Traditional Hakka snacks made and sold in Sai Kung – vanishing HK trades
Mary Anne Le Bas has sent an SCMP article, Six home-grown Hong Kong trades at risk of dying out, published on 21st June 2015. The second of these is about a Sai Kung town resident who makes and sells about 800 boxes of traditional Hakka food daily.
The article begins: Hui Sai-ling makes Hakka snacks at her home in Sai Kung town and sells them in her front yard. These rice cakes – filled with beans, nuts and herbs – traditionally provided sustenance for travellers on long journeys. They’re made from natural ingredients and there are seven types to choose from, including black (sesame), white (almond), orange (pumpkin) and purple (sweet potato).
“My parents migrated from Guangdong province and settled in Sai Kung in the 50s. I was born and raised here, with my six brothers and sisters, and we all speak Hakka as well as Cantonese.
“My father was a good cook. He made Hakka snacks for me and my siblings. When I got older I looked for similar products in the shops but couldn’t find them, so I decided to make my own. I have a good memory and a talent for cooking, so I was able to remember and copy what my father did. I practised and practised until the snacks tasted the same.
“At first I shared the rice cakes with friends and colleagues. In Chinese culture you always give a ‘return gift’ if someone invites you to dinner. I would make two rice cakes – a sweet pumpkin one and a salty radish one – and arrange them nicely in a sushi box. One day a colleague commented that the snacks looked so attractive, and tasted so delicious, that I should try selling them….”
This article was first posted on 23rd May 2016.
See: Six home-grown Hong Kong trades at risk of dying out SCMP 21st June 2015
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- Sun Hing restaurant Kennedy Town, traditional art of handmaking dim sum dying?
- Hap Wah dai pai dong, Tai Po, closes after 29 years – a vanishing species
- Sing Lee Shrimp Sauce and Paste Factory, Tai O
- Hakka Patterned Bands in Hong Kong – 1976 RASHKB article
- Itinerant Hakka Weavers in Hong Kong