We sure do give our home city a hard time when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle- the pollution, the lack of organic food, the dearth of vegan offerings (although the last months have seen a fantastic amount of vegan restaurants and plant-based options in omni eateries), the expense of eating healthy… We get it- things could be better. But what about all the good stuff? Below we roundup all of the awesome parts about living in Hong Kong- so start practicing your grateful face and get excited about everything our city has to offer!
Tropical Trails – Smoothie Heaven
Who doesn’t love fresh fruit? Weirdos, that’s who. And Hong Kong is unbeatable when it comes to street fruit stall selection. The array of fruits is sheer tropical heaven: from mango to papaya to pomelo to lychee to dragon fruit to durian to mangosteen to longan, we have the juiciest, most obsession-inducing fruits at our fingertips. Every day is a tropical-island-paradise-beach-holiday smoothie kinda day. Apples & oranges are sounding pretty boring now, eh?
Cruciferous Crazy – Leafy Greens Are Everywhere
You know that whole kale craze where people call the curly-leaved cabbage the wonder vegetable of our generation? We never got why no one ever talks about how Hong Kong actually has the most varied selection of cruciferous veggies in the world. From choy sum to gai lan to boy choy to tung choy, there are a dozen or more varieties of leafy Chinese broccolis and spinach, all of which are available in supermarkets, wet markets and restaurants across the city, and all of which share kale’s famed nutritional profile. Not to mention that no one cooks leaves like the Cantonese- where else in the world do you see four-year-olds scarfing down plates of greens? This is THE place to enjoy your leafy friends!
Tea Time – A Great Cuppa, Always
Quality tea served everywhere? Check. Large menu selection? Check. Specialty tea houses? Check, check, check! Whether you are after loose jasmine tea or a mug of lapsang soochong or a bag of organic Earl Grey, you can bask in the variety of great tea that is available all over Hong Kong, as opposed to the last time we were at a diner in California, and the server brought us a mug of tepid water and an old Lipton tea bag when we asked for a cuppa…
Loco For Coco – And None Of That Yucky Bottled Stuff
Whilst our European friends may not event know what a fresh coconut looks like, we can pick up the real thing at any old supermarket for far less than the bottles they shell out for. Forget the unpleasant aftertaste of pasteurized coco H2O- any Hong Konger worth their salt can slice open a buko shell in their tiny kitchen. Plus, we have so much coconut bounty (get it?!) around from Thai coconut cream curries to sticky shaved coconut desserts. Asia sure loves its coconuts! It’s also super easy to source coconut oil and coconut sugar, the fat and sweetener du jour- both are readily available in what is practically our backyard. Think how far it has to travel to get to our poor North American friends…
Chilli, Chilli & More Chilli – The Metabolic Pleasures Of Spice
Guess what’s really great for the old metabolism, gets the blood flowing and is absolutely delicious? Spicy food. In our rocking food city, we are lucky to have spicy restaurant choices galore. From Szechuan to hotpot to Vietnamese to Thai- we love our heat! Not to mention the dizziness-inducing array of chilli based condiments: chilli paste, chilli oil, XO sauce, spicy black bean paste, chilli bean sauce, chilli garlic sauce, sriracha, sambal oelek…the options are endless! So go on, give your digestive a run for its money and indulge…Spicy food is what we miss the most when we are traveling in Europe and America!
HK = Rice = GF Friendly
Living a sans-gluten lifestyle and need to avoid bread? Well you are in the perfect place, because the carb of choice here is rice! Steamed rice, rice noodles, rice paper dumplings, cheung fan dim sum- the sky is the limit when it comes to the myriad of delicious dishes that the naturally gluten-free rice grain offers to allergen-avoiding foodies, and that’s just Cantonese food. We also have all the other regional Asian cuisines, like Korean and Japanese and Malaysian, to indulge our rice fancy!
Tofu Tales – Vegan Protein Winner
Over in the West, soy is a kind of milk choice at progressive coffee bars. In continental Europe, you are lucky if you can find some at the grocery store. Here in our hometown, soy products are a way of life, which makes the city a boon for the dairy-free amongst us and now even more now that other plant-based option took off. From a million types of tofu (firm, silken, fried, pickled) to freshly pressed soy milk at 7-11 to doufu dessert bars on every street corner (from Hui Lau Shan to Honeymoon Dessert), not to mention every Hong Konger’s favorite condiment, the humble soya sauce, there is no end to what we can do with the humble soya bean. Vegans rejoice!
Go-Go Goji – China’s Original Superfood
When superfoods first became a thing, goji berries (aka wolfberries) were hailed as the emperor of them all, with ORAC (the antioxidant measuring scale) levels that were through the roof! Those poor folks down under have to part with a small fortune for a tiny bag. Us? We’ve got goji berries a gogo! The dried berries are all over town in large bins and at unbeatable prices!
Matcha Mood – An Antioxidant Affair
Ok, so the rest of the world has finally woken up to the super powers of green tea powder. But newsflash: the matcha craze was born here! We’ve had green tea Kit Kats for over a decade and we were the first to get Starbucks green tea lattes! We also enjoy green tea cheesecake, matcha macaroons, matcha face masks, green tea gelato and much, much more, so get out there and overdose on those antioxidants…
Photo credits: Iced Matcha via photopin (license), Summer’s Here via photopin (license), Goji via photopin (license), Yum via photopin (license), Yum Cha Yum Yum via photopin (license), Class of Wistaria Tea House via photopin (license), IMGP2945 via photopin (license), Chillies cavorting – Spicy Crabs – Sichuan House AUD39.80 via photopin (license) and Green Queen.