Drizzled with sweet soy sauce and hoi sin sauce, or packed with different kinds of fillings, cheung fun is one of Hong Kong's most prized breakfast dim sum and streetside snack items
Welcome back to our traditional Hong Kong breakfast series where we introduce the city’s beloved traditional breakfast items. After featuring Hong Kong’s best egg sandwiches and instant noodles, we’re moving onto cheung fun—the popular steamed rice noodle roll that can be found in casual eateries, streetside snack stalls as well as yum cha restaurants.
Originating from Guangdong and Hong Kong, cheung fun is made from a combination of rice flour and tapioca, or glutinous rice flour and water to create the rolled rice noodle sheets. The mixture is poured into a flat pan, and optional fillings such as beef and char siu can be added in and put in the steamer. When the sheet is finally cooked through, the entire noodle sheet will be folded around three times, turning a simple rolled rice noodle sheet into the cheung fun we all know and love.
Cheung fun usually comes in all sorts of different shapes and variations. In Hong Kong, two kinds of cheung fun are most commonly seen: the plain, tightly rolled variety dressed in hoisin sauce, sesame sauce and roasted sesame seeds that you can find at snack stalls; as well as the more traditional type packed with different kinds of meat fillings that are usually found at yum cha restaurants.
Seasoned cheung fun masters are able to craft a rice noodle roll that balances the sheet, filling and sauce perfectly—all three elements should work together in harmony without one being too overpowering. The craftsmanship of a cheung fun is often judged according to how smooth, thin and soft the white sheet noodle layer is, especially since cheung fun by itself does not carry that much flavour. When the rice noodle is too thick, the flavours of the fillings may not be able to shine through as well—whereas if it’s too thin, the cheung fun may risk falling apart mid-bite especially if there’s too much filling.
From Michelin-recommended cheung fun street stalls, to lush yum cha spots for the most luxurious dim sum breakfasts, we list out the best places to find cheung fun in the city.
See also: Hong Kong-Style Breakfast: Where To Find The Best Egg Sandwiches in Hong Kong