Hong Kong is an exciting place to visit. As a centre of commerce and culture, it’s effectively the New York City of south east Asia. That analogy also extends to its food scene – like the Big Apple, Hong Kong is home to a fascinating range of dishes, many of which are traditional Chinese dishes. In fact, people often travel for miles to eat at Hong Kong restaurants.
However, some of the dishes on the menu are enough to give even the most open-minded foodies the heebie jeebies. If you enjoy sampling unusual foods when you travel, read on to discover six of the weirdest items you’ll find on the menu at Hong Kong restaurants:
- 1 1) Bird’s Nest Soup
- 2 2) The 1,000-year-old egg
- 3 3) Chicken feet
- 4 4) Sea slugs
- 5 5) Deep-fried pork intestines
- 6 6) Pig blood curd
1) Bird’s Nest Soup
Asia is known for its soups, which can contain everything from hot, savoury noodles to slices of marinated, fragrant pork. They can also get pretty weird at times. Bird’s Nest Soup is a prime example of this – whoever thought you could turn swiftlet spit into an edible dish?
You read that right: the saliva of a common bird to the Hong Kong area is the primary ingredient in a soup that also contains chicken broth. Despite the name of this dish, it doesn’t actually contain anything that came from a bird’s nest. In fact, the dish gets its name from the fact that swiftlets use spit to bind the walls of their nest together.
After making your way through this dish like a champ, you’ll likely feel accomplished enough to head back to your hotel for the night. When you do, know that there are plenty of entertainment options to keep you interested until it’s time to nod off.
Internet gaming sites can be a fun choice, especially if you don’t fancy leaving your hotel room – with games ranging from craps to roulette to baccarat, you never not what you might win – just be responsible and don’t get tempted to part with too much of your hard-earned cash all at once. Always be sure to compare internet gaming providers on a website such as this one before parting with any money.
2) The 1,000-year-old egg
The name sounds unbelievable, but once you see a so-called 1,000 year old egg up close, you’ll understand why it was given its name. Served as a delicacy in many Hong Kong restaurants, this is actually a duck and/or quail egg that has been buried underneath a mixture of sand, clay, and salt for a couple months.
After that period of time, the so-called 1000-year-old egg takes on its trademark appearance, scaring away all but those in the know. Pungent-smelling and an acquired taste, if you manage to summon the bravery to consume one and keep it down, many locals may very well consider you an honorary Hong Konger for doing so!
3) Chicken feet
Chicken is as vanilla a food as you can get around the world, yet somehow, Hong Kong has found a way to create an unusual dish from this garden variety farm animal. Chicken feet look alien and they seem to lack edible flesh, yet many locals will happily buy and snack on them on their way home from work.
Buy some along with them, and you’ll be guaranteed to gag more than a few times on the cartilage, but the crispy skin is the real treasure – tear it off with your teeth, and you’ll enjoy a treat that few of your friends can ever brag about having.
4) Sea slugs
Tropical in nature, the oceans around Hong Kong are home to a wide variety of marine life. Over the years, the people of this territory have made full use of everything caught up in the nest of their fishers – even sea slugs are eaten here. Yes, even a creature that resembles everybody’s least-favourite garden pest (in ocean form) finds its way onto the dinner plates of some.
I’ve heard that they taste and feel exactly how you would expect them to be – slimy, slippery, and definitely not like any common meat you’ve tried before. If you decide to be brave and try this delicacy, have it fried and drown it in sauce – for your own sake!
5) Deep-fried pork intestines
The ancestors of the current residents of Hong Kong didn’t just try to eat any creature or plant they could find, they also made the most of each body structure in said life forms. For example, you’ll find vendors selling every part of a pig as you walk the streets of Hong Kong, including intestines.
Fortunately, many choose to eat intestines dish deep-fried; there’s just something about breading that makes food easier to eat. Fried in 1,000-year oil and served on a skewer, it’s not surprising that it has a strong taste, so prepare to reach for the hoisin sauce if you hope to polish off the whole thing!
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6) Pig blood curd
Hong Kong’s love affair with the pig extends to soups – however, there’s a lot more on offer than lovely concoctions like pork bone soup. They really do like to make the most of every part of the animal and as you wander the city, you’ll find Hong Kong restaurants that actually use pig’s blood to make a soup-like dish known as Pig Blood Curd.
Pig Blood Curd is made by hydrating congealed pig’s blood and adding salt, sugar, and sliced-up 1,000-year-old egg for good measure. If you can slurp back even have a bowl, you’ll earn the undying respect of the locals.
#EatInShekKipMei 港式小食一定係魚蛋和魚蓉燒賣，除非唔係。 * 佢哋嘅魚蓉燒賣係自家手打造㗎，再加埋佢哋嘅爽口原粒豬紅，這三款一齊，好好味呀～ * Hong Kong street snack representatives are Fish Balls and Shao Mais. The Shao Mais here are handmade from minced fish meats, so more fish taste and less flour taste. Plus the tasty pig’s blood curd in cubes, my favourite. All for HK$18. * #CukieeInHongKong #CukieeEatsInShekKipMei @林記小食 #香港美食 #港式小食 #snack #小吃 #小食 #魚蛋 #燒賣 #豬紅 #hongkongfood #shumai #shaomai #fishshumai #fishballs #pigbloodcurd #instafood #instasnack #foodpic #letseat #eeeeats #foodblog #foodlover #foodie #foodiehk #hkfoodie #相機食先 #好味 #美味しい
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten? Would you be apprehensive about ordering strange dishes at Hong Kong restaurants? I once got served ants in a restaurant in London, although I couldn’t bring myself to actually eat them!