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Special Hakka Cuisine


Hakka cuisine is the cooking style of the Hakka people, who are primarily found in southeastern China (Guangdong and Fujian), but also may be found in many other parts of China, as well as in the Chinese diaspora. Hongkong, Malaysia and Singapore have numerous restaurants serving Hakka cuisine.


In a nutshell, the salty Hakka cuisine can be attributed to environmental influences. Early hakka migrants in Taiwan worked hard and sweated a lot to open up new land for farming. To make up for the huge loss of salt content in body, they added more salt to food. Besides, food with high salt content preserves longer. These qualities meet the thrifty and hardworking nature of the Hakkas.


Salt baked chicken

Dung Gong Yam Guk Gai - Salt baked chicken - originally baked inside a heap of hot salt, but today many restaurants simply cook in brine, or cover it with a salty mixture before steaming it or baking it in an oven.


Duck stuffed with rice

Duck stuffed with rice - a whole duck is de-boned while maintaining the shape of the bird, the cavities being filled with seasoned sticky rice.


Ngiong Tew Foo


Ngiong Tew Foo (stuffed tofu cube or Dung Gong Ngiong Tew Fu Bao): one of the more popular foods that originated from deep Hakka roots, it consists of tofu cubes heaped with minced meat (usually pork) and herbs, then fried till golden brown, or sometimes braised. Variations include usage of various oddments including eggplants, shiitake mushrooms, and bitter melon stuffed with the same meat paste. Modern variations that are more commonly seen sold in foodstalls are made by stuffing the tofu with solely fish paste. Usage of oddments to replace the tofu are more noticeable in this version, ranging from fried fish maw slices and okra to chili peppers.


Lei cha


Lei cha or Pounded Tea: A consortment of tea leaves (usually green tea), peanuts, mint leaves, sesame seeds, mung beans and other herbs, which are pounded or ground into a fine powder which is mixed as a drink, or as a dietary brew to be taken with rice and other vegetarian side dishes such as greens, tofu, and pickled radish.


Beef meatball soup



Very simple clear broth with lettuce and beef meat balls.

Fried pork with fermented tofu


This is a popular Chinese New Year offering which involves two stages of cooking. As previously mentioned, fresh food was at a premium in Hakka areas, so the marinated pork was deep fried to remove the moisture in order to preserve it. When a meal of pork was desired, the fried pork was then stewed with water and wood's ear fungus. It is a Hakka equivalent to canned soup.


(Sliced pork with preserved mustard greens)


Thick slices of pork belly, with a layer of preserved mustard greens between each slice, are cooked and served in a dark sauce made up of soy sauce and sugar. The other version is cooked with yam or taro. Usually pork belly is used, for its layers of fat and meat. The yam and pork are shallow fried until browned before being steamed with five spice and yellow rice wine. A variation of the recipe on Wikibooks Cookbook is available here.