This is only a selection of the most popular sweet and savory childhood snacks that kids born and raised in Hong Kong love to eat, whether it was on their way home from school or just hanging out with friends. It was and still is a habit for kids to buy these snacks either from a convenient store or a street stall right after school.
1. Egg Puff Waffles
Better than the traditional Western waffles with syrup, these simple egg puff waffles are either paired with ice cream or filled with custard, chocolate or matcha cream. People who enjoy a more savory flavor can try those containing ham and cheese fillings.
2. Curry Fish Balls
Kids who don’t like eating real fish will definitely eat these curry fish balls.
3. Egg Tarts
I used to always get out of school just in time for these freshly baked egg tarts sold in local bakeries. One of the most popular tea time desserts that pairs perfectly with a cup of hot milk tea, egg tarts are symbolic of the cultural fusion between British and Chinese cultures in Hong Kong. They’re even more delicious when they’re homemade.
4. Shao Mai
A companion to the curry fish balls made with fish paste, shao mai are pork and shrimp dumplings. They can be eaten with sweet soy sauce and/or chili oil.
5. Dragon Beard Candy
Looks like marshmallow, tastes like candied peanut, and feels like cotton candy in your mouth. This Chinese delicacy is a traditional handmade art. Although they are no longer made in the street stalls of Hong Kong, they can still be found inside malls or at street markets.
6. Put Chai Ko
Still a favorite snack among kids today, it may look like a huge lollipop or a hybrid of jelly and pudding, but it is a soft pudding cake molded into the shape of a bowl and served on two bamboo skewers.
It is a sweet street snack made with brown or white sugar and adzuki beans. It is simple and easy to make. You can put your cooking skills to the test with this recipe.
7. Cheong Fun
If you are not already drooling at the sight of this sweet and savory dish, let me describe it. Cheong fun is a Cantonese dish made of rice noodle rolls often served with sweet soy sauce, peanut paste, and/or chili paste. People enjoy this as a street food or as a dim sum dish.
8. Pineapple Bun
No pineapple actually goes into the making of this bun, but its cracked golden-brown surface resembles that of a pineapple. Both the crunchiness and sweetness of the pineapple bun attract kids and adults of all ages.
To be sure that you get these buns fresh out of the oven, make sure you visit a bakery at around breakfast time or during afternoon tea periods.
9. Gem Biscuits
These colorful gems are the Chinese equivalent of animal crackers; but, because they are so colorful, it makes them more enjoyable.
10. Orion Fish Crackers
I’m not a fan of cheese-flavored crackers and if you aren’t either, then you should try Orion fish crackers. They resemble Goldfish® crackers, but their seaweed and chicken flavors are more tasty compared to traditional cheese-flavored Goldfish®.
11. Shrimp Flavored Crackers
Next time you watch a movie at home, replace your go-to popcorn with shrimp flavored crackers and you won’t go back to popcorn again.
These sweet and salty rice crackers are usually packed as a snack in a kid’s school lunch. There are several kinds of Want Want rice crackers but, in general, they are very similar to Quakers® Popped Rice Crisps.
This is the Chinese version of a Rice Krispies Treat, but it’s less sweet and much more chewy.
14. Haw Flakes
Haw flakes are Chinese sweets made from Chinese hawthorn fruits. Essentially, they are the even drier versions of the fruit strips you find in your local grocery store. As you can probably guess by now, haw flakes, like other Chinese sweets, are not excessively sweet. Chinese people often eat haw flakes after drinking bitter Chinese herbal medicine.
Pocky is, by far, the number one favorite snack of every kid who grew up in Hong Kong. It’s one of those snacks that is made for sharing but in reality, you’ll probably finish it yourself before offering it to anyone. Currently, there are six common flavors: chocolate (original), strawberry, matcha green tea, chocolate banana, cookies and cream, and milk chocolate.
Originally, this is the savory and lightly-salted version of Pocky made by the same company, Glico®. Today, you can find both sweet and savory Pretz such as sweet corn, hot chili salad, tom yum, and pizza.
17. Matsuda Baby Star Noodle
Want to eat instant ramen but don’t have time to cook or just want to try eating it straight out of the bag? Matsuda Baby Star Noodle is the ready-to-eat snack version of instant ramen. It is made in Japan, but it has made its way into the hands of kids in Hong Kong.
18. White Rabbit Candy
The white rabbit candy is known for its second layer of edible rice paper wrapping. This soft, chewy milk candy is especially popular around the Chinese New Year period. Parents would place the candy in a traditional Chinese candy box along with other sweets and sugar-preserved dried fruits.
19. Koala’s March
These bite-sized cookies are filled with various sweet-cream fillings: chocolate, strawberry, matcha, vanilla, pancake, cafe latte, honey, and more. Unfortunately, only the chocolate and strawberry flavors are sold in the U.S.
20. Kowloon Dairy’s Mochi Ice
Hot summers in Hong Kong call for ice cream as a snack. Mochi Ice is a local favorite made by a Hong Kong dairy company, Kowloon Dairy Limited. You can find them in different flavors at any convenience store.