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Hong Kong International Food and Tea Fair 2012

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

There is an old Chinese saying called "Ren Shan Ren Hai" 人山人海, which means "People Mountain People Sea". There were mountains of people coming from all over the world to visit this great Hong Kong International Food and Tea Fair.  The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center was very busy hustling bustling place for 3 solid days. There were just droves of people coming and going. Plenty of Chao but plenty of fun to be had by all. Please come follow along to tour the Tea and Food EXPO with me....

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

I started off my day in the Tea Convention area to try many different delightful teas from all over the world. My favorite tea in unfermented puer cha. There are so many types and so many choices to be made. However one place that I was offered a seat to enjoy some tea, stole my heart. I watched her gracefully pour our tea like a ceremony and purchased some of her award-winning unfermented puer. It was very smooth and delicate but with long-lasting flavor after several pours. She was diligent about the temperature of her water, height she poured the water into the tea and brew time. It was like watching a ballet.

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

Next I stopped off to watch the famous Hong Kong Milk Tea being prepared. You may also know it as pantyhose tea as it is strained and brewed through a large tea sock that looks just like a pair of pantyhose. Hong Kong milk tea is made with tea, water and evaporated milk. Sometimes is made sweetened with sweetened condensed milk as well. I watched in awe. These lovely gentlemen must have done this just a few times before.  Every year they have a big competition on who makes the best milk tea. This guy here wins my vote!

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

I love when people are passionate about their products. I stopped by a booth called Khoisan Tea. They make Rooibos teas and the company is based in South Africa. Very flavorful tea full of antioxidants and caffeine free. My favorite was just their pure Rooibos teas in convenient little satchels as I guess I am a purest at heart but also nice is the almond and cream flavor roobibos tea. Please visit for more information.

There was even a booth that made a beautiful pot out of puer tea for decoration. Very unique and beautiful.

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

Now for the fun part...the Food EXPO. Oh my goodness the selections of different options from all over the world the mind boggles. The delicious tantalizing aromas coming from each of the booths were out of this world. People are swarming as vendors are handing out samples and food for purchase.

There were Chinese dates and dried gogi berries...

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

A speciality food for Hong Kong people is abalone. They love it served so many ways. Today they were grilling it and serving it with a delicate abalone sauce.

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

Gigantic mushrooms and I know that it is hard to tell by the picture but they were about the size of my forearm.

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

Beautiful peaches from Japan.

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

1000 year old eggs with a new spin. These eggs are preserved with a unique process and usually are a dark brown/black clear color but these were bright yellow and a more mellow flavor and delicate. My Hong Kong friends like to eat these over their congee with a little sliced green onion. You either love or hate the 1000 year old egg and personally it is not my favorite. However, this version was much better than other ones I have tasted before.

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

Have you ever seen pomegranate seeds this big before? Amazing. These were grown in China.

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

Of course you have your standard stewed duck tongue in sauce. I passed on the free samples...

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

A very interesting item was the black crystallized ginger and crystallized citrus ginger. Don't let its appearance scare you. This black crystallized ginger is amazing. Great as a sweet treat or in teas. However, you cannot eat too much of it as it is a "warming" spice.

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

I bought a bottle of "Luxuriant" Black Sesame Seed Oil and this stuff is amazing. I know we all have tried regular white seed sesame oil (that is the one you find usually in the grocery stores) but this one is so rich and tasty, a real decadent toasty flavor. I just made a dipping sauce today for my dim sum using this sauce, soy sauce, black chinese vinegar and fresh garlic and it was so delightful.  I would have taken pictures of this lovely dipping sauce but my hungry teenage boys were like a pack of hungry wild dogs and gobbled everything up before I even had a chance to sit down.

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

Dried Sanchuan Ham is dried ham is a traditional special food of Lijiang, Yunnan Province. Many people here in Hong Kong like to use this ham as a base for soups. I thought the flavor was quite nice and not as salty as other cured meats such as parma or prosciutto.

Hong Kong international food and tea fair 2012

Dried marine products for your everyday soups and such.

HK food and tea expo

Then the crowds became completely unbearable, even by Hong Kong standards. If the crowds were moving to the right, I was moving to the right. There were no other options. Tons of hungry people with their granny bags fighting for the free samples. I could not even get to my favorite food isle, the Korean food section as I love trying all the great types of lavers.

I guess there is always next year.

Take Care,




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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Hong Kong International Food and Tea Fair 2012

By HWC Magazine  

August 25, 2012


Chinese Tea -

dried mushrooms -

duck tongue -

Abalone -

dried Sanchuan ham -

Hong Kong milk tea -

Chinese dates -

gogi berries -

black sesame seed oil -


  • Thank you for taking us with you Bam..this all sounds amazing!
    I wish I could visit it myself .
    We get that black sesame seed oil here too and use it to make desserts, it is amazing indeed

    • Ohh yum. What kind of desserts? Now you have sparked my interest… Take care, BAM

  • Even though it was extremely crowded, it must have been so interesting. The black sesame oil must de delicious.

