Hong Kong has more than it’s fair share of weird food items, found in food stalls, restaurants or even in your local supermarket. Not sure what to try first? Here is our definitive list of the best!
Bird Nest Soup
This is one of the most expensive delicacies you can find on the island and also, one of the strangest. Made from the solidified saliva of the male Swiflet bird, the soup (apparently) has a high nutritional value, as well as being extremely well sought after for it’s exclusivity. It can be prepared as a sweet or savoury dish, and will normally be served alone, so as not to ruin the flavour. The whitest nests are the purest and most expensive, and once cooked, will become gelatinous. They can be bought in specialty ships for around HKD $150-500 per gram. You can also try it here at:
Tin Ngai Kam Bird Nest Place, 210 Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei, $238 for a small portion.
Shang Palace, inside the Shangri-La Hotel, $680-720 per person.
If normal tofu doesn’t float your boat, then why not try stinky tofu? This is an extremely popular street food and can be found almost anywhere. Originating from mainland China but making it’s mark in Hong Kong and in Taiwan, stinky tofu is made from a fermented brine which itself comes from fermented vegetables, meat and seafood. The tofu is then immersed in this brine and is then deep fried and served with hoisin sauce. It does not smell great and you might regret it, but make sure you try this street food snack at least once.
Often topping lists of ‘most disgusting food in the world’, the century egg is not for the faint-hearted. Century eggs are also known as ‘one hundred year egg’ or ‘thousand year egg’ and is usually a duck, chicken or quail egg that has been preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, quicklime and ricehulls. If you don’t know the ingredients, all you need to know is that when they are mixed, it smells rather like urine. The eggs are usually served in congee, or with garlic, chili and vinegar. You can even find century eggs in local supermarkets, tinned or served in an egg box. If you need more encouragement, century eggs are supposed to be the best hangover cure.
The name tells you exactly what you need to hear, and this type of tofu is a mix of congealed pig’s blood that has been shaped into cubes after being heated and salted. It usually appears in soy broths or in congee, and has a soft texture, much like normal tofu. You can also find duck blood tofu, if you look hard enough. It is especially recommended for anaemics or people with autoimmune diseases, as it is full of vitamins and minerals but be careful not to eat too much at a time, to avoid iron poisoning.
This is a real delicacy in Hong Kong and is surprisingly delicious. The soup usually contains two types of snakes, one of them is venomous, and the broth is made up of ginger, lemon leaves, star anise and occasionally, fungus. The meat tastes like chicken (of course) and the soup itself is quite tasty, and it is supposed to be particularly good for your circulation. It is served all year round but you can find it in Kowloon, most commonly.
As vile as it might sound, you might well find chicken testicles on your hot pot menu. You can also find them boiled or deep fried. Tasting a little like liver and with a texture like tofu, they are far less disgusting than they sound. Often named as ‘hen’s eggs’, this little treat hails from Guangdong and is rumored to be good for the skin and for the kidneys.
Most commonly known as ‘poo fruit’, this is a favorite among South East Asian countries. It tastes a little like avocado and custard, and has a smooth texture, like yoghurt but it smells truly disgusting. You can find it in fruit stalls or street food stalls, and make sure you look for durian that has a green shell, hasn’t been opened and smells ‘ripe’. You’ll know what we mean.