Fresh Food in Hong Kong

I am missing the inexpensive (to me) and abundant produce available in Hong Kong.   Every neighborhood seems to have a "wet market" where you can buy everything fresh.  Everything… here are some photos from the San Hui market in Tuen Mun.

I don’t know about those long dried-sausages-on-strings, except that I saw a lot of them.  There were also many dried and fresh fish and other kinds of meat I couldn’t identify.  I should note that I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years, so I really have never paid too much attention.  This could be why I was so fascinated by the fish in the market.

Shrimp, I think, but then what’s that really flat, striped fish?

Some kind of really small eel?  And maybe a squid?  This place could be a real biology lesson if I spoke Cantonese.

Claudia thinks  THIS is a parrotfish.   Unfortunately, but fortunately for y’all, I stopped taking photos when I came upon mesh bags of live frogs and turtles, and they weren’t being sold as pets.   On a different day, Kailah and I went to the wet market at Fu Tai, the  shopping center
closest to her apartment.  We returned home with quite a haul.  It was the solstice, and we were very aware we were missing a family tradition: our friend Betsy’s annual Solstice party.  In addition to seeing friends, we always look forward to a bowl of what we call "Betsy Soup."  As we were far away from Wisconsin, we would have to make our own.  So we bought mushrooms, greens, potatoes, flat green beans and broccoli.  Kailah already had tomatoes and carrots, and with the addition of beans and oats we made a spectacular soup.  Also pictured are some Indonesian bananas, which are sort of prism-shaped.  I think perhaps you are supposed to cook them, and their dense texture would definitely make them good for sauteeing, but we just ate them 🙂  In the background is a bottle of plain soymilk from the market.  As we walked home sipping it, I wondered whether it was pastuerized.  I didn’t suffer from drinking it, but I’ll write more about eating cautiously in Hong Kong in another post.

We made the soup on Kailah’s induction cooker, steamed the broccoli in her rice cooker, and baked banana-apple bread in her toaster-oven.  It was also the first night of  Chanukah, and so we had our own little party right there.

Although we missed Betsy’s party, we later found out the weather had prevented many people, including our family and our friend Andrea, from going as well.  Ah, Wisconsin…

By the way, it’s worth noting that although the food in the wet market was fresh, it couldn’t possibly have all been local, because of the season.  In fact, I bought a couple of apples at one market that were imported from the U.S.!  However, we did see some early-spring/late-fall crops in gardens, such as greens, and fruits maturing on trees, such as bananas.

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7 Responses to Fresh Food in Hong Kong

  1. Anonymous says:

    They had all kinds of strange things for sale in Vancouver Chinatown as well, including (I have a picture somewhere) some kind of dried flattened lizard. It’s terrible the cruelty in those markets though, I know that one shop in Vancouver was caught cutting off bits of a live turtle to sell. 😦 It was a great place to get fresh and unusual veggies though. That stew looks delicious!
    ~Felicity at

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love seeing the pictures though it is hard to look at the poor animals.
    The meal looks delish, especially the cake. Yes, we missed you at Betsy and Riff’s, and as you note, we missed Betsy and Riff, too! We wanted to go – even made food to bring – but the weather was BAD and we chickened out of driving. When I talked to Betsy in the early evening, she said no one was there yet and that sealed the deal. Looks like we may miss it next year, too, if we move to Seattle. See what you’re missing?

  3. Anonymous says:

    that’s really nice that you kept up the tradition even though you weren’t at home.
    I hate to think of the frogs and turtles in mesh bags. to me it doesn’t matter what the culture it, it’s not very respectful of life. note that I also hate fishtanks of lobster, etc.

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