    • Karen you would love the black sesame seed oil. It is so rich and lovely. It is a little more expensive than the traditional white sesame oil but its so worth it. Check for its availability near you and if not check to see if the web site I included has international delivery. Take care, BAM

  • How lucky that you got to attend the 2012 food and tea fair, thanks for the tour. I would love a bite of that grill abalone, did you get a sample or it is too pricey so no sample?

    • I would have loved to sample the grilled abalone however the line up to buy it was out the door. I live here in Hong Kong so I have all kind of opportunities to try it later or make my own. Do you make it at home?

      • Fresh abalone is not available where I live, and even it was available it would be too pricey for me. Would love to read about how you make your own grill abalone.

      • Fresh abalone is super expensive here. However, dried is readily available on an everyday basis and canned in the special sauce become more readily accessible around Chinese New Years. I like my grilled abalone with just a little butter or oil , soy, sake and ginger grilled right in the shells. Grill just for a few minutes until done.

  • Wow, what a feast for the eyes everything is!
    🙂 Mandy

    • I can see that you are a very adventurous eater Mandy! Glad to hear this. Take care, BAM

  • Wow, what a feast! I wouldn’t have known where to look, so much fun stuff going on!

    • It was a little over whelming. I had a plan to visit certain vendors but that all went out the window as the crowds were massive. Instead I just went with the flow of the masses.

  • So much to see and SO MANY PEOPLE.. i would have been hoping to visit when it was not so dense with bodies.. but that food was be just so delicious and so different.. c

    • Oh how I wish I could just come to your farm to unwind and relax. So many people all the time after awhile really wears on you. Any time there is any event in HK, you must prepare for the masses.

  • Wow. That looks like it was really interesting, albeit crowded.

    • The Tea Convention area was pretty calm and just people who are truly interested in tea. However everyone is interested in food and this area was like a zoo. It was all the “grandma shopping carts” that really added to the insanity.

  • Wow, it sounds like a crazy but delicious day. All those teas are just incredible. Thanks for sharing the day with us.

  • Amazing post! You are so lucky… I’d love to lay my hands on that variety of preserved egg.

    • Thank you! I am so sorry this is one place that I was not able to get a pamphlet to direct you to a website for the preserved eggs. However, it would have been only in Chinese. How is your Putongua? Take care, BAM

      • Very shaky … it takes all my ability to slowly read my way through a recipe 🙂

  • What an exciting and interesting fair to attend, Bam! I was astounded by the size of that peach!! Of course the pomegranate was striking to see as well. I’m timid with a lot of those flavors, but if I were there I would have tried some.. well, maybe not those 1,000 year old eggs;) xx

    • There were some amazing things to see at this fair! I know that many of these items are not Western tastes and some people are not used to the flavors. However, once you try them you will be pleasantly surprised on how it opens up a new world of culinary possibilities. Take care, BAM

  • Now this is my kind of event! Tea, produce, various delicacies, and samples of them all? What’s not to love!

    • You have to love the free samples… Who needs to eat lunch? I think the free samples are what opens your eyes to the new flavors and tastes you would not have purchased unless you tried it first.

  • Mich Piece of Cake

    So many interesting types of food items which are new to me.. like black sesame oil. The peaches from Japan look gorgeous. I love these kind of food fairs as well.

    • If it was not so crowded, I would have stayed for hours. so many great products and lots of lovely vendors. Take Care, BAM

  • What a great place to visit, BAM! Thanks for taking us along. I would really enjoy going to something like this but I’d need someone to go with me (hint, hint) to explain things. Although I like to try new things, it would be nice to know what it is I’m experimenting with. 🙂

    • John you are so fun! When I first moved to Hong Kong or even Japan for that matter I was also afraid of many food items but then I started to make friends from each of these countries, it opened my eyes. I have been taught by my friends what these food items are and how to cook with them Understanding a little of the language helps a bit as well. I have even taken some Chinese medicine courses so the dried marine items and Chinese herbs are no longer a mystery. I still have things I like and dislike, but knowing that is the first step for the Western to Eastern cooking transition. Take care, BAM

  • How could you possibly pass on the stewed duck tongue? And in sauce?! 😉 Sounds like tons of fun. Love the photos, particularly the third one (great steam!). Exceptionally fun post – thanks.

    • Great to hear from you! Actually I have tried stewed duck tongue before and you are not missing a thing…..It is the whole texture thing that I am not particularly fond of. Take care, BAM

  • Oh gosh!! Everything looks so good! I would love to go to a food fair like that!! Welcome back to Hong Kong Bam!! Glad to see Bam’s Kitchen open again!

    • Hi Sammie! I am sure you would have loved it. Goodies from all over the world! Take care, BAM

  • I can just imagine the crowds! It looks like it was definitely worth braving them though. What a great event. I would be like a kid in a candy store. 🙂

    • Hi there Kristie! So many things to see and so little time! There is always next year…

  • Thanks for sharing such a wonderful fair with us my friend, everything looks and sounds fantastic 🙂
    What a great experience!
    Especially loving the desserts 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Dear CCU, Believe it or not there was not too much chocolate at this fair. Maybe you can change that up in a couple of years… Take care, BAM

  • Did you buy any rooibos? It is so good for you and a staple in most homes here 🙂

    • Actually I was given lots of free samples and as soon as I tasted its lovely flavor, I thought of you and South Africa! Very delightful tea.

