Thursday, November 30, 2017

Winter Foods in Hong Kong

Winter Foods are now becoming popular in Hong Kong, as Dec is approaching and weather is getting cooler.  Chinese believe eating seasonal food will strengthen our health. So most Chinese restaurants are now promoting their winter food menu to attract more customers.  Indeed, its time to eat something to keep us warm. Some of the best selling items in Hong Kong Winter include: Snake Soup, Mutton Hot Pot and any kind of hot pot rices and dishes.

Below is a summary of my recent Winter foods in 2017.

Mutton Hot Pot羊腩煲
Mutton Hot Pot is served on real fire.  Not only the food, the entire process keeps us warm. We have also mushrooms, bamboo shoots and sheets, water chestnuts and green onions all get together to make the pot pot extremely delicious. It is sold at the price between HK$300-500 (including lettuce), depending on the class of the restaurant. Some  restaurants may sell at a lower price, but charge the lettuce separately.

Taishi Five Snake Soup 太史五蛇羹

There is an oldest Chinese sentence: "when autumn wind is up, three snakes get fat ". Snakes become the "first treasure" in Chinese Winter cuisine. Why this dish is so popular and who is Taishi?

Taishi is a government officer in Qing Dynasty. He has a hobby of studying the art of food. He even hired a high skilled chef to create delicious foods for his family and guests. The 5-Snake Soup is one of his inventions, so it was named after Taishi.

The 5 kinds of snakes - banded krait, ratsnake, cobra, radiated ratsnake and white snake, and then boiled with bamboo shoots, plastic flowers, fungus and mushrooms for 5-6 hours.

Apart from the quality of food, the chef’s skill of using knives is very important as to cut the ingredients into thin slices and making the feeling in mouth excellent. Chrysanthemum and lemon leaves, crisp are added to add taste. And we can add some pepper as we wish.  The one we had costed HK$109 per person.

American Barrel Oysters 美國桶蠔煲

This is a hot pot too, but served off fire. They are really giant - Half the size of my palm! They were delicious, but little bit dry.  It would be perfect to serve with some gravy.

Stir Fried Needlefish with Eggs 白飯魚炒蛋

This is not a hot pot, but I can still sense the wok heat! Well done! Should anyone wants to add some calcium to their diets, this is quite a good choice, as you are going to eat the entire fish (with bones). Don't worry, they so tiny mini, safe to eat.

Shuang Xi Lou 雙喜樓
This is the restaurant I had my snake soup.  See the promotion posters at the entrance? They are all promoting their winter menus. 

Other Winter Foods in Hong Kong 
(from my photo collection, not from my dining table)

Hot Pot Rice with Preserved Chinese Sausage/Meat (Lap Cheung, or Lap Mei)

There are many variations, lap cheung is the most popular. Preserved duck is also sought after. When served immediate off fire and with some dark soy sauce, it is so fragrant and I would say everyone would love it.  Sometimes we cook it at home too.  But if you're dining out, hot pot rice is usually sell at per person price, and at least 2 or 4 persons as a minimum.

Stir Fried Sticky Rice with Lap Mei

Again, we cook this at home quite frequent during winter time. Some restaurants says their sticky rice is stir fried from the very beginning with raw rice. Some people thought this is the best way to cook and eat lap mei sticky rice, but cooking time could be up to 40 minutes.  So we believe the rice should be pre-cooked (steamed) and then stir firing is the last step. No matter what, this is one of the most popular winter foods in Hong Kong as well.

So what are your favourite winter foods?  Next time when you visit Hong Kong during winter time, do try some of the famous winter foods here. I'm sure you'll love them.

Hong Kong Food Blog - Winter Foods in Hong Kong

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