Yee Sang @ Xia Mian Guan, Sunway Pyramid

Toss Yee Sang

Xia Mian Guan is a Chinese restaurant located outside Sunway Pyramid. I went with my better half for lunch (and our first yee sang together). The food here is surprisingly good, and we’ve never even heard of Xia Mian Guan before – this is our first time eating here! :)

Prosperity Salmon Yee Sang
Made with 7 colorful prosperity ingredients and fresh salmon, topped with special plum sauce

Salmon Yee Sang

I’ve had my first yee sang of the year last month but this is my first with my dear. I like how they’re very generous with the salmon – there’s none of that “thin slivers of salmon” thing going on here. You have thick slabs of salmon with the yee sang and that’s always a good thing.

However, I felt the yee sang at Celestial Court is much better, but these are two very different places – one is a high-end hotel restaurant and the other is a more affordable mall dining experience. It’s still decent but the best dishes are yet to come!

Tea Leaf Smoked Village Farmed Chicken
Healthy fresh village farmed chicken smoked with Pu Er tea leaves

Pu Er Tea Smoked Duck

I thought someone had lit a cigarette or at least popped out for a quick smoke before coming back into the room. That’s how strong and intense the smoke was! Of course, on second whiff, it doesn’t smell like tobacco at all, but your mind just automatically makes that connection. I have to stress that the plate was very far from me when it was brought it, which makes it all the more amazing!

My better half really liked this. The smoky flavor of Pu Er tea leaves can be smelled on the whole organic free range chicken and it’s really something different.

Pork Ribs infused with Red Wine
Succulent pork ribs cooked with Xia Mian Guan’s signature red wine sauce

Signature Red Braised Pork

Mmm…there are lean pieces, fatty bits and pork ribs mixed into this dish. I quite liked the house signature red wine sauce. This is Chinese style red wine meant for cooking, not the red wine you see in French cuisine. The common name for this dish is “Red Braised Pork” or 红烧肉.

Prawns in Curry Sauce
Made with chilli sauce, milk and fresh prawns. Best served with fried Man Tou for dipping.

Prawn Curry

My favorite dish! I was raving about this for days! This is easily the best thing that has come out of the Xia Mian Guan kitchen by a long shot. The prawn curry is so intensely infused with prawn flavor (perhaps they blended up the prawn heads) that it’s pleasantly shocking! The prawns are big and juicy and the fried bread is crispy on the outside and warm on the inside.

Man Tou

I can dip the fried bread into the delightful sweet and spicy curry sauce all day long!

Hong Kong Kai Lan
Specially selected Hong Kong Kai Lan, made with a pinch of salt to enhance its flavor

Hong Kong Kai Lan

The interesting thing about this dish is the contrasting texture – the stalks of the kai lan is steamed while the leaves are shredded and deep fried! There’s not a lot of oil so I suspect it might have been done in an air fryer. We’ve had a different twist on this dish before in banquets and dinners before – it’s also part of the “4 Heavenly Kings” way of preparing vegetables – this makes for crunchy, crispy vegetables combined with the soft juicy stalks.

Red Bean Kuih
Freshly prepared daily, the red bean kuih is soft, tasty and complements the sweetness of red bean

Red Bean Kuih

My dear was waiting for the final course to come out coz it sounded quite promising. The dish is portioned individually, with each person having one Chinese soup spoon. The red bean kueh is very nice – it’s not sweet at all, in fact there’s barely a hint of sweetness, all there is comes from the red beans so it’s a nice finish for people who don’t like overtly sweet desserts. I love the mochi-like texture of the chewy kueh too!

Xia Mien Guan

Xia Mian Guan (no English name) is a gem of a restaurant that we’ll be sure to go back too. Conventional wisdom suggests that hotels and malls don’t have really good restaurants but there are of course exceptions to this (there’s a couple of Michelin-starred establishments attached to hotels). This is one of them – a very nice restaurant that’s located at a very popular mall – Sunway Pyramid!

Xia Mian Guan
Outside Oasis Boulevard
Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
Jalan PJS 11/15 Sunway
Tel: 03 5611 7949

5 popular street food we ate in KL over the weekend

Lot 10 Hutong

Hutong Lot 10 has some of the most established and famous stalls from all around Klang Valley located in one convenient place. If I recall correctly, the criteria for getting a stall here is very high – your street food stall needs to be a household name and it has to be in operation for at least 2-3 generations.

Famous Street Food KL

This is the best of the best street food KL has to offer, and we ate here *every meal* during our staycation (our hotel was right beside Lot 10). Here’s five of our favorites:

1. Cheras Woo Pin Famous Fish Head Noodles

Cheras Woo Pin Famous Fish Head Noodles Stall

This is the distinctive fish noodles cooked with fresh milk that’s famous over here. The broth of the fish head noodles is almost white in color, due to the addition of either fresh milk or evaporated milk. It offsets any “fishy” taste and to top it off, the fish is fried, making this a very friendly dish for people who don’t like fish.

Cheras Woo Pin Famous Fish Head Noodles

Woo Pin Cheras Fried Fish Noodles (RM 10.85) comes with a few pieces of fish head and part of the fun is digging out the flesh from it. There’s also an option where you can add more fried fish slices for RM 21.30. My better half ordered this, I actually prefer a clean broth and blanched fish to fried fish – the latter destroys the taste but I know a lot of people like it and I’m trying to get over my discriminatory thinking. smirk

2. Pin Qian Klang Bak Kut Teh

Pin Qian Klang Bak Kut Teh Stall

This is one of the best BKT or “pork rib tea” I’ve had. There are a lot of Klang Bak Kut Teh outlets around nowadays but not all of them do the dish justice. Pin Qian has been operating since 1986 and they also have an outlet in Hutong Lot 10 (at ridiculously high prices).

