Well, living in Hong Kong was definitely a life time experience for me. Many things changed while staying there, what I eat, the way I eat and definitely the amount of food I take.
Before moving to HK , and naively whenever Chinese food was mentioned all what used to come up to my mind was sweet and sour chicken or sesame chicken or something close to that. Needless to say that by moving there I found out that most of what we consider as chinese food is actually not the real thing but an adapted version. And the adaptation differs from one place to another. As for example in europe it has a little western touch and in the states it is adapted to satisfy the local customers in there.
I won’t be able to write everything about Hong kong food, as I myself couldn’t try everything in 6 months. But I will certainly mention my most favourite food items. Either eaten in food markets or in the street.
For the street food my favourites are:
- Eggs puff ( gai dan zai), HK style waffles, double-sided grilled that is soft and chewy, that should be eaten only hot and fresh.
- Fish balls, curry (ga lei yu daan), made of corn starch and low quality fish. This mixture is shaped into balls to be deep fried and then served curry sauce.
- Iced milk tea, it is nothing more than a strong tea, and the way it served it hot tea with ice and some ( or plenty) condensed milk. My favourit tea base was earl grey.
- Egg tarts, which is basically a puff pastry dough that is filled with egg mixture, made of eggs cream and cinnamon.
- Moon cake, is considered as one of the most traditional Hong Kong desserts as apparently there is a really deep ancient story behind these cakes that are exclusively made to celebrate for mid-autumn festival. Traditional Moon cakes have two stuffings, either red bean paste or lotus paste, whith salted egg yolk or two in the center.
- Egg Custard buns (Lai wong bao), which are steamed buns that is stuffed with custard, there is also another version that is stuffed with red bean paste which is as popular as the custard one.
Apart from street food, and on special occasions, I used to go to have a “family dinner” with the whole restaurant crew in one of the traditional food markets. Where you actually get to eat everything you could think of: from fried rice to duck intestine, and maybe some stir fried frog legs.
We almost ordered the same thing every time we went out. Century egg( thousand-year old egg) was a must, which is basically pickled eggs (just for couple of weeks) that is served with pickled ginger!! And this is considered as a delicacy. Hong Kong style fried rice, which had eggs, chicken or ham and definitely some scallions. Razor clams, (those are my favourite) but not my chef’s as he had to pay as these were quite expensive. These clams are cooked with some bell peppers and dark thick soya sauce. Fried soba noodles where also something important on that round table. Deep fried tofu and deep-fried squid.
If you think that eating on a round table is a nice thing, you actually need to rethink as that is not so true at least not always. It is true that on round tables you can reach everything by just turning the glass center which rotates and makes it easy for everyone to reach, but the problem is if the person in front of you was a chopsticks expert, and was eating in a speed that you have never seen before. If that person was there, that means he is going to eat so fast and he wants some from everything on that table. So while you trying to take some of the food and struggling with those chopsticks, he would be rotating that table non stop. Now the only way for you to eat that night is either to use your hand to stop the table from rotating, which is considered rude or simply attack the food and try to grab it before you find the center of the table moving again.
For more Information about HK street food follow this link for an article in HK magazine:
Cheers from an orange ,