“Your Goose is Cooked…”

Family members and friends just chuckle when I answer their questions about what kind of food I have in our luggage on local and foreign travels. One time it was 3 boxes of all kinds of berries for the toddler who had asked what the blackberries in “Winnie the Pooh” tasted like (so I brought some 8+ kinds of berries from the Victoria market in Melbourne) for her to taste. Or another time it was a suitcase filled with ingredients from Cambodia and Vietnam. Sometimes it is loads of chocolate, other times preserves and dried fruit. I have brought back different types of grains, pastas and flours. And at one point in my career, I used to bring back several roast ducks on quick trips to Manila from work bases in Hong Kong and Singapore. This fantastic goose is another example…

I don’t know what it is so hard to get nicely roasted duck, goose, quail, etc. in Manila but it is. So the last time we were in Hong Kong, we stuck a whole roasted goose in our handcarry, got home, heated it up and had it with some simple chinese greens at a dinner for friends in our home. If they travelled frozen well, I think I would bring in dozens of these geese and keep them in the freezer until needed.

Oh, and sauce was included too. :) If you forget to get your goose downtown, you can buy them whole at the foodcourt of the Hong Kong and Singapore airports and just have them wrap them up well. Of course the staff look at you a bit wonky when you put in your request, but no matter, just make up some outrageous apocryphal story for them to spread to their curious friends and relatives… :)

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

26 Responses

  1. Yumm!! I am craving for a Peking duck!When we travel,one fourth of our baggage contains food items.That goose look good..I had a second look at the head:-):-)

  2. Hello Marketman! I think I spotted you at SNR today, having lunch- was that you? I wasn’t sure! I wanted to say hello but I didn’t want to disturb your lunch. :)

  3. mina, hahaha, yes, but that was a snack… :) I was having a sugar low so I had a slice of vegetable pizza… before a full lunch back at home. Next time say hello. :)

  4. I was in HK just last month, and like you we were tasked to bring home a roast goose. We found a restaurant on the web that supposedly had the best roast goose, but it was way too far and was not in walking distance from the MTR. Their goose was said to be of a special variety, but to go that far I would hope those there were the ones that laid the golden eggs. The name of the place is Yue Kee.

  5. But how can you tell it is a goose and not a gander?

    Anyone entering a country guarded by approachable customs officers is lucky and should take the most out of the opportunity. Unfortunately, our customs officers are the least understanding in the West and adamantly confiscatory to boot, but the country has a lot of other pleasant things to offer so here we stay.

    I just had some friends from Chicago over the weekend mainly to buy fruit in Chinatown (and consume them before they re-cross the border) and stock up on hopia baked by my niece. Speaking of exotic fruit and Mexico (in another thread) Toronto is flooded with beautiful mangos de Manila from Mexico right now. Fourteen large ones in a box for Can$9. Not as aromatic as the ones we harvested in Bataan but reasonable facsimiles.

  6. Delicate question so I understand if you don’t like to answer … but do you have issues with Customs bringing meat in your baggage?

  7. Ken L, no, customs doesn’t seem the least bit interested in food. I declare stuff like fruit, cheese and meat to no heightened curiosity. They are more concerned about electronics, drugs, etc. I would imagine. My sister and I have brought home coolers full of veal, sausages, beef, etc. to no problem at all in Manila. Technically, I think they have a right to question it, but in 40 years of practice, the only time I felt a tinge of discomfort was when a customs official suggested that one of the enormous fruitcakes in a suitcase I had just before Christmastime might be nice for her to have at their noche buena celebration… I refused, and said with tags like “lola”, “tita….” etc on them, my neck was going to be wrung if they didn’t reach their intended recipient that holiday season… she thankfully let them through… :) Footloose, good question, and I have no idea what the answer is. :) Monty, could it have been Yung Kee? I have a post on them I think… they have excellent goose, and one of their branches is extremely accessible near Central…

  8. Great post, MM.. Any favorites here in the NY Chinatown area?

    @Footloose, LOVE LoVe Dundas Market. I enjoy gorging on tropical fruits from the markets. Envision if you may, a piglet or a ravenous squirrel before wintertime, in front of lanzones, mangoes, and mangosteen! Before the Border Patrols became Pinoy savvy, we would engage in smuggling in fruit contrabands in trunk, soiled laundry hampers, and or diaper bags.. Now we have to drive there to indulge. All worth the time and gas… Maybe in August.

