Hong Kong Street Snack X Tea Pairing
Yes, you read the title correctly…street food pairing.
Just as red wine complements red meat, there are specific types of drinks that complement certain street foods.
From Siu Mai (pork dumplings) to Gai Daan Jai (egg waffles), you’re probably well familiar with Hong Kong’s street food…but have you ever wondered how to pair it correctly with a suitable thirst-quencher?
Being a half Taiwanese foodie living in Hong Kong, I’ve discovered the art in pairing Hong Kong’s sweet and savory street snacks with Taiwan’s innovative teas.
1) GAI DAN JAAI X BUBBLE MILK TEA
Gai Dan Jaai, or also known as eggettes, is a golden cake in the shape of oversized bubbles. You can tell a good one from a bad one by the sound of the crunch when you take your first bite. These crispy pockets of deliciousness should be light and fluffy, perfect for a 3 p.m. snack.
It’s ultimately a form of pastry so just like we have cookies and milk, Hong Kong’s fluffy egg waffles go perfectly well with Bubble Milk Tea or Bubble Milk Green Tea, if you prefer the base to be green tea instead.
2) SIU MAI X PASSION FRUIT GREEN TEA
Sometimes, nothing hits the spot more than a bowl of siu mai (steamed pork dumplings) topped with a bit of soy sauce. Making its way from yumcha to the streets of Hong Kong, these steamed goodness are ideal for a light snack after an afternoon of shopping.
This is on the saltier side, so you’ll need something fruity and refreshing like passion fruit green tea. Its sweet and sour tang along with its passion fruit seeds makes it a great companion. And if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, take it up a notch by adding coconut jelly or tapioca!
3) RED BEAN MOCHI BUN X MATCHA GREEN TEA LATTE
I say sun, you say moon. I say red bean, you say green tea. Some pairs are never meant to be broken up. Red bean is a popular dessert ingredient, whether it’s in the form of ice cream, paste or soup. A personal favorite is red bean mochi bun – a pastry filled with a generous portion of red bean paste mixed with chewy mochi.
But like I said, no red bean meal is complete without its counterpart! That’s why you’ll pair it with an iced matcha green tea latte! But as you indulge in red bean paradise, don’t forget: for every bite of red bean mochi, take a large sip of your drink and let the two worlds meld into one beautiful realm.
4) CURRY FISH BALLS X LYCHEE ICED TEA
You’re hungry…but not that hungry. You want something savory, but nothing too salty. You’re being indecisive. Well perhaps you need a little kick…in the taste buds.
Aromatic, spicy, creamy, curry fish balls is a Hong Kong staple and is guaranteed to satisfy every palate…and answer to any hunger call. Mildly spicy, you’ll need a sweet and refreshing drink to take away the slight burning sensation in your mouth (okay I may be exaggerating). In this case, opt for an invigorating lychee iced tea but ask for “less sugar” if you’re not in the mood for something overly sweet.
Favorite Taiwanese teashops:
Jessica Tryde, born in Australia, bred in Taiwan, is a creative English copywriter living in Hong Kong. Her job includes whipping out creative ideas and digital executions. During her spare time, you’ll find her weight lifting in the gym, training for a gladiatorial bloodbath in a Muay Thai class or attempting to perform a yoga pose. If not working out, you’ll find her mingling with the locals at the wet market or reading at a local Hong Kong café.