January 29, 2014

Little Chicken Eggs Gai Daan Jai 雞蛋仔

hong kong, street food, street hawker, food, little chicken eggs, gai daan jai, 雞蛋仔
Published: 2014-01-29
Alert, all food lovers! Street food hawkers coming out in force just in time for the Chinese New Year!  Yeah!  Yummy street food for all!  Hurry, hurry!

But wait...we should explain first.  Hong Kong used to be a wonderland for eating street food about a decade or so ago.  But then the Hong Kong government decided to shut down phase out pretty much all the hawkers and late night food stalls.  Nowadays there's nary a street hawker in sight and man, I gotta tell you, it's booooooring!  No more sudden savory scents drifting your way as you rush down  busy Hong Kong streets, no more stopping for a quick bite here and there, no more standing at street corners with sauce dripping skewers held carefully out and away from your clothes, no more turning a dark alley corner to a cheery scene of fragrant steam rising up in the midst of fold out tables under hand strung lightbulbs.  Why, I ask you, why take away something that speaks to the essence of Hong Kong?  But I digress...


hong kong, street food, street hawker, food, little chicken eggs, gai daan jai, 雞蛋仔

The point here that I make is that when Chinese New Years rolls around the Hong Kong street hawkers start sneaking out again.  I think maybe the police are more lax at this time of the year.  Not too sure.  So anyways, yesterday, on our way back from a late night snack, we saw our first street hawker, hawking nothing less than one of our favorite Hong Kong street food snacks, the Little Chicken Eggs, also known as Gai Daan Jai, or 雞蛋仔.  These are pancake-like eggettes made from eggs, sugar, flour and evaporated milk and have been a favorite Hong Kong street food since the 1950's!   I squealed in delight when we first spotted the cart and, of course, even though we were really full already, we had to get some freshly made Little Chicken Eggs!

The street hawkers of Little Chicken Eggs usually use charcoal stoves to bake the little eggettes, fanning madly away with one hand, orange sparks flying into the night air.  And everyone knows that the flavor is better if you use a charcoal stove.  Crunchy on the outside, half air and half chewy fluffy sweet bread on the inside.  You get to break off one "little chicken egg" at a time and pop it into your mouth.  Fun and delicious at the same time!  So, dear street food lovers, please be on the lookout and good luck to you to spot delicious street food hawkers during this festive Chinese New Year season!

Happy Chinese New Year!  May your heart's desire be attained!  心想事成!

More Chinese New Year fun at The Hong Kong Cookery:

chinese new year radish cake recipeChinese New Year Radish Cake Recipe - Chinese Comfort Food 

buddha's delight luohan zhai recipeBuddha's Delight | Luohan Zhai 羅漢齋

chinese new year, tray of togetherness, candied fruitChinese New Year Tray of Togetherness 中國新年攢盒

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