Meet Master Yu: chili sauce maker 余先生：余均益第三代接班人
MADE IN SYP
This story is part of a series of stories dedicated to the Spirit of Craftsmanship in Sai Ying Pun. We discovered SYP through the lens of locals. We visited 16 local craftsmen, to learn about their trade, their tools, their stories. See what they create; learn what they love and feel their passion.
“We do not add preservatives. My grandfather didn’t have it in the recipe, and we like to keep it like that.”
OLD MR. YU . Mr. Yu started making chili sauce in the kitchen of a Sai Ying Pun shophouse in 1922. He sold the spicy sauce out on the streets carrying a bamboo pole with two buckets. In 1950 he managed to save enough money to open his own shop. Business took off from there. It’s the 3rd generation that now runs the factory in Aberdeen producing a range of sauces – oyster, sesame and lemon sauce – but chili sauce is still the signature product. It’s so good, you can find in restaurants all over the city and far beyond.
Chili sauce is Yu Kwen Yick’s signature product. It’s so good, you can find in restaurants all over the city and far beyond 辣椒醬是招牌貨，不論酒家飯店大排檔，處處都見其蹤影
The old cash register and other precious memories of the early days 昔日的收銀機
The old Mr. Yu sold Chili Sauce on Third Street carrying a bamboo pole with two buckets 當年余均益創辦人余兆基先生背著擔挑在街上叫賣
SECRET RECIPE . ‘Sauce making is craftsmanship’. To make chili sauce you need fresh chili, vinegar, sugar and salt. You mix them together and cook it. The factory uses the same old recipes and tools as in the early days. ‘We suggested the chefs to replace their tools, but they wouldn’t have any of it. This grinder has been here for ages and its speed is nice and slow so we can keep the flavour intact. We can at most produce 600-700kg in one morning.” says Antony Yu, Mr. Yu’s grandson. They stir the sauce with wooden poles and use an old stone grinder. Each bottle takes about four to five days to produce. ‘We do not add preservatives. My grandfather didn’t have it in the recipe, and we like to keep it like that. It brings out the natural taste of the ingredients and is much healthier.’
The factory uses the same old recipes and tools as in the early days. This grinder has been here for ages. 工場仍沿用舊食譜和工具，如木棍和石磨
Each bottle takes about four to five days to produce. The design of the bottle has stayed the same all these years. 每枝醬需要四至五天生產
LOCAL LEGEND . Mr. Yu has become a local legend, and the Yu Kwen Yick brand so synonymous with Hong Kong that it inspired a cult following, a local craft beer and even its own cocktail. At Alvy’s, a popular bar and restaurant in Kennedy Town, bartender Saheb happily mixes us a Bunny Mary, garlic infused vodka, fresh carrot juice and of course a dash of chili sauce. They also created a special Yu Kwen Yick marinade for their buffalo wings. ‘Yu Kwen Yick is a very playful sauce’ Anthony agrees.
雖然是老字號，余均益沒因循守舊，甚至坊間有不少餐廳都用余均益來配西菜。堅尼地城一間酒吧 Alvy’s 的調酒師Saheb利用余均益辣椒醬、蒜頭伏特加、鮮榨蘿蔔汁調製了雞尾酒 Bunny Mary。他們也特別製作了余均益水牛城雞翼。Antony認同「余均益辣椒醬很好玩。」
Yu Kwen Yick brand so synonymous with Hong Kong that it inspired a cult following, a local craft beer and even its own cocktail 雖然是老字號，余均益沒因循守舊，甚至坊間有不少餐廳都用余均益來配西菜，甚至調酒！
OUR PICK . Pick up a bottle of here at the Sai Ying Pun shop or buy it online. The unique spicy and sour taste is popular year-round but at Chinese New Year things get busy as it pairs well with the obligatory auspicious turnip cakes. Anthony – modest as he is – likes his chili sauce best on ham & egg sandwich.
Mapping the hidden treasures of the neighbourhood 記錄社區隱藏的寶藏！
Find Yu Kwen Yick on the iDiscover Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood map 利用iDiscover西營盤地圖尋找余均益！
Download the iDiscover Hong Kong app so you get lost without getting lost in Sai Ying Pun 下載 iDiscover Hong Kong 手機應用程式，助你輕鬆遊西營盤！
HOW TO GET THERE? . Yu Kwen Yick is at 66A Third Street in Sai Ying Pun. For directions download the free iDiscover app or download a printable map. Get your own copy of the iDiscover Hong Kong Neighbourhood Guide.