10 Traditional Hong Kong dishes you must try

If you're a food aficionado, there's just no excuse for not trying some of the best Chinese food on offer. In that case, the traditional menu of Hong Kong is an unavoidable item on your bucket list. Imagine you've gone to heaven, and it turns out heaven is a restaurant. That's how most people feel when they try some of Hong Kong's traditional recipes for the first time in restaurants all across the globe.

We'll give you a few examples if you don't know where to start exploring Hong Kong's cuisine.

Among major cities, Hong Kong is an anomaly. It’s been called the New York of the Orient for its status as a global culture and finance hub. It’s the best urban destination in the world for trekkers due to the surrounding country parks. And the food? Let’s just say that Hong Kong offers not only incredible local and regional cuisine but also hosts incredible chefs and restaurants serving dishes from around the world.

Must Eat Food in Hong Kong

In the article below, you'll find some of the traditional Hong Kong dishes you must try.

1. Pineapple buns

Pineapple lovers - stop right here! These buns are not made out of your favorite fruit, although they resemble it. Well, that's how they got their name. Of course, that doesn't mean you're not going to like pineapple buns. It's the most famous product of the Hong Kong school of baking, and locals call it, boh loh baau. It's crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Also, it's pretty sweet.

Is there a better combo? You're absolutely right; there isn't. Add a little milk tea on the side, and you have a great dish to start the day fresh! Worldwide famous pineapple buns are a fantastic way to start the day. Add a little milk tea to the combination, and you're all set.

2. Fishballs

Now, here's an authentic Hong Kong specialty. It's not just one dish. There are two: fried fish balls sold as popular Hong Kong street food, and cooked or uncooked fish balls, often served in a hot pot or with rice noodles. This is probably the most typical item on the Hong Kong traditional menu. Here's a cool fact: just 20 years ago, the daily consumption of this fantastic dish in HK was about 3.75 million fishballs!

You can easily guess what is the favorite street food in Hong Kong. Fishballs are something food lovers have to try!

3. Sweet and Sour Pork

This might just be the most popular dish originating from Hong Kong. Probably every Chinese restaurant in the world has sweet and sour pork on its menu. Most folks don't know it first appeared in Hong Kong surroundings, only to spread all over China in the meantime. If you ever find yourself cruising HK, make sure you try this famous recipe.

In Hong Kong, there are amazing rooftop bars you should pay a visit to and order this worldwide celebrated dish. You won't regret it, believe us! A superior view accompanied by delicious food. Nothing can beat that! If you ever find yourself in Hong Kong, we're sure you won't have a dilemma on what to eat. Always scan the area for a place where locals like to hang out.

4. Egg tarts

If you're a tea lover, you'll enjoy having egg tarts near the cup with your favorite beverage. Sweetened egg tarts originally came from Portugal. Some time has passed, and now they're probably the most consumed pastry in Hong Kong. Locals say you should definitely pay a visit to Tai Cheong bakery and try their notorious (in the best way imaginable) egg tarts. Don't miss out on this fantastic little treat!

5. Cha Siu - barbecued pork

There isn't a meat lover that will casually walk by a place where they make Cha Siu, Cantonese-style barbecued pork. If you have some physical work to be done, it's good you eat some Char Siu to give you much-needed energy and strength. Just ask the relocation crew at Relosmart Movers; they surely know the traits of hard physical labor and ways you can prepare for it!

Being a part of a moving crew certainly isn't an easy job. So if they say Cha Siu is their dish of choice, then you know what to do. Never underestimate what locals like to eat! Meat lovers will enjoy Hong Kong. Make sure you try the popular Cha Siu barbecued pork. Trust us!

6. Chicken feet

To some Westerners, the idea of eating chicken feet seems kind of repulsive. That's a real shame because they don't know what they're missing. If you have a picture of eating something thick and crunchy, think again. They practically melt in your mouth and are usually fried. Also, they're often stewed in black bean sauce. Now, if that doesn't get your appetite going, we don't know what will. Make sure you try this unique street food!

7. Milk tea

We've mentioned it earlier in the article, but it deserves its own paragraph. If you've tried it before, then you know what's up. It's traditionally made with Ceylon black tea and condensed or evaporated milk instead of ordinary milk. Milk tea is the epitome of Hong Kong's tea culture, and it's always at the top of lists concerning Hong Kong's cuisine.

A couple of years ago, it was the number 4 Hong Kong dish, according to a survey done by the Top 100 Eat show. Of course, its origins take us back to the British colonial rule of HK. Nowadays, it's seen as Hong Kong's own cultural heritage.

8. Cantonese Steamed Fish

There are lots of ways to cook fish in China. And steaming is commonly considered as the most authentic way, because they only put the scallion and ginger slice, light soy sauce in, steam shortly, without heavy cooking, to keep the original flavor of the fish as possible. It also means they can only make this dish with 100% fresh fish.

Steamed whole fish with ginger and onion, is another common dish. It’s hard to cook at home due do the requirements of a large steam vessel. Although you can definitely substitute the steamer with your oven. The dish has a very high requirement on fresh fish. It’s the reason why you often see live fish swimming in the tank in many Chinese restaurants.

Perch is often used for this dish, but it works just as well with Rock fish or other white fish. The fatty bluefishes are often avoided for this dish due to high fishy taste.

9. Stir fried pea shoots

Stir fried pea shoots, is very common, but low end restaurants often cannot source the best ingredients. So what you end up with is very tough shoots that is hard to chew.

10. Stinky tofu

Last but not least, we have stinky tofu appearing on this list. Don't let the name fool you. Okay, we're being a little misleading here, as it is a bit smelly. Some even compare it to the famous Indonesian durian. You might have seen the signs on some airports in South East Asia saying it's forbidden to carry durian. Well, at least no one can deter you from eating stinky tofu.

It's safe to say this one is reserved for food adventurists. Anyway, it's one of the most popular treats you can encounter in HK streets. Stinky tofu is a traditional Chinese food, especially Changsha stinky tofu is the most famous. It smells stinky and smells delicious is its main feature.

Traditional Hong Kong dishes you must try - a summary

So, there you have it. These were some of the traditional Hong Kong dishes you must try if you ever get the chance. Nowadays, it's easy to find most of these fantastic dishes in metro areas all around the world. Hopefully, you'll get an opportunity to experience them in their home region. There's something for everybody.

If you like sweets - try the famous egg tarts. If you're a meat-lover - there's Cantonese-style barbecued pork that will make you lick your fingers. Don't be scared to try chicken feet. They are delish; you have our word! Also, pineapple buns with milk tea are a combination straight out of heaven.

Kalyan Panja