Monday, May 9, 2011

Hong Kong Street Snack: Little egg waffles (Gai Dan Chai 雞蛋仔)

Hong Kong is truly a food paradise, offering snacks and drinks at almost every nook and corner on the streets.
Like I have mentioned in my previous post, the choices of food are endless in this city and there is always something to eat wherever I go!

Eating on the streets of Hong Kong is inevitable, and the notion of these street foods started from the hectic lifestyle of the Hongkies who are always on the run. Eateries and restaurants are always packed during the peak hours of lunch/dinner, and long queues are often spotted outside the cafes.
The limited time for lunch hours made it impossible for office workers to grab a bite before the lunch hour is over!
Thus, the birth of food stalls to offer these workers a quick option for lunch and easily accessible everywhere.
Originally, most of the street food started from those push carts by the locals eager to make a living with minimal cost.
These push cart or makeshift stalls can be seen on the streets from the 60's onwards but their existence have slowly ceased in the 21st century due to the strict regulation by the government to create a healthier way of living.

The stalls have now found themselves in the place of proper small shoplots located along the streets, with a window counter where customers can make their orders. It is easily accessible on most of the streets and extremely popular among the busy city dwellers due to its convenience and hassle-free concept for those who are not keen to wait in the long queues to get a place to sit and have their food served.

I was in Causeway Bay (Tung Lor Wan) when I spotted this stall selling one of the famous Hong Kong street snacks which is unique to the city (similar to the Put Chai Gou), Gai Dan Chai.
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I have heard so much of this snack but did not manage to sample any on my first trip few years ago, and I was happy that I chanced upon it this trip.

I was surprised to find that it was pretty much like our local 'kaya balls'; only that they were more of crispy and instead of kaya filling, it was actually semi-hollow in the center, without any filling at all.
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It was quite good, but a tip when you buy this, you can request for it to be served hot instead of letting them give you the ready made ones on the shelves.
Trust me, it makes a lot of difference when it's hot.
The fragrant aroma draws you to the snack and is especially more aromatic when it is hot from the oven. All the more reason to have it hot and freshly baked.

It was a really good snack when you are hungry or just as an in-between meal kind of snack. It is a type of small waffle or little round waffles in a batch made of flour, eggs and sugar and is known by various names in English:
Little eggettes, little egg waffles, little egg tartlets, or its direct translation from Cantonese to Little Chicken Eggs in English.
A good Gai Dan Chai, besides its aroma, must also be extremely crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The inside or the center of the waffles must be semi-hollow too!

It is popular among the Hongkies too, and at HKD$12 (MYR4.70) per packet for more than a dozen of these little round egg waffles, it is not hard to see the reason for its popularity :)
You can find it on most of the streets in Hong Kong, you'll just need to keep an eye open as there are just so many stalls selling different types of street food.

10 comments:

  1. Hong Kong sounds like my kind of place. Never been there, but it looks like a gorgeous place in photos I've seen. Now to find out it's a food paradise -- I must go! Great photos, too.

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  2. What an interesting looking snack! But as strange as it looks, if it tastes good I'm down to try it! :P

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  3. Yummy snack! We found a row of restaurants, each one from a different country, half way up the escalator that climbs the hill in Hong Kong (wish I could be more specific, but it has been 10 years.) We ate at a Mongolian restaurant, but you name any obscure cuisine and you could have found a restaurant for it there.

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  4. Yum! I like Hong Kong street food. And Hong Kong in general.

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  5. Asia seems to have such an incredible street food culture. Argentina, where I live, doesn't really do street food (unfortunately) since people here sort of frown upon eating on the go. I've never heard of these egg waffles before - very interesting!

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  6. catherine, yeahhh..you should go to Hong Kong, it's already my second time there!:D

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  7. Hi to Christy too! Trust me, this egg waffles are good...even picky me liked it:D

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  8. Vera, no worries, maybe I will find it someday;)

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  9. Sophie, yeahhh, the place and food is quite nice:)

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  10. Katie, ohhhh, poor you...guess they frown upon the poor hygiene from the street stalls:p
    You must come to Asia, the region's filled with street snacks and food like these;) The best part? It varies from country to country!:)

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