Top 5 Go-To Snacks in Hong Kong, by Nam Cheah
Hong Kong is known as the gastronomic capital of China, where you can virtually eat anything you want, from sushi to pizza. Not only is the food great, but it is cheap too. However, to get a real taste of Hong Kong, you need to sample its snacks.
Today, I am going to introduce my top five favorite snacks in Hong Kong. If I don't have you drooling by the end of the post, then there's something wrong with you and not me (just kidding, kind of).
Egg Waffle 雞蛋仔
My favorite of them all, the egg waffle is similar to a mix between a waffle and a pancake. Cooked in a specialized iron mold, these pockets of goodness are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside -- talk about perfect texture!
It originated in the streets of Hong Kong in the 1950's, by an entrepreneur storeowner who didn't want to waste eggs and experimented with flours, butter, and sugar in a mold that gained popularity very quickly. You even have a choice of different flavors nowadays, with chocolate being a popular alternative to the original.
Bubble Tea 茶
You might be thinking, "What? Bubble Tea again?" Well, I don't just mean the tapioca one, but I'm talking about a whole host of different flavors and types that you can get at Bubble Tea places all over Hong Kong.
The Bubble Tea culture originated in Taiwan in the 1980's, first with tapioca and then evolved into various forms. Now, they sell practically all kinds of combinations of tea you can think of. My personal go-to is the Grass Jelly Milk Tea, but if you are not a fan of milk tea there is green tea, fruit tea, and hand-squeezed lemon red tea. You name it, they got it. And they are cheap -- from HKD $13 to $25, you can get one of these to quench your thirst during the hot summer months.
Fish Balls 魚蛋
A true representation of Hong Kong snacks: Fish Balls. They have been around longer than most of the buildings. It is essentially minced fish meats formed into a ball, and in snack form served on a stick or in a small cup. They are chewy with many variations - you can get ones with cheese in the middle, or a different flavor of fish. It's really quite astonishing.
Though widely popular and local, Fish Balls exist in other provinces in China as well. But, their ingredients differ from one region to another - so each one is unique.
Egg Tart 蛋撻
The egg tart is many Hong Kongers' favorite snack. It was invented by a restaurant in China from Western influence in 1927 and made its way to Hong Kong in 1949.
With a choice of puff pastry or biscuit base, it's sold in virtually every bakery in Hong Kong and local restaurants. Personally, I prefer the biscuit base - try them both in Hong Kong and see which one you like best.
Fish Shaomai 魚肉燒賣
A kind of open top dumplings with thin flour skin, Shaomai originated from the Ming Dynasty and, like Fish Balls, it spread all of China. There are many kinds of fillings, the most popular being pork and prawns. However, the fish version that is sold all over hawkers and corner snack stalls is unique to Hong Kong.
Chewy, tasty and cheap, you can get them on a stick or in a bowl, and dip it in soya sauce or chili sauces.
Nam Cheah is a third culture millennial who spent half her life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. Planning to make the most out of life, she documents her passion to laugh, travel and eat on her suitably named blog: Laugh, Travel, Eat. When she's not doing any of that, she's either catching up on TV while online shopping or writing her novels.
You can find her blog here: http://www.laughtraveleat.com
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