30 Jun Meet Mr Ng: Sai Ying Pun fish producer, salted-style 伍先生：伍惠記接班人
MADE IN SYP
This story is part of a series of stories dedicated to the Spirit of Craftsmanship in Sai Ying Pun. We discovered SYP through the lens of locals. We visited 16 local craftsmen, to learn about their trade, their tools, their stories. See what they create; learn what they love and feel their passion. Are you ready for some Sai Ying Pun Fish?
“You’d be lucky if the weather was dry, if it was raining you had to move the fish indoors”
SALTED FISH STREET
You can tell by the smell; this part of Sai Ying pun is also known as ‘salted fish street’. In what used to be a cluster of dried seafood shops, only one simple green shed with a 60-year old signboard is still standing proud: Ng Wai Kee. Mr. Ng Wai was only nine years old when he walked all the way from his native Dongguan across the border to Hong Kong. He first made a living by picking up golf balls at Fanling Golf Course and then found a job at Mui Fong Street. He says: “Life was harsh in those days. I slept on a bed made out of two wooden planks. But I persevered and opened my own Ng Wai Kee the evening before I turned 20.”
You could tell by the smell; in the 1950’s and 60’s Mui Fong was known as ‘salted fish street’. Image: HK archives 俗稱「鹹魚欄」的梅芳街，相片：香港檔案學會
On a good day Mr. Ng would sell 20 mats. The bamboo drying mat is used as a measuring unit and equals 100 fish. The shophouses in Mui Fong Street were like small factories. The fish was salted in the backrooms, dried on the balconies and sold out on the street. He says: “You’d be lucky if the weather was dry, if it was raining you had to move the fish indoors and if there were typhoons you had to start all over again.”
If it was raining you had to move the fish indoors and if there were typhoons you had to start all over again 如不幸遇上颱風，曬乾的工序便要從頭來過
On a good day Mr. Ng would sell 20 mats. The bamboo drying mat is used as a measuring unit and equals 100 fish 黃金年代日賣二十薄（即超過二千條鹹魚）也等閒！
Mr. Ng made the thick metal hooks by himself to carry the weight of heavy fish 伍先生自製了較大的魚勾用來掛起鹹魚
Only one simple green shed with a 60-year old signboard is still standing proud: Ng Wai Kee 沿用超過六十年的招牌醒目地寫著寶號－伍惠記
The fish was salted in the backrooms, dried on the balconies and sold out on the street 做鹹魚的店租地舖，連租二樓及天台，天台就成了「曬地」
There’s only one thing you can get here and that’s salted fish. Not into fish, we’ve got you covered. Local designer Kay Chan is on a mission to rebrand salted fish by creating a sauce that suits the palate of the millennial generation. Get a bottle at Form Society !
Smelly? Yes, but it makes for a great photograph 記錄店舖的故事
Local designer Kay Chan created a dried fish sauce that suits the palate of the millennial generation 本地設計師陳韻淇設計鹹魚醬，從吃入手做保育
Download the iDiscover Hong Kong app so you can get lost without getting lost in Sai Ying Pun 下載 iDiscover Hong Kong 手機應用程式，助你輕鬆遊西營盤！
HOW TO GET THERE?
Ng Wai Kee is at Mui Fong Street in Sai Ying Pun. For directions download the free iDiscover app or download a printable map. Get your own copy of the iDiscover Hong Kong Neighbourhood Guide. More importantly, enjoy some Sai Ying Pun Fish!