Hong Kong Asia's World City

Noodles and Congee

Noodles and Congee

Noodles and congee (rice porridge) are often served under the same roof. Some of the more traditional restaurants that serve both will have two open kitchens flanking the entrance. One kitchen will be dedicated solely to making congee, the other to making noodles.

Congee ranges from the plain starchy variety to the lighter versions that include vegetables and meat and even hotpots in which the ingredients are cooked in a congee soup. The huge variety of noodles and congee available can be enjoyed 24 hours a day in the city. In fact, these are popular late night eats.

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What to order?

It would be a challenge to not run into some great noodle or congee dishes in Hong Kong. Here are some of the most common orders to look out for:

Cantonese-style congee

Cantonese-style congee: Congee, or rice porridge, is found all over China. However, it is unlikely that anyone puts more effort into congee than the people of Guangdong Province and Hong Kong. Raw ingredients are put in continuously boiling rice porridge until they become soft and their flavours are infused in the entire mixture.

Cantonese-style congee

Chiu Chow-style congee

From Chaozhou in Guangdong Province, Chiu Chow people have brought their distinct dialect and cuisine to Hong Kong. The difference can be seen in their fresh-seafood renditions of congee, such as the baby oyster congee.

Chiu Chow congee is made tender and fragrant by covering it and letting it stand for about half an hour after it is cooked. According to folklore, this method was discovered accidently by a Chiu Chow fishing family, who usually kept a pot of congee on their boat when at sea. The family in question was robbed by pirates but the fisherman’s wife had the presence of mind to hide their freshly-made pot of congee under some blankets so that they would have food to sustain them for the voyage home. The pirates missed the congee and, when they had left, the family discovered the pleasant effect that covering the pot had on the rice grains.

Chiu Chow-style congee

Rice noodles in soup

Rice noodles are often served in soup with beef balls or fish balls. Cantonese meat balls differ from their Western counterparts in texture. Instead of mincing, the meat is pounded until it is pulverised, giving the meatballs a smooth texture.

Rice noodles in soup

Stir-fried rice noodles

Noodle strips made from rice, this is a staple food of South China and Southeast Asia. Their versatility and flexibility mirror the characteristics of Hong Kong’s people.

Stir-fried rice noodles

Wonton noodles

Traditionally, bite-sized wontons (a kind of Chinese dumpling) are served in an aromatic stock with noodles that are springy to the bite. Ideally, the wontons will be filled 70 per cent with shrimp and 30 per cent with pork.  

Wonton noodles

Stir-fried noodles

Noodles are narrow strips of dough, usually made from eggs and flour. They are prepared in a staggeringly huge amount of ways in Hong Kong, but stir-frying them is one of the most popular cooking methods. Stir-fried noodles with soy sauce is one of the most common renditions of noodles in this style and a popular breakfast dish.

Stir-fried noodles

Cart noodles

If you don’t like to be limited by a menu, cart noodles are the best choice for you as you can mix and match the ingredients. This started as a street hawker meal in the 1950s. The ability to choose the number and types of ingredients offered an inexpensive meal.

Cart noodles
Did you know?
How to make bamboo-rolled noodles

In Hong Kong, the traditional craft of noodle making is still preserved and is best exemplified by our very own handmade bamboo-pressed noodles. Mr Lau, the only bamboo-pressed noodle master in town, shows us how to make these well-loved springy and crunchy noodles.

1. Add duck eggs and appropriate amount of lye to the flour.
2. Mix all the ingredients well and knead the flour to make dough.
3. Press evenly with the bamboo cane until the dough is springy.
4. Put the dough in the machine and compress to get the correct thickness.
5. Machine-cut the flattened sheets into noodle strips.
6. Coil the noodle strips into even portions.

noodle

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