Hong Kong Palace in Seven Corners - Report

Maybe I shouldn’t have completely delegated to the Chinese speakers!

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Are you guys talking about Chongqing Chicken AKA chongqing la zi ji / 重庆辣子鸡 ?
Chongqing Chick

If so I think it always has some Starch in the Marinate it is then fried and drained while the Chilies and other Aromatics are “exploded” and then Chicken is added back and it is briefly stir-fried to absorb the Aroma and spiced Oil. Which results in a thin very crisp Coating with the Skin well rendered.
I have seen it heavily battered as well, which I believe is not how it is typically done in Chongqing.


No, not chongqing chicken.

The key to the dish I am talking about I have only seen once elsewhere, served at a Tibetan meal in the southern Gansu Province. They are peppers that are stuffed with a paste made from a grain (I think), that are then dried. You eat each piece whole. Super dense and crunchy. You should be able to see them in the photo above. As written on the wall: the English translation would be something like, “mouth mouth, good smelling.”

The ingredient is not something the restaurant makes. It is a manufactured product. I believe I once saw it available in large bags on the internet.


If you ever find out the name please let me know. I have never heard of this product, very interested to learn more.

I don’t know how I’ve missed having the chicken with stuffed peppers, but I will ask for it. My ESL students did not study the wall menu item-for-item, but only read it quickly. I didn’t feel like I could press them to do my homework for me.

I found a really old article (2010) from a website I haven’t heard of (TastingTable.com) – so I can’t vouch for it at all. But it says that Hong Kong Palace does make the stuffed peppers in-house. Here’s how the article says they were prepared back then:

“But stuffed peppers are the real star here. Co-owner Melanie Qing imports Cantonese peppers–they aren’t sold on this continent–from her hometown in China. The kitchen stuffs the finger-size red cones with sesame seeds and peanuts, then fries them until each one becomes a crispy, slightly spicy take on a sesame stick.”

Read More: https://www.tastingtable.com/682794/spicy-szechuan-food-at-hong-kong-palace-in-falls-church/

I wonder if Melanie Qing is still involved with Hong Kong Palace. Some quick googling did not turn up any mention of her in connection with food in this area since this mention in 2010.

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Melanie is still there. I saw her the last couple of times, though before that I hadn’t seen her in years.

The stuffed peppers are something like this:

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Well, rather than speculate, Toni and I went to HKP tonight and got the chicken with stuffed peppers, along with the cumin lamb and the dry fried string beans.

I can now report that Steve is right:

  • The chicken with stuffed peppers is not on the printed menu (or at least not on the English portion of the menu), but it is on the list of specials on the wall listed only in Mandarin. Currently, it is on the top row, the third from the right, on the dark red piece of paper.

  • At this point, they do not stuff and fry the peppers themselves. Instead, they order them from China and add them to the dish.

This was an excellent meal. We both enjoyed the chicken with stuffed peppers and thought it was real good, but not as good as the dry fried string beans and the cumin lamb, which were both outstanding.

I’m attaching a closeup of the stuffed peppers and some other photos.

We’d order the chicken and stuffed peppers again, but only if we were with a large group. The huge pile of breaded and deep fried chicken got to be a little “one note” after a while.


Good to know I am not completely crazy (only partial) and that they change the specials on the wall. My experience is that the wall specials are, in general, not on the menu.

And that the stuffed peppers are a purchased product. I think that has been the case all along. The ones I had in China were exactly 100% the same ones (size, shape, flavor), and that would be difficult to imagine as a homemade product. That, the string beans, and the cumin lamb makes for a very fine meal. The other items I like from the menu are the cucumber salad, the cold chengdu noodles, and the shredded pork with dried bean curd. Also they have the pickled long beans with ground pork, the same dish which you can find at A&J.

Next time I will ask more about the other specials. I am glad you took a current photo, that way maybe I can look up some of those dishes.


Looking up more of the specials would be a great public service.

Excellent choices Doug!

I had a great meal there last weekend on the way to Great Wall Supermarket. We ordered spicy wontons, tea smoked duck, cumin lamb, and the greenbeans!