You can walk into any of the best restaurants in Central and you will see mozzarella cheese on the menu in some form, whether it is as part of a refreshing salad or melted on top of a homemade pizza. It is a versatile ingredient; one that can be used in an array of dishes and served in many forms. Hot or cold, grated or sliced… the possibilities are endless. This is why it is one of my favourite ingredients to cook with and why I am going to tell you a little bit more about it.
Mozzarella originates from Italy and is made using water buffalo milk. A lot of people confuse this with American buffalo, however water buffalo milk is a prized ingredient that is held in high regard because of its unique flavour. This is why it is typically three times more expensive than cow’s milk. Because of this, authentic mozzarella is often costly as well.
Unlike most cheeses, it actually tastes best a mere few hours after it has been made. It’s not aged, like most varieties are. The process of making mozzarella involves heating curds in water until they form strings that have an elastic texture. After this, they are then stretched and kneaded until the substance is smooth. They are then formed into round balls to make fresh mozzarella. This process is known as pasta filata.
Now you know a little bit more about this food and how it is made. As mentioned, it is likely that virtually all restaurants in Lan Kwai Fong will have this cheese on the menu and Fish & Meat is no different. There are many ways you can enjoy this ingredient when you pay us a visit. It is actually featured several times on our Sunday brunch menu, which is widely considered as one of the best brunch in Hong Kong.
One of the most popular brunch main courses we serve is Hand-Ground Veal and Pork Meatballs served with Pesto Marinated Tomatoes, Arugula and Mozzarella. Cheese and tomato is a traditional pairing that works really well – you only have to think about the popularity of pizza to see that this is the case. The mozzarella in this meal ensures that this is not your typical meatball dish. The combination of strong meaty flavour with soft cheese and fresh tomato is something you can’t beat in my opinion.
Mozzarella is also available as one of the many topping options at our bruschetta station. We also have a cold appetiser buffet as part of the brunch offering, with fresh seasonal salads created daily. Mozzarella is an ingredient often incorporated in our salad dishes.
Author – Russell Doctrove, chef at Fish & Meat