Hong Kong’s Dried Food Shops

Apart from all the street markets, there are different types of food shops in Hong Kong. There are plenty of different stores showcasing all sorts of strange edibles.

Dried food shop on Argyle Street in Mong Kok.

If you’ve ever visited your local Chinatown, then you may have come across stores like these. This is a dried food shop. Sometimes it’s a Chinese herb, medicine and dried food store in some places. There are walls filled with glass containers of all sorts of ingredients. It’s almost as if these items were appropriate for a witch’s brew. The more exotic things I’ve seen over the years include seahorse and snake.

Des Voeux Road West has a stretch of road dubbed Dried Seafood Street

Down in Sai Wan area of Hong Kong Island, there is a whole stretch of road dubbed Dried Seafood Street.  It’s easy to access because it’s right where all those double-decker trams run on the west end of the Island. It’s off the beaten path, but it may be worthwhile for tourists to explore the area to see what they have for sale here. It gives a sense of how locals shop. However, the Dried Seafood Street is supposedly designed with tourists in mind.

A variety of dried seafood goodies

I snapped a few photos at the entrance of one dried seafood shop. There were dried sea cucumbers, cuttlefish, oysters, and fish. There were also red dates, which are commonly used in Chinese soups. I guess locals could grab their seafood ingredients and the red dates for the night’s soup for dinner.

Drying oysters on the side of the street on top of a utility box

In a place as tightly packed as Hong Kong Island, you have to be creative on how to display your wares. This dried seafood shop put out a few trays of dried oysters right on the side of the street. I wonder if the beat cop would have any issues with this stuff sitting on top of the utility box? I’m sure the utility company wouldn’t be happy.

Cured meat shop in Sai Wan

I also came across a few cured meat shops. This particular shop specializes in Chinese Sausages. They’re all strung up for shoppers to come up and see. These sausages must be cooked before eating. So don’t expect just to walk up to the shop and buy something you can eat right there and then.

Look for this Ibis Hotel on Des Voeux Road and you’ll find the Dried Seafood Street

So if this post tickles your fancy and curiosity, then find the Ibis Hotel in Sai Wan. You can either walk 10 minutes due west from Sheung Wan MTR station or hop on the trams going beyond the Western Market to Kennedy Town. Get off in and around the eye-catching, multicolour Ibis Hotel. Then explore the area to your hearts delight. If you crave something more Western after the exploration, there is a Starbucks on the first floor of the Ibis Hotel.

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2 comments

    1. I am not a good cook, so I have never cooked with the stuff. I have seen my wife and my mother use some of the ingredients before. The red dates are often used in soups to add flavour. They also commonly use dried shrimp and dried scallops in some of their cooking. I just don’t have any photos of those from my trip.

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