Pigeon also has the name "Bai Feng"(white Chinese phoenix). They are not only delicious but nutritious. One of the well-known Chinese medicines called 'Wu Ji Bai Feng Wan' was using pigeons as the main ingredient. Pigeon is so nutritious that it suits everyone to consume from children to elderly. Pigeon meat contains over 15% of proteins and has up to 97% of digestibility. It is also good for wound healing as well as protein constructing because of the Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) and Arginase it contains. What is more, the nutrition contents like vitamins A, B and E, calcium, iron from pigeon meat is way higher than chicken, fish, beef or even lamb. Pigeon meat also contains pantothenic acid which is good for people who have problems like hair losing and gray-headed. Apart from the meat, the bones and the internal organs of pigeon also have curative effects. Pigeon liver contains the element of gall which can prevent people from having arteriosclerosis. Actually, ancient people used to call pigeons "sweet-blooded animal" so people with anemia can also improve the condition by consuming the pigeons. In addition, the Chondrotin contains inside pigeon bones can modify the vitality of skin cells yet blood circulations. In Chinese medical aspect, pigeon also have the avail against the weak, the fatigue, anemia and problems like memory declines.
Targeted group included children, adults, pregnant women, children, and the weak and sick people.
Quantity: Half of a pigeon (approx. 80g-100g), 2 pigeon eggs per day.
Please note: Lung Wah Hotel’s pigeon dishes is the best and famous among all. It looks good as well as the taste, but also nutritious. There was also this praise "you did not visit Hong Kong if you have not tried the Lung Wah pigeons."
Long ago in Tang Dynasty, there was this dietetic handbook which brings up the idea of using pigeon meat as one of the dietetic treatments. Based on the ancient chinese medical theory, pigeon meat is mild in nature and poisionless, which helps provide certain essences to both men and women. Other than that, pigeon meat is also good for irrigating the internal faculty of our bodies. It also helps people with liver illness or women with periodic weakness.
Pigeon meat not only tastes fair and tender but also very nutritious. According to the scientific analysis, the proteins contain inside pigeon meat can be up to 21-22% and that the fat content is only around 1-2%. Furthermore, 97% of the amino acid which human body needed can be also found in the pigeon meat. It is also very digestible with other vitamins like A, B and E, as well as trace elements like calcium and iron. Actually these vitamins and amino acid which pigeon meat contains is 2 to 3 times higher than chicken. That is why nowadays people highly recommended the pigeon meat as dietetic treatments to improve body health.
Other than the advantages of pigeon meat have mentioned earlier, it can also prevent people from having high blood pressure, vascular sclerosis and neurasthenia. Pigeon was the first kind of poultry granted as green food from the China Green Food Development Centre, which means pigeon is the most clean and unsullied meat products to consume. Even many researches have stated that pigeon is the most nutritious poultry. According to the ancient chinese medical handbook "Ben Cao Gang Mu", pigeon can be used as cooking chinese medicine, which it claimed that pigeon meat is good for blood enriching, quenching thirst as well as improving skin’s conditions.
Pigeon meat is mild in nature with high proteins and low fat. There are even more than 18 kinds of amino acid that contained inside pigeon meat. The proteins of pigeon meat are 9.5% higher than pork or other meats like beef, lamb, chicken or duck. With only 0.7% of fat contents, pigeon meat also contains calcium, iron and vitamins A, B and E are way higher than other poultry like chicken, fish or lamb. The amino acid which pigeon meat contains is good for children’s frame development, prevention of osteoporosis, wounds healing after surgeries, pregnant women after laboring as well as strengthens the immune system. Apart from that, pigeon meat also have this utility of adjusting nerve systems, improving sleeping quality and digestibility, gonad and pituitary excretion in order to strengthen our body health.
Pigeon dishes are getting more and more popular in this few years. But still, those in Lung Wah Hotel were so well-known and traditional. There was this saying about it would not be a perfection meal without pigeon dishes.
The original flavor
Shatin Lung Wah pigeon dishes were one of the Hong Kong gourmet brands that even New York Times has already introduced about these 30 years ago. People would ask: What’s the secret behind this? According to Mr. Leung, they will only use 26 days old baby pigeons and especially hired one chef to cook the pigeon dishes to maintain the standard.
According to Mr. Leung, the pigeons they used are normally very small in size because the meat is more tendered. They avoided using the traditional cooking method of Chinese baking, which only can make crispy skin but would lose lots of meat juices. In order to make the meat juicy and skin crispy, they would cook the pigeon in boiling water then soak it in the five spices marinade until fully cook. Lastly is to deep fry the pigeon with putting some sugar on the pigeon skin. Mr. Leung also explained that the time soaked in five spices marinade takes longer then cooking a chicken because of the meat density. Furthermore, pigeon oil is used for the deep fry process to get the best outcome. That is why thousand of pigeons can be sold in just one day in Lung Wah Hotel.
5000 pigeons sold in just one day!
Gastronome Mr. William Mark claimed that there are 3 gourmet treasures in Shatin including "Sansui tofu pudding", "Chicken congee" and "Lung Wah pigeons". Coincidentally, all of these treasures can be found in Lung Wah Hotel.