    Alas, without the feathers, how could one really tell a goose from a gander!?

  9. our friends also wonder why we fill our suitcases with all sorts of food pasalubong. the only grief we’ve had at the airport was when my sister flew in from the US with 8 lbs. of frozen vacuum-packed omaha corn-fed steaks with the proper USDA labels. the customs people turned us over to the dept. of agriculture person, who gave us a long lecture on why it was against the law to bring in meat of any kind. we protested and pointed out that it was USDA-certified, vaccum-packed, etc., etc. and he would not let it go. all seemed hopeless until we changed our tack to cajoling, pleading, begging until he could not stand the sight of us anymore. excellent steak dinner we had that night ;-)

  10. Ah – the westerners are missing tons aren’t they? My Scottish partner, at first was quite mortified over the thought of bringing back food stuff, particularly the fresh or dried variety. His selection was always limited to sweets or bottles…now he’s become quite ‘sophisticated’ (LOL)with the concept of food pasalubongs, particularly going back to Manila and no longer questions my choices of what to bring – this stems from seeing and feeling the genuine appreciation of such pasalubongs..

    We’re scheduled to be back home for Christmas and have already pretty much allocated my luggage for Aussie beef/foodstuff. Then for the return, they’re filled with dry goods/Xmas gifts. We’ve been able to bring in dried mangoes (Philippine variety, no less!) into Scotland as well as boxes of Cinnabons.

  11. MM, the name of the place really was Yue Kee. They have a English language website at https://www.yuekee.com.hk/en/. Wanted to try the place since several reviews said they had really good roast goose, better than the more famous Yung Kee. But time constraints and distance prevented us from going. There are some Michelin rated pork buns beneath the IFC mall near the Airport Express. It’s called Tim Ho Wan.

  12. Earlier this year we brought home a whole roast goose from Yung Kee in HK and a big tupperware full of portugese egg tarts. In the past we’ve brought home fresh cherries from Vancouver. As for smuggling out stuff, we once brought lechon paksiw hidden inside a Bear Brand powdered milk tin can for my brother in Japan. Didn’t get caught by Japanese authorities.

  13. Regarding customs in Manila: Last year my friends brought in one kilo of mangosteens from Bangkok. The customs official at NAIA3 said “bawal ‘yan” because of the supposed quarantine rules. They gave her 300 pesos to turn a blind eye. The mangosteens only cost a fraction of that, but they were really good mangosteens– sweeter than the ones we grow in the Philippines.

    This customs lady also took an interest in a couple of empty plastic mineral water bottles from Kempinski Hotel Bangkok that my pals brought back as souvenirs. She said that they looked “like luxury items and should be declared”.

  14. The reason I asked about the sexing of goose is there is a saying that what’s sauce for one is also sauce for the other. But if the gender is not obvious, what’s with the sauce?

  15. I just came back to UAE from the Philippines and bought 3 kgs of mixed cornik/peanut; suman na munggo, dried magoes as pasalubong for my emiratis officemate, assorted Eng bi ten hopia, assorted sweets like kundol candy , yema and pastillas. peanut kisses and peanut brittle. Whatever can be put in my already worn-maleta.

    Lat year, I brought from Abu Dhabi to Phils sharwamah and broasted chicken – that was my pasalubong for my two sons.

  16. Ooh! Good timing! I have some Canadian friends coming in from HK next week, will see if I can convince them to buy me a roasted goose. (Yep they are vegetarians haha) so, you’re advice would be to just declare it on the customs form? And if it get confiscated too bad?

