Before the city reformed health and safety regulations and pushed for modernization of food establishments in the late 90’s, Hong Kong was known worldwide for it’s amazing quality and variety of street food. Vendors (or hawkers) would have push carts selling one, maybe two things that they specialized in.

Hong Kong Street Cart Vendor

From bubble (egg) waffles 雞蛋仔, wonton noodles 雲吞麵, cart noodles 車仔麵 to rice rolls 豬腸粉, fishball skewers 魚蛋, stinky tofu 臭豆腐, dumplings and siumai 燒賣 (shumai) on a stick – good food was always just around the corner.

At dim sum, rice rolls typically come dressed with soy sauce, topped with sesame and perhaps some hot sauce or hoisin on the side. At a street food stall though – the rolls are served hot on some paper and drenched in your choice of toppings. You are then given a little skewer stick to dig in.

Here is how you recreate the Hong Kong street cart experience using Hung’s Rice Rolls at home!

Prep Your Rice Rolls

Rice rolls, unless brought home on the day of production – has a tendency to harden up when refrigerated. Here is how you refresh them for serving (or prep them for pan frying).

  1. Take your rice rolls out of the packaging and separate them. You can cut them up into smaller pieces now or leave them whole, depending on the size of your plate.
  2. Place the rice rolls in a microwaveable plate or bowl.
  3. Cover the rice rolls up with a damp paper towel.
  4. Pop them in the microwave and heat in minute and a half increments.
  5. Check on the rice rolls between each increment for texture. If you plan on eating them “steamed”, continue heating in 1 minute increments until they are completely softened. If you plan on pan frying them, you want the texture to be somewhere in the middle – a little stiff but mostly softened. Move the rolls around for even heating, careful not to overcook.
  6. Smother with sauce or put them aside to prep for frying.

To pan fry your rice rolls:

  1. Heat up some vegetable oil in a pan
  2. Once hot, place your rice noodles into the pan carefully
  3. Options: you can fry them plain or add in some sweet soy (recipe below) or chili oil to infuse those flavors right into the roll.
  4. Next level: some people also like to mix in some beaten egg to incorporate more textures, flavour and protein to the meal.
  5. Top level: fry your rice rolls in a wok with veggies, aromatics and XO sauce (recipe will be linked when it’s ready!)

Prepare your toppings:

Sky is the limit when it comes to toppings but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Sweet soy sauce (recipe below)
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Peanut sauce (recipe below)
  • Sesame sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Chili oil (try this recipe)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pork floss
  • Fried onion
  • Fried garlic chips

Sweet Soy Sauce

1/ 3 cup hot water
1 1/ 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, or gluten free oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, or tamari
1-2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Mix all ingredients together. Ready for dipping, smothering or pan-fying. Pour over rice rolls.

Peanut Sauce

1/2 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
Water as needed
Optional: few drips of oil as desired

The goal is to loosen up the peanut butter and adjust with liquid to your preferred consistency. Put the peanut butter into a microwaveable bowl and warm up in 15 second increments to melt the peanut butter. If you prefer a runnier consistency, add room temperature or warm water or oil as desired. Drizzle over your rolls.