Actually, it has always been the same tofu supplier for Lung Wah Hotel for 50 years. The smell of soy bean of the tofu is strong as well as the friendliness between them. As for the chicken congee, it is always freshly made after taking the orders from customers in order to keep the nice flavor. And when it comes to the Lung Wah pigeons, Mr. William Mark would be very excited: "I would really prefer eating the pigeons with bare hands no matter what’s the method used to cook the pigeons. I think this kind of carefree feeling would lose if the pigeons were already nicely cut before it served."
Shatin Three Treasures
The term "Shatin Three Treasures" appears during the 60s because Shatin was one of the popular tour spots.
"Shatin Three Treasures" means the 3 kinds of food which are most popular among the travelers and visitors. These 3 popular foods were deep fried pigeons, chicken congee and Sansui tofu (including the dishes with tofu and dessert tofu pudding). These "treasures" were so popular that even restaurants in other places also use this to draw more customers. Up until now, there are still restaurants in Shatin using the names like "Shatin pigeons" or "Shatin chicken congee" as their signature dishes.
Shatin Chicken Congee
Shatin Chicken Congee originally came from the Shatin Old Night Market. Since then, this dish was being introduced in almost every restaurant in Shatin and has become famous around the area. People are still very delighted in talking about this.
There are 2 methods of cooking the chicken congee. One is to cook the chicken first; then the chef would cut it into pieces after taking the orders and put them into a bowl by pouring in hot congee. Second method is cooking the chicken pieces with congee in a small pot after taking the orders from customers. Actually it was told that the second method would taste better because the congee would also have this chicken flavor though it takes longer and a bit more complicated.
There was this street side food stall called "Tak Kee" in Shatin Old Night Market selling congees during the 60s. Among all the congees, chicken congee was the most popular. People would come all the way from other suburbs just to try the chicken congee. The reason behind this was because the people during that period have limited consumption level. They would cruise around New Territories by car after dinner as recreation activities. So they would stop by to have a chicken congee as night snacks where as chicken congee was an innovation. The success was out of everyone’s expectations.
People claimed that the tap water is not suitable for making tofu because it contains chlorine. That is why stream water was used for the "Sansui tofu".
"Sansui Tofu" was one of the famous gourmet in Shatin, almost every restaurant in the suburb would use this to draw attention. On the other hand, there were quite a few tofu factories or home-made tofu produced through some small family business which supplied tofu within the suburb. On the other hand, there were also some suppliers doing export trade. Some of them have been doing this business for a few generations.
The Making of "Sansui Tofu" (stream water tofu) was to soak the soy beans into the stream water for about 5 to 6 hours before grounding it into thick paste (machines have been replaced from grounding the paste by hands). Stream water was added while grounding the soy beans and soybean milk would formed and slowly drain out from the stone mill. Centrifuge was also used to clear the soy bean residues inside.
The soybean milk will then bring to boil in a big pot before it is ready to consume. Tofu pudding can be also made from the soybean milk by adding in Calcined Gypsum. Last but not least, if pour the solidified mixing into the wooden square mold and cover with a piece of cloth on top, bean curd (tofu) is formed.
Many of the tofu factories located in Tung Lo Wan Hill, Pai Tau Hang, Sheung Wo Che Estate and Ha Wo Che Estate. It was because there was water flowing down from the stream which people use it for making the tofu. The tofu tastes very smooth yet refreshing all because of the cool stream water. But environment got polluted due to the new town development gradually. Hygiene problem has become a concern. The government has banned people from using the stream water for food processing. So technically speaking, the real “Sansui tofu” does not exist anymore.
The famous "Shatin Pigeons" were originally come from Lung Wah Hotel. As mentioned before, because Mrs.Chung realized that there were no pigeon dishes in the market so she gave it a try.
Stew pigeons were the dishes they initially have. Pigeons would stew in a five spices marinade after cleaning and soak in boiling water. They have been using the same pot of five spices marinade all along. This pot of five spices marinade can stew 50 pigeons one time for about 20 to 25 minutes. Next step is to dip the stewed pigeons into the syrup (which is made from maltose and water) before deep frying for a couple of minutes. The process of dipping syrup is to make the pigeons have nice color.
Besides the pigeon meat, the organs can also be some gourmets. Cooking methods like roast with salt, deep fry with spicy pepper salt or steam were used. The most delicious one has to be pigeon hearts. They would cut the pigeon heart first and let blood before served (pigeon blood clots would formed if skipped the bloodletting process). But among all, spicy pepper salt or stew pigeon kidney were the most popular side dishes. Other pigeon organs like liver goes nice with soup noodles. Other popular dishes would be Lo Han vegetarian with pigeon eggs and snow fungus with pigeon eggs sweet soup. There were even customers ordering pigeon eggs home to cook sweet soup themselves. It has been told that pigeon eggs are good for our skin that is why they are so popular especially among girls.
Pigeon meat floss is especially well liked by foreigners. It is a dish wrapped by fresh lettuce with stir-fried fillings like finely chopped pigeon meat, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and carrots. After taking out the meat, the bones can also use for cooking soup.