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Mar 25, 2012 07:01 PM

Hong Kong: Foodie gift recommendations?

Fellow Chowhounds,
Do any of you have any recommendations for edible gifts to bring home from Hong Kong? Preferably something sweet and portable -- they will need to survive a 15 hour flight and make it safely through customs.

Thank you!

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  1. I was thinking of the same thing, but aside from anything packaged quite well and expensive, all I could come up with was a box of dan ta. I'm curious to see what others think on this!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: kishtar

      we ended up buying a lot of japanese food stuff from the airport (I think the shop was called ichiban) -- has lots of dried fish/fruit/sweets. OK, not authentic hk, but has a lot of similar ingredients -- e.g. the dried fish looked pretty identical to what we saw in hk.


    2. i have a few suggestions:
      1. dried mango from ajiichiban. even though it's more of a philipino thing, but since they use the most selected mangoes, these taste a lot better than the counterparts actually from the philippines. don't know if your custom would allow these though.

      2. sau tao brand instant noodles. not the ramen kind like other brands, but the white kind like ho fan and mi sian. These surprisingly taste quite similar to the real thing at a noodle place in hk. i suspect one might be able to find these in certain asian supermarkets in the states but then it would probably be pretty hard to find places that actually carry these. the beef brisket flavored one is particulary good.

      3. a VERY hong kong thing is the dried apricots called 3000 yrs to blossom 3000yrs to fruition.... if you mention that everyone would know what you are talking about. they should have them in small grocery places that sells snacks. or if you were to go to macau, they have a lot of those there.

      4. another thing is Crataegus "biscuits". these are tiny sweet circular snacks sold in a roll, almost look like a small roll of quarters. chinese name is san jar bang.

      5. or if u or ur friends are into cooking, u can buy lee kam kee sauces that are in sealed pack (not in a bottle or jar) they have english instruction on the package and most of them just basically require you to simmer some pork or chicken in the sauce plus some water. would probably taste better than most of the local chinese takeout in the states.

      1. At Man Wah restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental, you can bring back their wonderful sauce, in a glass bottle. And, at Ye Shanghai (my absolute favorite) in the Marco Polo Hotel in Kowloon, you can bring back their even more wonderful sauce in a bottle. Both, are about $10 US. You can pack them in lots of bubble, hide them in your suitcase, and get through customs. I just brought them back to NYC, and got through customs easily. They are sitting in my refrigerator, and are truly

        1 Reply
        1. re: EZM

          nice! thanks for the suggestions everyone I will have to check them out

        2. Just got back from a multi-leg business trip and was able to spend a brief 2 nights in Kowloon. If worst comes to worst, you can shop at the Wing Wah (duty-free) store at the airport before you leave which is what I did to get rid of some of my HKDs. Even though the signs were all in English I must have looked clueless because a nice little old lady help me choose, or rather *buy* a bunch of boxed things (great upseller), lol. She kept insisting I buy tea but I had to refuse since I don't like tea (diehard coffee drinker).

          I know some of the stuff have lotus seed, fruit and bean fillings and obviously safe to pass customs since it's from the airport. :) I honestly don't know what I bought since I haven't been able to look through my purchases yet, but the airport store could be a last resort before you leave and it won't count as a carry-on.

          1. Last year a friend bought something similar to rectangular layered flakey crispy egg roll (sweet snack) from a 30 to 50 year old shop near Lei Yu Mun (Kowloon side), delicious.

            If it were me I'd get:

            - soy sauce (maybe Pat Chun or something else)

            - Yu Yik (?) chili sauce, only one shop has it I think and supposed to be really good

            - shrimp paste...might have to trek to Tai O fishing village to get it

            - XO chili sauce (maybe a jar or two, easily available from the likes of Lei Gardens, one in IFC)

            - whatever that can be brought past customs that's available locally (Tai O or Lau Fau Shan)

            2 Replies
            1. re: K K

              yea you guys are right, getting sauces is a good idea. i don't know how it skipped my mind.

              the famous chilli sauce is yu gwan yik. and yes it's extremely good but because it's so good 1 bottle doesn't last very long. 1 bottle of any other brand can last me 6mths but a bottle of YGY similar size wouldn't last me 2 weeks.

              hang heung egg rolls are also very good and it's prepacked well in either paper or tin boxes/cans that would get thru customs with no prob. done that many times.

              1. re: japanesefoodlover

                Yes..that's the one Yu Gwan Yik. The chilli sauce in HK to end all chilli sauces. You are absolutely right that it's crackalicious that a bottle goes empty very quickly.

                Also anything veggie or fish based, preserved/pickled/dried, should be ok. Just no meat produts (e.g. jerky), but more power to those who can sneak in sausages from Ser Wong Fun for example. There are one or two places in HK that make classic style fermented bean curd / sauce (fu yu), which cannot be easily found in the US.