Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top 5 Foods of Hong Kong

The best thing about living in Hong Kong is the food! Cantonese food is really delicious and unique to this area.  I was not a huge fan of Chinese Food in the US, it always gave me a headache and made me feel bad. Probably, because of the MSG used in American Chinese resteraunts.
But when I came to Hong Kong I learned to LOVE Chinese Food. I will never go back to over salted General Tsao's chicken again! In case you want to take a food tour of HK, I demand you try and eat all of these to have the full experience.

1. Dim Sum
The quintessential HK food. Dim Sum is a must have and specific to HK and other Canton Regions. When you see a dim sum resteraunt in NY or any other large city they tend to be run by people from HK. Dim Sum is the act of steaming little pieces of food in the basket or frying little dumplings together to share at the table.
The sharing act of dim sum is very important to the ceremony of eating it and drinking tea together as a unit. "Yum Cha" the word for going to have dim sum means to drink tea. Tea is meant to warm the soul. "Dim Sum" means point of the heart, which means the act is supposed to warm your heart while you dine. Dim Sum is a breakfast and lunch time food. You will not be able to find it after 3pm. After that most restaurants switch to buffets of other canton cuisine.
My personal favorites include the shrimp dumplings, the char sui bao (Steamed BBQ pork buns) and the Ham Sui Gau (Fried pork/veggie dumplings.) You can also have rice and veggies served with your dim sum. I love the chinese long beans with salted fish!
Dim Sum cart! Do you want some chicken feet?

2. Char siu Pork
Crispy Fried Pork is my FAVORITE thing here! Typically made out of pork belly or neck it is cooked until it is nice and crispy on the outside and yummy on the inside! When you come to HK you MUST have this! As a bonus, it's not that expensive to get here!
Yummy! Yummy! Can I have some?

3. Wife Cake
 Wife Cakes are also called sweet heart cakes. There is a legend that goes along with the cake.
Yummy flaky wife cakes!
The legend is that a couple lived was very poor. They loved each other and lived in a small village.
Suddenly, a mysterious disease spread. The husband's father became very sick. The couple spent all of their money in order to treat the man's father, but he was still sick. The wife sold herself as a slave in exchange for money to buy medicine for her father-in-law.
Once the husband learned about what his wife did, he made a cake filled with sweetened wintermelon. He dedicated this pastry to his wife, whom he'll never forget and sold it. His cake became so popular that he was able to earn enough money to buy his wife back.
The cakes are very popular in HK, but be careful when you buy them if you have nut allergies as some bakers put almonds in the crust.

4. Eggette
This is the thing the EGGO waffle was based on! (true fact...) You can find waffle carts all over HK. Get the ones with round waffle balls as they are unique to the area. Try to get a fresh one as the warm ones are superior to the cold ones that have been sitting around for a while. A eggette will cost you between 5-10 HK depending on the area you are in.

5. Congee
Congee is similar to grits or cream of wheat except it is made with rice instead of wheat or pureed corn. Most people will flavor their congee while they heat it. Most common flavors are pork, fish and veggie. I do not like the fish congee AT ALL! Congee is typically served for breakfast much like it's western cousins. I like grits but I have to be in the mood for congee to enjoy it.
This is chicken and veggie congee!


  1. I love Chinese food such as tofu and dumplings. I have never been to Hong Kong but this post has made me craved for Chinese food. I really want to go to Hong Kong someday. Thanks for these suggestions! :-)

  2. writing about food always makes me hungry...

  3. Dear Meaghan: I came across your blog site while searching for nug allergy/food/hong kong. Our family is traveling to Hong Kong in the next couple of weeks and my daughter are severely allergic to all nuts, in particular of course peanuts. I am amazed that with your allergy, you are able to eat chinese food....I was warned that most chinese are made with peanut oil and of course the issue of cross contamination. Any advice you can give us in terms of safe place to eat and visit. BTW love the fact that you can travel the world despite of your challenges...certainly don't want my girls to grow up fearing for food and life....hence we are visiting Singapore too, am also a little nervous...any advice?

    1. In Hong Kong peanut oil isn't really used. That's more of an american or Thai thing. Here they use vegetable oil because it's the cheapest. Stay in restaurants with English menus. Always tell the waitress/chef.
      I had a harder time in Singapore with the nut allergies than I did in Hk to be honest. I studied the cuisine and new what typically had it in it. Stay away from chinese deserts they almost always have nuts in them as the flour component.

  4. Hi Meaghan, your blog looks really good. My friends and I are in Hong Kong at the moment and one of them has a peanut allergy. Do you know of any dim sum places that would be safe for her to eat at because we haven't managed to find anywhere yet! Thanks.