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Pupu Picks
Pupu Picks

Delve Into Delicious Starters

By Steve Murray Photos By Leah Friel
March 17, 2013

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Oh, the pupus at Hee Hing. Tender pockets of goodness swimming in light sauces, fresh vegetables in crispy coats, sweet shrimp in crunchy pockets and dim sum. Oh, yes, the dim sum — dozens of types all for the ready.

The Dim Sum Combo ($9.25) includes four shrimp dumplings, four pieces of pork shumai and three half moon cakes. Each is fresh, flavorful and, fortunately, plentiful.

Another very tasty appetizer option is Mandarin Pot Stickers ($5.25). Outstanding. A mixture of pork, mushrooms and more comes together to form a wonderfully moist pocket of food. Dip into the ginger vinegar sauce and it gets even better.

A couple of crunchy options, if that’s what you desire, are Shrimp Pouch ($4.50) and Crispy Kau Chee ($4.25). The pouch is an incredibly crispy yet light. The shrimp is naturally sweet and moist, and the mayo relish dip provides a creamy element that matches well with the crunchy exterior. Crispy Kau Chee is a similar dish, but with chopped pork and onion, and a sweet and sour dipping sauce. Which to chose is a matter of taste. Fortunately, both are tasty.

If you’re one to trust the tender palate of photographers, then Shanghai Dumpling ($6.95) is a must-have. At least in the opinion of Leah Friel. Tender pork and a light soup are stuffed into a soft shell that is mild, pleasant and surprising even if you’re aware of the liquid filling. A quick dip into the accompanying sauce, nip the top, slurp the soup and you’re good to go. Leah’s right about this one.

Because I love to play with my food, wraps are a natural attraction. Chicken Lettuce Wrap ($10.95) contains chicken — no surprise there — lap cheong, chestnuts, mushrooms and onion with a light hoisin base. It’s sweet, crunchy and a great way to play with your food without parental harassment.

Two more appetizers to note. Golden Fried Spring Rolls ($4.95) are a nice vegetarian option for diners. Mushrooms, cabbage and long rice in a crispy shell are dipped into a sweet and sour sauce to create a snack even a carnivore would appreciate. Finally, Salt and Pepper Shrimp ($14.95) is coated in salt and pepper, deep-fried, then quickly sauteed. The result is a juicy and slightly spicy starter that also allows for plenty of finger play. It’s a bit messier than the chicken wrap so parental discretion is advised.

Hee Hing Restaurant

449 Kapahulu Ave.
Open daily, 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.