace
If you fancy sandwiches, mayo drenched salad and questionable pizza, look no further. This is a relatively newcomer to the Wellington street lunch scene, sporting an attractive glass fronted exterior that shows off its delectable range of sandwiches and breads, ranging from a wonderfully mustardy roast beef to zingy tandoori chicken, all for around HK$45 which for Central is a steal.

Alongside sandwiches are some great looking pastries and cakes all laid out around a central open kitchen. More confusing however is trying to get the actual food, you have to accost one of the staff somewhere along the side of the kitchen and tell them what you want before going to the till when the first staff member will shout to the one manning the till what you ordered. Passion also does a range of pick your own salads, each more mayo drenched than that last –this isn’t a bad thing, make no mistake, its great if you want to pretend to be healthy. A personal favorite is the tandoori chicken Caesar salad covered in cheese and bacon bits – hey it’s still a salad!

In the evenings they also do various stews and slow cooked dishes arranged attractively in pots, though I have yet to try them. As a side note the sourdough pizza was a tad soggy and probably best avoided but this is an unfortunate blip, so if you need a quick and quality bite to eat for a good price in Central check it out.

#2 – Shake ‘em Buns – 76 Wellington Street, Central

Writing this article is particularly hard for me as I’ve just submitted myself for a three month period of being “healthy” while I’m not sure what that entails, apparently eating burgers is not part of it, and much to my annoyance when living in Central you cannot take two steps without stepping on an artisanal burger of one description or another. As such I have decided to use this time of reflection to finally answer the age old question – which indeed is Hong Kong’s best burger hole?

Firstly starting with one of my favorites. Mocking me gently opposite my office is the ever popular Shake ‘em buns. Inside it feels like a crash between a 1950s American diner and a basement snooker bar. Although it is a little dark inside, the food is definitely worth staying for. The fare is typical deep fried nourishment but in the best sense of the concept. I opted for a classic cheeseburger, cash up front no nonsense. It arrived within a few minutes and gently steamed in front of me. The meat used in the sizable patty is of top quality, being juicy but not I’m going to have to lean over the table or stain my trousers kind of a way. The pickles were delightfully crunchy and the cheese adding a creamy smoothness, all sitting perfectly between a wonderfully soft bun. Aside from this I must also pay complements to the chili cheese fries which will give your heart the most wonderful calorific hug on a cold day. All of this and a drink is well within HK$ 100- 150, that’s only HK$20 more than a Mana wrap! Come on people!

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