Street Food in Hong Kong
An international city, a melting pot of Western and Eastern cultures, Hong Kong’s cuisine is definitely top notch. Apart from the famous and traditional dim sum, Hong Kong’s street food is also one not to miss. Going stalls to stalls for different street food and sharing it with your loved ones is something the locals love to do. I’m sure if it’s good enough for the locals, it’s definitely an amazing experience for tourists! Here I have a number of street food recommendations for you to try in Hong Kong, be prepared and have things you want to try noted down. And if Hong Kong is already on your travel wish list, don’t wait! Head to Cathay Pacific’s website and check on flights to Hong Kong.
Don’t be fooled by its boring sphere outlook, fish balls are the king of street food in Hong Kong. It’s a local’s absolute favourite. Fish balls’ main ingredients are of course fish, but as everyone has their own secret recipe for tasty fish balls, it’s hard to tell exactly what kind of fish is in it. But don’t worry, fish balls aren’t fishy at all! They are usually served with different sauces – chilli, soy sauce, curry sauce. You can also find deep fried fish balls, it’s crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. You can easily find food stalls selling fish balls everywhere in Hong Kong. However for giant fish balls, you will have to head to Cheung Chau Island. You can take a ferry from the Central Pier, about an hour boat ride later, you will arrive at Cheung Chau Island. And instantly, you can see all kinds and sizes of fish balls!
If fish balls are the king of Hong Kong street food, then Siu Mai is the queen of Hong Kong Street Food. Siu Mai is also made with fish, but it’s wrapped with a super thin egg yolk pancake. Like fish balls, they come in different styles – some steamed, some boiled, some deep-fried, some barbequed. Siu Mai are not fishy or eggy at all, they are soft and chewy! Siu Mai is a Hong Kong local food, you can only find it here in Hong Kong. You can also have Siu Mai in dim sum restaurants, but the ones on the street are slightly different. Siu Mai in dim sum usually have pork or roe mixed in, while those on the street are often made with fish. It’s honestly a treat you cannot miss out!
In recent years, egg waffles are gaining international recognition. Even in London, there are egg waffle shops, those usually come with ice cream. However if you don’t know, egg waffles are also a local invention. Here in Hong Kong, they are freshly made, so it’s hot, crispy and soft at the same time, and they don’t come with ice cream, because the flavouring on it’s own is nice enough. Some food stalls in Hong Kong take a spin in egg waffles by adding other flavours in the batter, like salted egg yolk, chocolate or sesame. Egg waffles are a local’s favourite, kids in Hong Kong often get it as a treat, but adults and grannies love them too! It’s like an honorary national “dish”.
Cheng Fun – Steamed Rice Rolls
Rice is a main dish in Chinese cuisine, it’s an essential element of a meal. But there is actually a lot of other amazing food made with rice, the most famous one is Cheng Fun, which means steamed rice rolls. Like how the French have their amazing crepe, Cheng Fun is kind of the Chinese style of crepes. The mega thin “crepe” part is made with rice flour, it is then wrapped with delicious ingredients like spring onions, prawns, chop suey or beef then steam till its ready. That’s the dim sum version of Cheng Fun. For street food, it’s usually plain steamed Cheng Fun topped with fish balls or Siu Mai, soy sauce, sweet sauce or chilli sauce and sesame. The texture of very smooth and it’s a super healthy snack you can indulge on.
Not only is stinky tofu famous in Taiwan, it is also a famous dish here in Hong Kong. Some find the smell unbearable, but trust me, once you get through the smell, it is actually very tasty. Stinky tofu is often deep fried, so you get both of the best textures, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Stinky Tofu in Hong Kong is often served with sweet sauce in Hong Kong, the sauce covers up the smell a bit. Don’t judge too soon, if you are in Hong Kong, at least give it a try!
Yin Yang – Half Coffee Half Milk Tea
You can only find Yin Yang in Hong Kong. It is a mixture of coffee and Hong Kong milk tea, though it sounds kind of weird, both beverage actually mix together well and gives a unique taste. Though you can’t find Yin Yang on street food stalls, there are a lot of Cha Chan Ting (ie local styled restaurants) everywhere, and nearly all of them sell Yin Yang. Yin Yang tastes better hot as the flavours are more prominent. There is no other place in the world that sells Yin Yang, so make sure you grab one while in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Milk Tea
Hong Kong styled milk tea is the most iconic beverage of Hong Kong. As you may know, tea culture is huge in Britain. Once colonised by the country, local chefs during the time took their own spin on the famous British Breakfast tea and created Hong Kong styled milk tea. It’s stronger and much smoother! Hong Kong styled milk tea is meticulously made. The secret to its smoothness is, guess what, stockings! When making Hong Kong styled milk tea, the chef will filter the tea with stockings and constantly poured with a height. The height allows more air to get into the tea and the stockings filter all kinds of impurities away, making the tea base silky smooth and nice. You can get Hong Kong styled milk tea in all Cha Chan Tin (local style restaurants). They are to die for! And trust me, once you tried it, you can’t go back.
Where to go?
Three places come in mind for an amazing street food journey.
Mong Kok – The busiest and most vibrant town in Hong Kong
Kwai Fong Plaza – A mall with loads of food stall
Cheung Chau – A remote traditional fisherman’s’ island with amazing food