Hong Kong street food was once unfairly stereotyped by locals as fare for the unemployed. Nowadays, you’ll find that the city’s street-food hawkers have drawn loyal followers from all walks of life. And for good reason. Here’s five street foods you have to try on your next visit to Hong Kong.
Spicy fish balls
Without a doubt, the ultimate hero of Hong Kong’s hawker food is the curried fish ball. They are made from fish meat compressed into bite-sized balls which are then deep fried and smothered in a curry sauce. Though the neo-fluorescent glow of the curry sauce may be off-putting to some, trust the crowds. Hong Kongers know what they’re eating.
Largely considered the gastronomic symbol of Hong Kong’s thriving street-food scene, the egg waffle is so popular, it has become an institution in and of itself. Though it was traditionally cooked above a charcoal fire, the egg waffle has since been through numerous different incarnations. There are now dozens of flavours and varieties available in Hong Kong.
The heaving metropolis we now call Hong Kong grew from humble beginnings as a fishing village. Street food has helped to preserve this history, and still offers a vast array of catches from the surrounding waters. One such delicacy is grilled squid, cooked simply with a touch of soy sauce. Its simplicity is typical of Cantonese cooking, where additional sauces and spices are used to enhance, rather than cover, the inherent taste of the main ingredients.
Squid pancake balls
Originally from Japan, Hong Kong’s version of takoyaki comes with diced squid instead of octopus. In Hong Kong, they typically come filled with a mixture of minced squid, tempura and spring onion encased in a crispy wheat shell. They are placed on a for-purpose cast iron takoyaki mould where they must be constantly turned over until the pancake shell is cooked to a perfect crisp.
The pork rind served at Hong Kong’s street food stalls are essentially pork scratchings that have been steamed instead of fried. They are then coated in a thick curry sauce and topped off with a touch of chilli, adding rich flavours to the light and springy texture of the pork rind.