Fish Ball Noodle Soup

Hong Kong notably has some of the best food in the world. I surmise this is due to a combination of an astonishingly diverse population and high standards. In short, Hong Kongers are foodies.

There is a huge variety of tasty treats. From incredibly pricey, chic restaurants to steamy food stalls in crowded street markets and everything in between. Take your pick.

I know there is one way I like my food and that’s dead. It only takes a short stroll through a food market here before you see the bubbling tanks of live lobsters, abalone, carp and other sea creatures. I’m going to work my way up to meeting my food before I eat it. In the meantime, it’s fish ball soup for me.

Luckily, I detoured from the main drag and stumbled into what I later learned would be Wan Chai Market. This was my kind of place with stores packed to the gills, people at work, hustle & bustle, lights, noise, smells both good and bad mixing together to create that oh so beautiful market atmosphere.

It was time for lunch and I found a small but cozy noodle soup house. It looked clean, there were Chinese diners and they possessed one menu in English. I wondered in and ordered a lemon iced tea and fish ball soup. The friendly waitress helping me said that was a good choice for me.

When the giant brothy bowl appeared at my table, I could already smell its perfect mix of salty stew, seafood and onion. There was a generous portion of noodles as well as fried tofu bits and the ubiquitous fish balls. If you’ve never had one, they are white, firm but porous and kind of like a fish mousse that has thickened and hardened. Not convinced?

I have found them in soups, seen them on sticks and paired with hot sauce. If you have not had the luxury of experiencing a fish ball and are on good terms with mildly adventurous fish food, this is a good starter.

In all honesty, I actually don’t even know what a fish ball is and quite frankly I don’t know if I want to know. For the time being, I resist tainting my opinion by  perhaps knowing the unsavory truth and instead vouch to simply relish in my delectable fish ball ignorance.