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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.

Food columnist and author Chua Lam recommends the Congee with Pork Balls, Beef, Air Bladder and Snakehead Fillets at Sang Kee Congee Shop:

Cantonese-style congee
Sang Kee Congee Shop
Address: 7-9 Burd Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island
Tel: +852 2541 1099
 How to get there: MTR Sheung Wan, Exit A2, turn right and walk about five minutes.

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.

Jacky Yu, chef, restaurateur, author and food critic recommends the Baby Oyster Congee at Chan Kan Kee Restaurant:

Chiu Chow-style congee
Chan Kan Kee Restaurant
Address: 11 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island
Tel: +852 2858 0033
 How to get there: Take the westbound route tram to the Western City station, get off and walk along to the Morrison Hill Road, turn right into Queen's Road West and walk for about 10 minutes

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.

Food columnist and author Chua Lam recommends the Authentic Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Beef at Ho Hung Kee Congee and Noodle Shop:

Stir-fried rice noodles
Ho Hung Kee Congee and Noodle Shop
Address: Shop 1204-1205, 12/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island
Tel: +852 2577 6028
 How to get there: MTR Causeway Bay Exit F, turn right into Kai Chiu Road and walk for 5 minutes

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.  

Jacky Yu, chef, restaurateur, author and food critic recommends the Noodles with Shrimp-filled Wonton at Chee Kei:

Yu also recommends the Wonton Noodle in Soup at Wong Chi Kee

Wonton noodles
Chee Kei
Address: 84 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island
Tel: +852 2890 8616
 How to get there: MTR Causeway Bay Station Exit A, turn right and walk down Russell Street, turn right and walk along Percival Street for about 3 minutes

Wong Chi Kee
Address: Basement, Malahon Centre, 10-12 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong Island
Tel: +852 2869 1331
 How to get there: MTR Central Station Exit D2, walk up D'Aguilar Street for 3 minutes and turn right into Stanley Street.

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
Jacky Yu, chef, restaurateur, author and food critic recommends the Cart Noodles with Curry Fish Balls, Chicken Wings and Pork Intestines at Sun Kee:
Sun Kee Noodles
Address: Shop B, 49 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island
Tel: +852 2573 5438
 How to get there: MTR Causeway Bay Station, Exit B, walk down Hennessey Road and turn onto Tang Lung Street.

Yu also recommends Cart Noodles with Chicken Wing Tips, Cuttlefish Heads and Turnip at Wing Kee Noodle.
Wing Kee Noodle
Address: 27A, Sugar Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island
Tel: +852 2808 2877
 How to get there: MTR Causeway Bay Station Exit E and walk down Yee Wo Street for two minutes.
What they say

“There are two main types of congee. Plain congee is meant to be starchier and denser in consistency. Congee cooked with meats or vegetables should optimally be lighter and soupier. Among these, pulled-chicken congee requires the most culinary skill to prepare and boat congee is the most distinct and unique.”

Wai Kee Shun, life president of the Association of Hong Kong Hotel Catering Services Management, food connoisseur and columnist.

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.



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