  • I am more interested in that abalone, I think I will make some this week its quite cheap here at the moment and selling at $6 a piece.

    • It is more expensive in Hong Kong. Looking forward to seeing some of your special abalone dishes.

  • I wish I were traveling with you!! 🙂

  • This is a kind of place where the crowd and the rush feels good… Thanks for sharing with us..
    That black sesame oil sounds really interesting, I am wondering do we get that here in US

    • Once you try black sesame oil you will never go back to regular. It is so rich and delicious. You may be able to find this product in a Chinese market in the States or in an Asian grocery store. You can also contact this vendor directly and ask about international shipping.
      Take care, BAM

  • machisan

    i would love to be there… wow! very crowded… how to squeeze in.

    • So very,very crowded and in the end that is why I needed to leave. There was so much more to see but I was physically unable to move through the crowds. If the crowd was moving to the right, I was moving to the right….I guess there is always next year.

  • I nominated you for the sisterhood of world bloggers award @

    • I am so blessed. Thank you for thinking of me. Take care, Bobbi

  • Hi Bam,
    This looks like a great event to attend. Lucky you. Wish I was there too.

    • I look forward to this even every year. I am really sad that I did not have time to visit the Chinese Medicine fair that was right next to the food and tea fair but I ran out of time. I guess there is always next year. It is such a large fair that I think you need at least a couple of days to walk through all 3 sections. Take care, BAM

  • WOW.. I wish I was there. I absolutely love a good tea. I think you would’ve had to drag me out of that place lol

    • You are so right the tea convention area was very relaxing as only true tea connoisseurs came to this side. As always, I love sitting down to enjoy several pours of “cha’ to make sure this is the one that I like and hearing the history about the tea and where it is grown and harvested.

  • kathleen1richardson

    This entire post–the writing and the photos–is fascinating. You have such wonderful opportunities there in Hong Kong. What will you do when it’s time to return? Oh, well, meanwhile treasure all such moments as these. And thank you so much for sharing your adventures, your thoughts and your recipes with us.

    Keep writing…

    • Thank you Kathleen. Hong Kong does has a lot to offer but so does every city if you look for it. You just have to pretend that you are looking through the lens of your camera by someone who has never seen this before, even if it is baking something in your own kitchen. Take Care, BAM

  • What a fascinating post Bam! I love the craftmanship and passion that shines through from the many vendors that you’ve profiled.

  • Such an interesting event. I would love to go to a tea fair one day as I am a big tea drinker and love teas with different flavor.

  • {Main St. Cuisine}

    This is amazing, Bam. What a treat for those of us who may never make it to an event like that. I have to share your post with my mother-in-law. I’m sure she would appreciate your photos. Now I’m really missing her being with us and all of her fantastic food creations, not to mention all of the tea and other treats she brings us from China.

    Wonderful post. Thank you!

    • Thanks Allison! You are on the very lucky end as I am sure she loves sending her lovely daughter in law some yummy treats. Do you happen to like sesame seeds? If so, have her send you some chewy sesame seed treats. These are some of my favorites as they are not too sweet but really fun to eat. Sometimes they come in flat round circles or sometimes in little squares with both white and black sesame seeds. My little guilty pleasure. Take care, BAM

  • Hi Bam,

    Sorry for the lack of activities, I have been lurking around while dealing with some side-effects of getting my fridge fixed: you are not going to believe what happened to my kitchen (and half of my house) last week. The fridge guy came in to install the new panel, it resolved the temperature not cooling issue, but 2 hours later when we got home after swimming, I walked into 1-2 inch of water! Apparently the water filter in the fridge busted open due to the uneven fridge temperature, and repairman didn’t catch it, so my laminate wood floor had to be torn away, holes has to be drilled into the walls, industrial size fans and dehumidifiers were going on all hours of the day last weekend to dry the walls out. It’s been a disaster, and we are awaiting for insurance company to check things out before any repair can be made…

    Anywho, I loved this posting, would have loved to be there at the fair, though I do have an issue with people being in my personal bubble. From your description, being at Hong Kong would probably make me bust a vein and not enjoy all the deliciousness. I totally knew what you meant about ginger being a “warm” food, if I drink too much ginger tea or eat too many ginger candies, my face break out the next day, it’s amazing how much food effects our well-being!

    • Oh you poor thing. Talk about one disaster after another. I hope this whole fridge thing gets resolved soon and your life goes back to normal. Each person’s comfort level with personal space is different from one country to another. Here I guess the closer the better… LOL

  • Now that looks like an amazing event & you did a super job with the photo’s for us. The crystallized ginger looks really interesting.

    • I actually bought some of the black cystallized ginger. I made some tea with it and it was quite nice and warming so may hold off for some cooler days. Take Care, BAM

  • I just hope i can visit the fair someday…..
    Lot;s of fancy ingredient!
    i’n craving for abalones and white tea…..

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