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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013
Chinese Food for ThoughtPosted Sunday, November 21, 2010, at 12:11 AM
A comment on my last blog entry has inspired the theme of this post about some of the foods I have encountered here in Hong Kong. Having been to China before, I knew a bit what to expect in terms of the general food offerings: rice, noodles, dumplings, etc. Now, I can say that a typical menu will offer meat and rice dishes, noodle soups and noodle stir-fries. I have eaten sweet and sour chicken a couple of times, but other American staples like cashew chicken and egg rolls are not to be found.
Dim sum is a very traditional Hong Kong food, mostly eaten for breakfast or lunch. It is similar in a way to Spanish tapas, where you order many small plates of different dishes. Most dim sum dishes are dumplings or buns with different fillings, though there are also things like meatballs, turnip cakes and sticky rice.
Overall, I have few complaints about the meals I have eaten here. But, there are a few things that I really dislike. I hate that meat dishes frequently come with bones. For instance, if I ordered chicken and rice, more likely than not the chicken would be cut off the whole bird with a cleaver, meaning there are bones in most every piece. It's not that bones are terrible, but when they are small and you're eating with chopsticks, it's kind of a hassle.
My other main beef with the Chinese food here is the lack of vegetables. Dishes are frequently composed of a meat and carbs, with very few green things. A noodle stir-fry would have noodles, meat and then a few onions, mushrooms and bak choi thrown in. I actually enjoy going to vegetarian restaurants, though they are more expensive, so that I can get yummy vegetable dishes like chow mein with broccoli, mushrooms, baby corn, carrots, water chestnuts, etc.
One of my favorite things to eat here as a snack is a steamed bun. These are not quite the size of an English muffin, and consist of bread dough filled with something tasty, then steamed instead of baked. My favorite types are pork or custard, which is like a warm vanilla pudding. I can buy a bun at a little shop near my house for $3, which is less than US $0.50.
I have also been pleased to discover that HK has quite a wide variety of Western food as well. Near my apartment, Western cuisine is pretty much limited to McDonald's, Starbucks, Burger King and Subway. But not far away, there is a delicious Mexican place and a tasty pizza place. In Central, the most Western area near HK's financial district, there are restaurants of all types, including a traditional English pub and an organic, vegan-friendly place.
It's safe to say that I will not starve here in Hong Kong. It is possible to eat for a very small amount of money, but for more Western-like food, you will pay Western-like prices.
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Something about music. Something about small towns. Something about Hong Kong. Or maybe something else entirely.
Sydney is a former staff writer for the Democrat-News. She received degrees from University of Missouri in both music and magazine journalism. She played oboe with the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and the Marshall Municipal Band while she was in Marshall.