Want to taste some Hong Kong food during your next trip? The Hong Kong cuisine is mainly influenced by the Cantonese cuisine which originates from the province of Guangdong, China. However, it’s also influenced by the European-, Korean-, South Asian-, and Japanese cuisine.
Hong Kong is known for being one of the best food destinations in the world with its interesting dishes, desserts and drinks. Below you can read about 15 traditional dishes that you can taste for a local experience in Hong Kong:
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Roast goose is one of the most classic dishes to taste. It’s such a popular Hong Kong food that many people call it to be a national dish.
It’s a loved dish by both locals and tourists for its tender meat and crispy skin on the outside. It’s roasted until perfection over hot charcoal, which gives the meat its delicious flavor. It’s traditionally served with steamed white rice and plum sauce on the side.
Wontons are traditional Chinese thin-skinned dumplings filled with a variety of ingredients. Hong Kong-style wontons are filled with shrimps and lightly seasoned pork, flavored with both ginger, yellow chives, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
In the early days, wontons were prepared during the Winter Solstice Festival as a festive dish, however, today it’s commonly found in most restaurants.
They are traditionally served in a hot and flavorful noodle soup.
Snake soup is regarded as a Chinese delicacy in Hong Kong. It’s believed to give medicinal benefits and nutritional values, but also for making you look younger.
To prepare this dish, different types of snake meat are boiled together with ingredients such as pork bones, chicken, and spices until the meat is tender and the taste is slightly sweet.
Beef Brisket Noodle
Beef Brisket Noodle is a popular Hong Kong dish that’s loved by both locals and tourists.
To prepare the dish, beef brisket, carrot, radish, ginger, and spring onions are left to simmer together with spices like cumin, clove, star anise, cardamom pods, cinnamon, and Galangal.
The slow cooking process may be long, but it’s necessary to ensure that the brisket stays both tender and flavorful.
Pineapple Bun, also known as ‘Boh Loh Bao’ in Cantonese, is a popular sweet bread in most Chinese communities around the world.
Strange enough, the famous Pineapple Bun does not contain any pineapple ingredients at all. It actually got its name because of the sugary crust that tends to crack up to resemble the exterior of a pineapple.
Even though the bread is crunchy on the outside, it’s very soft and light on the inside.
In 2014, the Hong Kong Government listed the Pineapple Bun as a part of Hong Kong’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory, making it an official Hong Kong food.
Braised Chicken Feet
Braised Chicken Feet, also known as Phoenix Claws, is a popular Hong Kong food.
It’s a dish made of deep-fried chicken feet braised with oyster sauce, soy sauce, sake, pepper, garlic, black bean sauce, and sesame oil. The feet are then steamed until the cartilage, skin and meat are softened to a melt-in-the-mouth texture.
Wife Cake, more commonly known as ‘Lo Po Bang’ in Cantonese, is a traditional pastry with a flaky thin crust filled with a chewy paste made of winter melon, almond, sesame, and a five-spice powder.
It’s said that the cake got its name during the era of imperial China, when a peasant’s father became very ill and he took the family’s remaining funds in search of a cure. They became very poor, so the peasant’s wife decided to sell herself as a slave in exchange for money to buy medicine for her father-in-law.
The Wife Cake was later created by the peasant to commemorate his love for his self-sacrificing wife. The cake became so popular that he eventually earned enough money to buy his wife back.
Har Gow is the Cantonese name for the Hong Kong-style shrimp dumplings – one of the most popular dishes in a traditional Dim Sum meal.
The dumpling is characterized by the silky wrap that’s made of wheat starch, tapioca, and lard. The fillings are usually made of fresh shrimp and bamboo shoots with a light seasoning.
Har Gow is often eaten alongside Siew Mai, another popular Dim Sum dish that’s filled with pork and mushroom.
Siew Mai is one of the most loved Dim Sum dishes in Hong Kong. Unlike regular dumplings that are fully wrapped, Siew Mai is an open-top dumpling.
The skin is wrapped around the sides and at the bottom, very much like a cup. They are then filled to the brim and topped with fish roe or a a green pea.
