FISH­BALLS FOR­EVER

For­get the bauhinia, the sky­line or the cha chaan teng. There’s only one thing that re­ally rep­re­sents Hong Kong. By Xavier Ng, Sophia Lam and Stephanie Tsui

HK Magazine - - COVER STORY -

The story be­hind a skewer of fish­balls dipped in curry sauce is the story of what makes Hong Kong spe­cial. Orig­i­nally from Chiu Chow and Fu­jian prov­inces, fish­balls have been a pop­u­lar dish in South­ern China since the Qing dy­nasty. But it was Hong Kong which made them in­ter­na­tion­ally fa­mous. At first, fish­balls in Hong Kong were served closer to the Chiu Chow style—white and boiled—to pair with noo­dle soup. But to make the fish­balls even more fla­vor­ful, Hongkongers started to fry them, giv­ing them a golden coat­ing. Fried fish­balls were first pop­u­lar­ized by street hawk­ers, who sold them amongst other snacks from wooden trolleys. But while most street hawk­ers have been taken off the streets, the fish­ball has lived on, an en­dur­ing sym­bol of the city. In our food, our eco­nom­ics, our cul­ture—and our pol­i­tics, the fish­ball is Hong Kong.

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