Hong Kong is such a rich mixing pot of cultures and cuisines that it’s known as being the “World’s Food Fair”. It’s for this reason that during a visit to Hong Kong you may find yourself overwhelmed with choice. Fear not, intrepid food traveler, for we have done the research to ensure that you don’t miss one mouth-watering dish. Just follow this list of scrumptious Hong Kong dishes and you won’t go wrong!
1. Roast Goose
British food writer, Matthew Fort once said. “You could confit an old telephone directory in goose fat and it would be eaten with pleasure.” Whilst this is possibly true, we recommend letting the fat stay firmly on the goose and allowing it to crispy up the skin to delicious, golden perfection. With the addition of more than 20 spices and roasted over charcoal that is. Just look out for Roast Goose served Guangdong style and enjoy the mixture of crispy skin with unctuous flesh and be happy. One word of caution—watch out for the small bones!
2. Dim Sum / Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow)
Dim Sum is the indecisive eater’s dream. The delicious answer to the question “but which dish do I choose? Why can’t I have them all?”
Well, happy reader, you can have them all. The Dumplings, the Wontons, the Rice Noodle Rolls. All yours in tiny perfect portions. And there are literally hundreds of restaurants in Hong Kong waiting to make your greedy dream come true.
Special shout out to what some claim is the highlight of Hong Kong Dim Sum, Har Gow. This pricey treat is made up of three or four steamed dumplings, made up of shrimp and pork surrounded in a thin wrapper. Juicy, moreish and bursting with flavor, this is a must-have item when visiting Hong Kong.
3. Fake Shark Fin Soup
Thankfully no sharks are harmed in the making of this imitation dish. Just a lot of vermicelli noodles which apparently look and feel like shark fin. Good to know.
Joining the noodles in this most flavourful of soups are mushrooms, black fungus, pork and sometimes macaroni to make it a more filling morsel. All these are doused with white pepper, Zhejiang vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil and of course soy sauce.
You will find tiny bowls of steaming goodness being sold by street vendors all around Hong Kong. So remember if someone offers you some “Shark’s Fin in a Bowl” don’t be alarmed. Just take them up on their kind offer.
4. Char Siu
Try even saying Char Siu without your mouth watering. We don’t deserve this salty-sweet, sticky mix of spices and Barbeque Pork but we have it nevertheless because life is good.
Also referred to as Cantonese style Barbeque Pork, Char Siu is easily recognizable due to its golden gooey surface, blackened by the grill. And you will recognize it a lot walking around Hong Kong as it stands as a firm favorite with locals and tourists alike.
The mixture of soy, hoisin, honey or sugar mixed with five spice may sound simple, but perhaps this can be a classic example that simple things are the best. But don’t take our word for it, grab a plate and find out for yourself.
5. Clay Pot Rice
Another contender for the argument that simplicity equals deliciousness, Clay Pot Rice relies on extreme heat to scorch flavor into its ingredients. You know how that crispy bit of pasta around the edge of your lasagne is always the best bit? Well, Clay Pot Rice follows that rule and takes it to the extreme.
Ingredients such as pork, chicken, Chinese sausage or even mushrooms are added to the rice before it is introduced to a fierce heat. This, in turn, cooks the contents of the pot whilst creating a delicious crispy rice crust around the outside, adding flavor and texture to an already delicious dish. Finished with a splash of sauce, this really is a must-eat item, especially if visiting in winter.
6. Tofu Pudding
After all that deliciously sweet, salty, spicy and sometimes greasy food you might be in search of a light, cleansing dessert. And you can easily find it in Hong Kong, in the form of Tofu Pudding.
Now although tofu may not be the first thing you think of when you think of dessert, it’s transformed into a wonderfully soft, silky texture that takes on the flavor of whatever topping is put on it. Usually, it’s either ginger or a sweet syrup but whatever it is, you can guarantee its delicious.
So why not see tofu through a new set of eyes? Your taste buds will thank you for it.
7. Bonus dish: “Stinky Tofu”
This is one we had to include but be warned, it’s very much a love or hate kind of dish. Even possibly both in the same serving (hate the smell, love the taste).
Stinky Tofu is made by placing tofu in a brine made from fermented milk and leaving it there sometimes for several months. It is very much the kind of dish you have to eat out as making it at home would be lengthy and smelly and might lose you a few loved ones. However, once you get over the smell, the taste is slightly sweet and mild, not unlike fried tofu. You might then ask, well why on earth wouldn’t you just have fried tofu? Well, we’re not really sure but as stinky tofu continues to be a firm favorite of Hong Kong locals, we can only assume there must be something to it. Please try it and let us know!
We hope you liked the look of these Hong Kong dishes! Planning a trip to Hong Kong? Here’s how to make the most of it.