Pek tin yok – Eight Herb Soup

pek tin yuk

There is a popular Foochow concoction over here called pek tin yok which is translated literally as “eight herb soup”. I haven’t had much contact with this particular broth while growing up, being rather adverse to soup dishes in general. I’ve had it a couple of times at my maternal grandmother’s house (who is a Foochow) and didn’t particularly like it.

little umbrella

Faye is a bit of a traditional Foochow in the stuff she eats. She actually loves “8 herb soup” and has cravings for it from time to time. There is an eating establishment here that doesn’t have a signboards so the locals just all it “xiao yu shang” (Little Umbrella) from the seating arrangements outside which has a huge beach umbrella covering it from the rain (since the place is not open in the morning, it can’t be the sun).

little umbrella chairs

Little Umbrella is supposed to have the best pek tin yok in town and props should be given to the proprietor for attempting to install some fittings in the interior that makes the place look more upscale. There are glass tables inside and artsy fartsy chairs made out of real tree branches. Unfortunately, the clash of the old and new styles contrasts too garishly. A for effort, F for execution.

eight herb soup rice

The place serves a bowl of Eight Herb Soup for RM 7. Eight Herb Soup is a concoction brewed in 8 different types of herbs and spices with pork leg. It’s considered to be a traditional nutritional supplement of sorts and is often force fed to overactive little children. At least, that’s what my mom used to do. ;)

eight herb soup

Eight Herb Soup is served with a complimentary plate of rice in Little Umbrella. It’s rather similar to bak kut teh in this sense, but the two dishes tastes totally different. Eight Herb soup tastes very “sweet” for a lack of a better descriptive adjective.

chicken feet

There are also other Foochow specialties in Little Umbrella – this is chicken feet cooked with peanuts and soy sauce. I don’t mind eating chicken feet but it can be a bit of a bother at times coz of the little bones inside. I like the de-boned chicken feet in Kuching.

eight herb soup pork.

Eight Herb Soup is brewed with chunks of pork meat. The meat is tender and juicy and absorbs much of the soup’s flavors. It’s eaten with soy sauce and rice and some people add a little bit of soup to the rice as well. I don’t remember liking it when I was a kid, but I was force fed a couple of scoops of the stuff and found out that I actually kinda like it now. It’s a little like vegetables – I hated the stuff when I was younger, but have started loving some kinds of vegetables now.

feed me

Don’t make me hungry. You won’t like me when I’m hungry. Feed me.

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38 thoughts on “Pek tin yok – Eight Herb Soup

  1. Actually I like this soup but male are advise not to consume to much otherwise you will get high blood pressure.Foochow are good in preparing soup, when I was at Bintulu (Pantai Ria) last time I like the sea cucumber soup that they served its so special that I can’t get it anyway at Kch. I miss the fry kueh tiaw (Taman Li Hua Bintulu)its bloody SEDAP that also I can’t find at Kch.

  2. clementwpy: The juice at Sarikei or Little Umbrella. Little Umbrella doesn’t have very good juices. I had the dragonfruit juice and it tastes like durian. Seriously!
    Roland: Oh well, I already have high blood pressure (which is why I think I have ED problems sometimes) so it doesn’t matter that much to me anyway. ;)
    suituapui: I know the stuff you’re talking about…haven’t acquired a taste for it yet, but haven’t tried it in recent years either.

  3. “Don’t make me hungry. You won’t like me when I’m hungry. Feed me.”
    Oh HB, I like this final punch line. Just the one for me. ;)
    Shiawasenya… (it is a combination of Japanese and Malay, you figure that out. :P)

  4. juice from little umbrella la… ha ha, pak tin yolk from sariket… do they open 24 hours and serve that soup?

  5. mmm sounds good, must try that if i drop by Sibu. ahaha yeah i love that line, he said wrongly” you won’t like it when i’m hungry” LOL that line was even mention in one episode of dexter’s lab.

  6. fish fish: Haha! I love it too, funny huh? :)
    The word means happy-nya. ;)
    clementwpy: It’s from Little Umbrella in Sibu. They stay open till quite late but not 24 hours. It’s the one under the hotel that caters to the club hopping drinking crowd. Opens till 5-6 am during weekends.
    jessy: I’ll be thinking of hot soup if it’s chilly too. :)
    (=’.’=): I have a foot fetish, but I prefer female feet to chicken feet. ;)
    Darren: It’s the funniest line to Hulk 2. You watched Wanted yet? Amazing SFX. It’s worth watching.
    nelson: It’s in town near Sibu Chicken Rice.

  7. My favourite food again, both of the chicken feet and herbal soup. I like to have the soup with MeeSua. Male cannot have too much ‘Bek din Yuek’ It’s too heaty. =)

  8. miumiu: Hmm…I’ve always been told that certain foods are heaty and got a really good explaination (as in scientific) of what consitutes “heatiness” in Chinese. Apparently, sodium (salt) laden foods does an osmosis of sorts on the cellular leven and causes water retention (in addition to a host of other problems) thus the association with heatiness in Chinese. Finally, an explaination for the term. :)
    ahlost: Yeah, I haven’t had it for years too until she dragged me there. I don’t even like soup.
    willchua: I actually kind like the taste now. I couldn’t stand it when I was younger though.

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