When it comes to cuisine, Hong Kong has it everything, from roadside vendors to world-class restaurants. Here are 14 popular regional dishes to try.
Sweet and Sour Pork
Sweet and sour pork is undoubtedly the most well-known Hong Kong dish, and it can be found on Chinese takeout menus all over the world.
Wontons, or cho shu (meaning “crossed hands”), are put to a transparent soup with additional ingredients and occasionally deep-fried. Depending on the locale and cooking methods, several forms are typical.
The most well-known are Sichuan-style wontons, a popular snack in Chengdu. They are famed for their thin skin and rich meat filling, as well as their long-simmered soup consisting of chicken, duck, and pig.
The taste texture is very smooth and quite oily. A more Hong Kong style version would be cooked without peppers, and instead pieces of salted fish. It’s extremely popular and much ordered in restaurants or dai pai dong (traditional licensed food stalls) together with rice.
Roast Goose is a classic Cantonese dish consisting of a whole goose roasted with secret ingredients, sliced into small pieces with skin, meat, and soft bone, and served with plum sauce.
A rare goose variety from Guangdong is required to make authentic Guangdong-style Roast Goose. These geese have a lot of flesh and little bones and may be grown quickly. In the New Territories, eating it has become a tourist attraction in and of itself.
- Yung Kee, situated in Central, with a history of over several decades, is famous for Roast Goose.
- Yue Kee, with over 40 years history, is the most notable restaurant in Hong Kong serving this delicacy. The former U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong was a regular customer.
Wind Sand Chicken
This well-known dish originated in Guangdong and has since gained popularity among Hong Kong residents. A whole chicken is seasoned and baked for about 20 minutes, or until the skin becomes brown.
It is distinguished by the addition of garlic bits and the appearance of wind-blown sand. The chicken is roasted and crispy on the surface while remaining smooth and soft on the inside. The garlic chunks have just the proper amount of odour.
Shrimp and Chicken Balls
The Chinese term for it is “dragon and phoenix balls.” The dragon represents shrimps, while the phoenix represents chickens. The name refers to Chinese royalty: the emperor (dragon) and the queen (phoenix), and it is commonly served at Chinese weddings.
Shrimp and chicken flesh are coarsely minced and kneaded into balls before being deep fried with bread crumbs. Crispy and tender, the balls. Salad sauce is frequently used to provide a sweet and sour flavour to salads.
Phoenix Talons (Chickens’ Feet)
In Guangdong culture, people like using the word “phoenix”to represent chicken. The other reason probably is in Chinese pronunciation, phoenix (feng) sounds more beautiful to Chinese than chicken (ji).
Though foreigners might feel a bit apprehensive when hearing its name, Chinese people, especially the older generation, are fond of phoenix talons. It’s important to cut off all the nails of the chicken feet before frying them.
The fried chicken feet are placed on a small plate, and placed into a bamboo steamer. After frying and steaming, chicken feet become very soft and you can easily chew the bones. Phoenix talons can be served individually as well as with pork ribs and rice.
Consuming phoenix talons is good for skin and bone, because they contain much collagen and calcium. Women who are looking for better skin should eat more.
Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow)
Har Gow is one of the most well-known dim sum meals in Hong Kong. Despite its high cost, it remains a top priority of order. Typically, one bamboo steamer holds three to four shrimp dumplings. Each shrimp dumpling is made up of one to two tiny shrimp and a small amount of pork wrapped in a thin translucent wrapper.
When presented, the wrapper is crystal-like and gleaming, enticing people to put it in their mouths. One dumpling may be consumed in one mouthful. The shrimp is refreshing and tastes best if it has a little fluid within to keep it from becoming too dry.
Fish balls are a typical Hong Kong snack, made of fish meat and can be divided into two varieties.
One is the well-known cooked food sold by street venders. Its history can be tracked back to the 1950s. This type of fish balls are made of fried fish meat. Food stalls often sell them with spicy or sweet sauces.
The other kind is sold uncooked and usually served as an important ingredient of hot pot, or cooked with noodles in hot soup. The price is higher and taste different from the first type. These are available in traditional markets and super markets.
According to a statistic in 2002, the daily average consumption of fish balls in Hong Kong is 55 metric tons (about 3.75 million fish balls).
If you have never eaten snake before, you should have a try in Hong Kong. Snake soup is a popular delicacy in Hong Kong due to its (reputed) medicinal benefits and high nutritional value. The history of this dish can be traced back to 2,000 years ago.
Feeling dubious? No need to worry, as you won’t see anything resembling a snake, and it tastes like chicken and mushroom soup.
She Wong Lam (‘Snake King Lam’) in Sheung Wan is a recommended restaurant for snake soup.
Clay Pot Rice
Steamed rice in a clay pot, often known as clay pot rice is a popular Cantonese meal.
It appears to be a basic dish of white rice with a variety of toppings cooked in a clay pot over a traditional charcoal fire. The combination of slightly smoky steamed rice, cut pig, smoked sausage, chicken, or beef, with fresh shallots and an unique sauce, on the other hand, has long been a winner.
Steamed Rice Rolls
In Hong Kong, steamed rice rolls or rice noodle rolls (cheong fun) are traditional dim lunch. They’re comprised of steamed rice sheets that have been wrapped and stuffed with beef, shrimp, or char siu (barbequed pig), as well as veggies and sauces.
Rice rolls are prepared on the spot and can be customized to your preferences. Tim Ho Wan is a Michelin-starred restaurant that is one of the greatest venues to try this dish.
Fake Shark Fin Soup
In the past, a lot of hawkers used shark meat leftovers from restaurants as principle material of this snack. Nowadays, shark fin has been replaced by vermicelli as the main ingredient of this snack, hence the ‘Fake’ added in front of the name.
Mushrooms, black fungus, pork, and some other ingredients are added as the soup boils. Several seasonings are provided to accompany the meat, typically pepper, Zhejiang vinegar and sesame oil.
Fake shark fin soup was widespread at Mosque Street in the 1980s. As one of the street snacks, Fake Shark Fin Soup used to be served in small bowls and sold by vendors along the streets; hence it obtained another name “Shark’s Fin in Bowls”.
Rickshaw Noodles are a type of quick cuisine that is extremely affordable and has been popular among Hong Kong residents since the 1960s.
They are quick noodles with additional ingredients such as hogskin, fish balls, sirloin, and carrots, as well as soup and sauces. They come in a variety of tastes and prices due to the variety of components.
In the past, vendors always sold this food in street corners from wooden carts, which is where Rickshaw Noodles obtained its name. Even today, Rickshaw Noodles is still very popular in Hong Kong, even though selling in street corners has become a thing of the past and modern shops have taken over.
Eggplant with Minced Pork
Sichuan eggplant with minced pork is a popular dish in Hong Kong restaurants. Cut into pieces, the eggplant is fried with cucumbers. The pork is then minced and cooked with broadbean paste and seasonings such red peppers, ginger, garlic, sugar, salt, and soy sauce.
The unique aspect is that everything is cooked in a clay pot for a time, bringing out the powerful taste of the minced pig.
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