Steamed Rice Roll
Steamed Rice Roll, also known as “Jyu Cheung Fan” in Cantonese, is a dish made of rolled up rice noodle sheets.
The sheets are made from rice flour, glutinous rice flour and water, and are then filled with various fillings before bring rolled up. Common fillings include barbecue pork and shrimps.
It’s served with some light soy sauce and a sesame sauce on top. It’s usually served as a snack or together with other Dim Sum dishes like Har Gow and Siew Mai.
Clay Pot Rice
Clay Pot Rice is a signature rice meal dish in Hong Kong that’s cooked in a clay pot to create a unique earthy aroma.
The rice is mixed with flavorful ingredients such as traditional preserved sausage, meat, green onions and seasonings such as soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and white pepper.
The pot is set to simmer over a flame with the lid covering the pot the entire cooking process. This is to ensure that the moisture and flavor are completely sealed in the pot.
Clay Pot Rice is served in the hot pot to make the rice at the bottom crispy and aromatic. It’s the bottom rice that’s the best part, because it gives the dish its iconic flavor.
The Hong Kong egg tart is a pastry inspired by the famous Portuguese custard tart. It’s a made of a slightly flaky pastry crust and an egg custard filling.
The egg tarts were first introduced to Hong Kong via Guangzhou, China. In the 1960s, the dish became such a hit that it found its way to the mainstream Dim Sum restaurants and was served as a part of the meal.
Today, the Hong Kong eat tart is one of the most popular snacks to eat, so it’s not uncommon to spot long queues outside famous egg tart stores around the city.
Lo Mai Gai
Lo Mai Gai is a traditional rice dish made with sticky glutinous rice, chicken, Chinese mushrooms, Chinese preserved sausage, scallions and sometimes with dried shrimp and salted egg as well.
The rice dish is wrapped in dried lotus leaves and steamed until fully cooked. It’s usually eaten for breakfast and is also commonly eaten during a Dim Sum meal.
Char Siew Bao
Char Siew Bao is a traditional Chinese steamed bun that’s filled with barbecued pork. Char Siew translates to “fork roasted”, which refers to the skewered meat that is roasted over a fire on long forks.
It’s one of the most common dishes served in Dim Sum restaurants in Hong Kong, and is a popular comfort food for the locals.
Char Siew Bao is usually eaten for breakfast and is served piping hot in a Dim Sum basket. These buns are slightly sweet and savory in flavor.
Lap Cheung is a Cantonese preserved sausage that’s slightly sweet in flavor. The traditional sausage is usually seasoned with rose water and rice wine to give it a unique flavor. However, there are a variety of Lap Cheung sausages on the market in all different kinds of flavors.
Usually, there’s a choice of fatty or lean sausages, but for the more adventurous ones, there are sausages that are made with both pig livers, duck livers and turkey livers.
Lap Cheung is a loved ingredient in many Chinese dishes such as fried rice, stir-fried vegetables, fried eggs and a number of other local dishes.
When it comes to using Lap Cheung, a little can go a long way because the taste is incredibly rich and intense – that’s why Lap Cheung is usually added to various local dishes.
More about Hong Kong food
Due to Hong Kong’s past as a British colony and a long history of being an international port of commerce – Hong Kong has today earned a reputation for being one of the best food destinations in the world.
Hong Kong offers a unique food experience with everything from cheep and delicious street food to upscale restaurants serving interesting dishes. This is a place that provides dining experiences for all different kinds of budgets, which makes it such a popular destination among the food-lovers.
What is the national dish in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong doesn’t have an official national dish. However, Roast Goose is considered by many locals to be the national dish of Hong Kong.
What is a typical breakfast in Hong Kong?
A traditional breakfast in Hong Kong includes noodles, egg, and meat, together with milk tea and bread. Macaroni with egg, bread and milk tea is also a common breakfast food in Hong Kong.
Is it safe to eat street food in Hong Kong?
Yes, generally it’s safe to eat street food in Hong Kong. Just make sure that the food you’re buying is properly cooked and served hot.
Do you have more questions about Hong Kong food and cuisine? Leave a comment below!