From char siu popcorn to milk tea fudge
We all know that hunger can strike at any moment, and if you’re anything like me you’re constantly thinking about what to eat next. My hunger pangs never stick to meal times so snacks are a big part of my daily routine. I call them “snackcidents”. Hong Kong has no shortage of ready-to-eat food, from supermarkets to street stalls. Whether you have savoury or sweet cravings, there is something to satisfy each palate. Snacks like fish balls, egg waffles, smoky sweet potatoes, are complimented by baked goods like coconut tarts, eat on the spot barbecue meat and drinks like milk tea. All are super easy to come by and taste delicious. We’ve used these amazing flavours as inspiration for some homemade, easy-to-make snacks (featuring everything from . Inspired by the city we love and made with love, your family and friends are sure to enjoy them!
Read more: 5 Hong Kong Inspired Desserts
Inspired by the smell of sweet potato and chestnuts being roasted over hot cinders, nothing says winter in Hong Kong quite like smoky sweet potato. These are deliciously crispy and smoky!
Ingredients (makes 3-4 servings)
2 sweet potatoes, medium sized
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon barbeque spice
- Preheat the oven to 190°
- Slice the sweet potatoes as thinly as possible (if you have a mandolin you can use this to get very thin, even slices). There is no need to peel the sweet potatoes but I recommend using organic sweet potatoes if you leave the skins on.
- Dry the slices properly using a paper towel and put into a mixing bowl.
- Add the oil and the spices and toss the mixture to coat all the sweet potatoes.
- Spread the sweet potato onto a baking sheet into a single layer and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until all the slices and crispy. Don’t worry if they brown a little, this adds to the smoky flavour.
- Allow to cool for minutes on a paper towel before eating.
Sticky, sweet, and salty Char Siu is a favourite all around Hong Kong. This recipe uses the flavours we all love but combines them with the easiest snack, popcorn, for a quick, simple treat.
2 tablespoons oil (olive oil or vegetable oil)
3/4 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Chinese five spice powder
1 teaspoon of honey
1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
- Melt the butter until it is completely runny. Add five spice powder, honey and dark soy sauce and mix well.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the popcorn kernels and shake the pan lightly to distribute them evenly. Cover the pan with a lid, but crack it slightly to let steam escape.
- When the popcorn is done popping pour it into a large bowl and pour the butter mixture over. Stir well so all the popcorn is covered. Serve immediately.
Sometimes all we need is something sweet. These delicious milk tea flavoured fudge squares are guaranteed to satisfy any sweet craving. They’re ideal for kid’s birthday parties – and you know exactly what ingredients are in it!
Ingredients (makes 15 squares of fudge)
1 can condensed milk
2 black tea teabags
530ml demerara sugar or light brown sugar
- Prepare a baking tray by lining it with baking paper on the bottom and sides.
- Heat the milk until it is hot and steaming, but not boiling – you can do this in the microwave or on the stove.
- Add the tea bags and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Remove the teabags and set aside.
- To make the fudge place all the ingredients (including the milk tea) into a medium-sized non-stick saucepan and heat to a low heat. Stir this mixture continuously until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes while stirring the mixture continuously. The mixture will bubble and start thickening so make sure to scrape the bottom and the sides of the pan while you stir.
- When the mixture has thickened, check to see if it’s ready by dropping a little of the mixture into a glass of ice-cold water. A soft ball of fudge should form when the fudge hits the water. If not, keep cooking for another couple of minutes.
- Remove the fudge from the heat and beat until the mixture becomes very thick. You’ll see that it is going to start to set.
- Pour into the prepared tin and leave to cool for minimum and hour and a half.
- Cut into squares and enjoy!
Crispy and flaky coconut tarts are always popular for family feasts. This delicious toasted coconut snack are a good alternative to chocolate.
Ingredients (makes 12-15 balls)
1 ½ cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
½ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup melted condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup coconut flour
- Prepare a baking tray by covering the bottom with a sheet of wax paper.
- Add ½ cup of the desiccated coconut to a dry saucepan and heat over a medium heat. Toast until the coconut turns light brown and smells nutty. Immediately remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a medium mixing bowl mix together the coconut oil, condensed milk, and vanilla essence. Add the salt and mix well.
- Add the rest of the untoasted coconut and the coconut flour and mix until well combined.
- Roll into balls and then roll in the toasted coconut. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Refrigerate for around an hour. Remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature before eating.
All images taken by Leandi