  17. Isa, hmmm, I wouldn’t ask foreigners to try and bring it in for you… they are at a higher risk for being given a hard time… but the goose didn’t cost THAT much, so it MAY be worth the risk…

  18. I used to take home Yung Kee geese during my HK years and never had a problem getting them through Customs. Very bulky but always worth the effort. I went to Yue Kee in Sham Tseng a few times in the 80’s. Good but not the same quality as Yung Kee’s. Cheaper, though. Maybe it has improved over the years.

  19. All this talk of bringing food in from abroad reminds me of my dearest Mom. Whenever one of us visits the Philippines, she is sure to cook her special Adobong Alimango and pack them in plastic containers for the other family members living here in the US. I have explained to her several times that, while it is very much appreciated, it is an inconvenience to the traveler. She nevertheless would still prevail (as she always does). Last year, she had cooked Alique ng Alimango and had it canned for me to bring back. Little did I know then that it would be the last time she was sending pasalubong. I still have that can of Aligue in my freezer. I don’t know if I can ever open it and eat the contents.

  20. Brought in 2 Peking Ducks from HK. Our Cathay flight arrived at 7 pm in Mactan. I was already through customs and just 3-4 steps away from the exit doors when another customs officer came RUNNING after me and grabbed the box with one of the ducks. (My brother who had requested the ducks was waiting just outside the door to lovingly cradle them in his arms. His face FELL when the customs guy grabbed the box.)

    He told me a blah blah story about meat being prohibited from being brought in. He also wanted to check my bag (where the other duck was) so i quickly surrendered the one in the box and made haste out of the door. I was afraid he would get both.

    But the week after, on an earlier flight, my friend simply breezed through with her own duck.

    Lesson learned: When bringing in meat items, do NOT choose a flight that arrives in time for lunch or dinner.

  21. my sister and i brought home roast goose from a recent trip to HK. was told because of increased risk of bird/avian flu that bringing in poultry is not allowed. we had the goose cut up into quarters and snuck it in. was supposed to bring back cherries from US mainland but was advised by my sister not to as customs was strict with fresh produce. i guess it is a gamble.

  22. The best roast goose in HK seems to be at Yung Kee, located in Central. Their century egg and many other dishes are quite excellent as well. There’s always a long queue but the waiting is worth it. We usually dine at odd hours to shorten the waiting time.

    We almost always handcarry at least one whole roast goose from HK to Manila too :) I even bring extra plastic ware from home to make sure the extra plum sauce and preserved ginger we order from Yung Kee will survive the flight home without leaking.

    Early this year, there was a HK Chef that opened a small fastfood stall inside Divisoria Mall’s food court. We work in the area so having roast goose any day we fancy was a real treat. Unfortunately, the mall burned down last month and we haven’t found his stall reopening in nearby tiangge malls yet.

  23. I am coming home to Phils this November, medio takot na akong magdala ng food pasalubong, kasi 2 years ago, customs at NAIA 3 stopped me for my gumamela plants, After begging, pinalampas din nila ako, pero sinermunan na huwag ng ulitin. They said pati mga pagkain, bawal din daw.

  24. Mr. Marketman sir, we abide by the same philosophy when it comes to what’s inside our luggage. I do remember bringing home an entire un-chopped roasted goose from Hong Kong (much like your posted photograph) a couple of months ago. And now, my first stop whenever I go some place is the SUPERMARKET (followed by the local wet market).

    Will be in Bacolod next month, I foresee meself with two boxes of cake from Calea. Can’t wait to visit Cebu… Most probably my luggage would contain a kilo (or two… or three) of your Zubuchon!

  25. Hi everyone, here’s a big tip for bringing home roast goose from HK: Always put it inside a duffel bag or luggage. Even if handcarrying, never just carry the box out in the open. Always put it in a nondescript-looking bag.


  26. L. Cheng! Yes! I’ve been googling for that particular stall! So cheap pa their meals, I think P80-P120 and their rice serving is as big as that of Hong Kong. Too bad Divi Mall burned down. I love that stall! I hope they find a new location soon!

Comments are closed.