Hong Kong Style Roasted Meat (Siu Mei)

Hong Kong Style Roasted Meat (Siu Mei)

Hong Kong-style roasted meat — locally known as “Siu Mei”is a must-try for visitors to the city. The succulent, flavorful meats can be found in streetside shops all over the city as well as in upscale Chinese restaurants. Siu mei shops are instantly recognizable by their window displays, which feature large slices of meat as well as whole chickens and ducks hanging from wires. Typically, the chef can be seen in the open kitchen, wielding a large butcher’s knife and chopping the meat to order.

Each type of meat (pork, duck, goose, etc.) is served with its own distinct sauce. Typically, a box containing two types of siu mei over a bed of steaming hot rice and a side of veggies only costs around $25HKD, making it one of the cheapest meals that can be had in the city. Here are some of the common types of siu mei.

Char siu-Barbecued pork, this is by far the most popular type of siu mei. Char siu consists of strips of boneless pork shoulder roasted over a spit. In the process, the strips of meat are coated in a sweet sauce consisting of soy sauce, fermented soybeans, garlic, hoisin sauce, and wine.Good char siu tends to be incredibly tender, juicy, and fragrant. The sauce gives the meat its red hue, as well as its richly sweet and umami-laden flavor.

Siu yuk-Roasted pork belly, it is well-known for its crispy tender and is one of my favourite dishes. The cooking method is basically the same as roast suckling pig roast, except the use of mature pig weighted 10 to 20 kg. The entire seasoned pig is traditionally cooked in a charcoal furnace at high temperature until the skin is crispy and the meat is juicy and tender. You may also have a glass of red or white wine as it pairs well with Chinese roast pork. One thing to note is that the price of roast suckling pig is much higher than that of siu yuk and may not be regularly available. It is generally subject to prior reservation.

Siu Ngo and Siu Ngap-Roasted goose and duck, when preparing roasted goose or duck, the whole bird is stuffed (the mixture typically includes ginger, star anise, and five-spice powder) and then roasted inside a charcoal-fired stove. The resulting dish usually has a crispy skin with a bright sheen and juicy meat, and is served with plum sauce or a sweet and sour sauce. Duck is usually used as a cheaper substitute for goose.

Siu mei can be found everywhere in Hong Kong, you can try them in siu mei specialty stores, high-end restaurants, fast-food chains, bigger Cha Chaan Teng (tea restaurants) and supermarkets. It is also common to buy them as takeaways. The menus are usually highly flexible; you can pair your siu mei with rice, noodles or rice noodles. Why not try the combo plates to taste all of them!

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