Hong Kong’s food culture not only inherits Chinese traditions, but is also influenced by foreign cultures. It can be said to be a blend of Chinese and foreign characteristics. The intersection of Eastern culture and Western culture has blended into a Hong Kong people’s eating habits that combine Chinese cuisine (mainly Cantonese cuisine) and Western cuisine. Hong Kong has always been known as a “food paradise” because this small island gathers food from all over the world. A variety of flavors, each with its own strengths, has formed the grand view of Hong Kong’s cuisine. The catering industry in Hong Kong continues to learn from foreign food culture and injects new ingredients into local dishes, enriching the local food culture of Hong Kong.
The characteristics of Hongkong Chinese Food
Since most Hong Kong people are of Cantonese nationality, Cantonese, Hakka, and Chaozhou dishes are regarded as local dishes. With the Second World War and the Civil War between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, many immigrants from mainland China have poured into Hong Kong. They also brought Shanghai cuisine, Ningbo cuisine, Anhui cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Hunan cuisine, Beijing cuisine, etc., which are collectively referred to as Waijiang cuisine.
Hong Kong people really like to eat seafood. Not only is there a wide variety of seafood here, but there are so many different cooking methods that are unmatched elsewhere. The most common dish at a seafood banquet is steamed sea freckles, just add a little ginger onion and soy sauce to maintain the original taste of sea fish. Treasures of seafood, like shark fin and abalone, are a must-have dish in general banquets. General restaurants and restaurants in Hong Kong serve seafood. More people like to eat in Aberdeen, Sai Kung, Lei Yue Mun, Lamma Island, Cheung Chau, etc. There are many restaurants specializing in seafood. Most of the restaurants stand facing the sea. At dusk, the breeze is fading, the sunset is accompanied by the food, and the waves are accompanied by the accompaniment of the sea.
Going to teahouses to eat dim sum is what Hong Kong people call “drinking tea.” It is a daily routine for Hong Kong people to go to teahouses to taste tea and eat dim sum in the morning or lunch time. A pot of tea, a few portions of exquisite Cantonese dim sum will be a pleasant breakfast for people. Morning tea in Hong Kong can be served at a street stall or in a tea restaurant, a larger restaurant, with hundreds of dim sums, placed on many small carts, and greeted by hundreds of diners. Cantonese dim sum emphasizes the freshness of the ingredients. The cooking methods are mainly steaming and frying, so as to preserve the original taste of the food. Drinking morning tea is about leisure, elegance, taste, feeling, and of course communication. It has become a unique cultural phenomenon in Hong Kong to call friends to drink morning tea.
The tea restaurant is one of the most civilian eating places in the local area. You can taste authentic Hong Kong-style food here. It is an excellent place to experience the authentic Hong Kong-style culture. The tea restaurant mainly provides food such as beef brisket noodles, fish ball noodles, wonton noodles, rice noodles, dry fried beef and rice noodles, omelettes and porridge. A plate of rice and the food served with the soup is very popular. Many tea restaurants make their own savoury and sweet bread and pastries. Among them, “pineapple oil (bread)”, “cocktail-shape bread”, “ham and egg bread”, “egg tart” and “cup cake” are the most popular. “Dry Stir-fried Barbecued Pork Yi” (Soy Sauce Stir-fried Spaghetti with Cantonese Barbecued Pork) is the unique “Hong Kong flavor” of this place.
English afternoon tea is the main part of the tea restaurant. The most famous one is the “stocking milk tea”, which is brewed with a variety of tea leaves, filtered through a silky cotton net, and added with evaporated milk. It is a fascinating cultural fusion. “Mandarin duck” is a blend of evaporated milk, black tea and coffee. There are also sago puddings that combine Chinese and Western styles, and the most innovative Yangzhi Ganlu, sago dessert, etc., each with its own characteristics. Among other hot and cold drinks, “red bean ice”, “pineapple ice”, and “herbal tea” are hot sale desserts in the hot summer.
Street snacks are also part of Hong Kong’s food culture. If you’re tired from shopping, it’s not dining time. It’s better to stand on the street and enjoy Hong Kong’s authentic snacks. Common street foods include fried stuffed sambo, cart noodles, fish meat balls, egg waffles, rice rolls, bowls of cakes, pork red, beef balls, clear broth, beef offal, peanut butter pancakes, etc. The scent of food drifts in the wind on the street, and few Hong Kong people can resist this temptation. This kind of street food scenery usually appears in downtown areas such as Fa Yuen Street in Mong Kok, Ladies Market, Temple Street in Yau Ma Tei, Causeway Bay, and Sham Shui Wa. Itinerant hawkers use trolleys with simple equipment to prepare these street foods in public. Diners don’t mind standing, using the most primitive tableware, bamboo skewers and paper bags, to eat with relish.
The rapid economic and social development in the past 100 years has brought a new look to the food culture of Hong Kong people. Street food stalls such as the big brand stalls and Da Lidi that accompanied the growth of Hong Kong people have become collective memories of Hong Kong people. Nowadays, food has evolved from the simple fruit belly in the past to the pursuit of color, fragrance and beauty. Restaurants have also changed from simple and simple to gorgeous decoration. Dishes have changed from authentic tastes to gourmet dishes from all over the world, which is enough to reflect Hong Kong. Changes in people’s dietary attitudes and quality of life.