Pin Qian Klang Bak Kut Teh

I had a small mixed bowl of fat and lean pork belly with a side of rice for RM 18.20 (over RM 20 after tax and the mandatory tissue packet). There’s always a long queue to get this though coz it’s absolutely fantastic – the meat is fork-tender and the herbal soup is so thick, it’s divine!

3. China Town Seng Kee Claypot Chicken Rice

China Town Seng Kee Claypot Chicken Rice Stall

This is the sister outlet of the famous place in Petaling Street. It was actually the first place I ever tasted “KL style” Claypot Chicken Rice as a kid. We were living in Sibu and came to KL for a family vacation and my dad brought us here since he missed eating this from when he was himself a university student.

China Town Seng Kee Claypot Chicken Rice

I love the crispy caramelized rice at the bottom of the sizzling hot claypot which you have to dig out! I ordered it with an extra egg cracked on top for RM 14.25. It’s delicious but China Town See Keng in Petaling Street is more famous for their Claypot Loh Shu Fan, which they also serve here in their Hutong Lot 10 branch.

4. Imbi Road Original Pork Noodle

Imbi Road Original Pork Noodle Stall

This is an awesome place to eat if you love pork although I still think the original outlet in Jalan Imbi is better. The RM 9.90 bowl of pork noodles here is made by foreign cooks and although the same process and recipes are used, as you can see in this video:

It somehow tastes better at the founding outlet.

Imbi Road Original Pork Noodle

This isn’t my taste buds playing tricks with me or ambiance issues, there is also another famous noodle stall at Hutong Lot 10 – this time dedicated to our bovine instead of porcine friends – Soong Kee Beef Noodles, and it tastes the same as the first outlet.

5. Tai Lei Loi Kei Macau

Tai Lei Loi Kei Macau Pork Chop Bun Stall

Yup, the wildly famous Macau establishment which everyone goes to for the esteemed Macau Pork Bun has an outlet at Hutong Lot 10 too! They had a loop of Anthony Bourdain visiting their original Macau outlet in Tai Lei Loi Kei Taipa playing on a TV in an episode of No Reservations.

Tai Lei Loi Kei Macau Pork Chop Bun

The RM 13.90 Choapa Bao (Pork Chop Bun) here is decent, but not as good as the one I had in Macau. We ordered one to share and found the pork chop itself to be slightly overcooked and overseasoned. I did find one inch of juicy meat though but unfortunately the rest of the (rather large) pork chop was dry.

Thai Boat Noodle Soup in Hat Yai

boat noodle soup

Boat noodle soup is known as guai dtiaw rua (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ) in Thailand. We happened to chance upon this popular stall during our last day in Hat Yai. This place seems to serve both pork and beef noodles according to the signboard but the cook told us it’s pork noodles.

boat noodle soup hatyai

Better still, the stall makes their own pork rinds! It’s hanging above the stall and these beautiful pork crackling is the product of the deep fried skin of the pork and is meant to be eaten with the noodles. They carry other brands on the table too but their own is the one with the red pig.

Just listen to the pork rind crackling in the boat noodle soup!

boat noodle soup thailand

The name boat noodle soup came from the early days when boats will pull up to the pier and tie off before serving soup to people who would come and eat at the banks. There are still markets like these in Hat Yai e.g. Hat Yai Floating Market but mostly boat noodle soup has become a land based operation.

boat noodle soup locals

You can choose from several kinds of noodles from rice vermicelli to kueh tiaw and we tried two different ones. The serving is really small – probably 2-3 heaped spoonfuls of noodles in total. However, it’s loaded with pieces of pork, meatballs, and pork liver as well as a smattering of vegetables.

thai boat noodle soup

There’s also a side of raw vegetables and bean sprouts as per Thai custom. I’m not sure if it’s THB 35 or THB 40 per bowl coz we didn’t ask but I know the pack of pork crackling is THB 15.

boat noodle soup pork rinds

You’re supposed to add the pork rind into the boat noodle soup before you eat it. The soup base is delicious – they actually put blood into the broth and season it with various herbs and it tastes fabulous. The soup base really has all the five tastes inside – sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami! I was very impressed.

boat noodle soup pork crackling

This is indeed a good find as we saw that the patrons of the stall were almost all locals. They did not seem to charge us a “tourist price” either. The total came up to 110 baht for two bowls of boat noodle soup, a pack of pork rinds and drinks.

The best pork leg rice in Hat Yai

pork leg rice hat yai

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this place. My better half wanted to come here for lunch – she’s been here before and thought it was delicious. We had just arrived in Hat Yai and checked into the hotel before taking a short walk to this place.

khao kha moo hatyai

Braised pork leg with rice is called khao kha moo in Thai. Obviously, my Thai is limited so I don’t actually know the name of the stall but it’s located on Prachatipat Road. It’s very close to Lee Garden Plaza Hotel – turn left after you walk out and it’s two blocks down, at a very conspicuous corner lot that’s always *packed* with customers.

pig in bikini

There’s a really funny life sized cast of a pig dressed in a bikini sitting on her own chair beside the stall. You won’t miss it, it has a way of catching your eye. smirk The meat served here is braised pig’s trotters, one of the best parts of the pig! They only have one cut of meat but that’s a good thing coz they do it so well.

sugarcane juice

It was a hot day and we ordered a big bottle of nam oi (fresh sugarcane juice) to share. It comes in a recycled 640 ml beer bottle and costs 100 baht (RM 10). It’s worth it though, the chilled raw sugarcane juice here is undiluted and comes complete with sediments. I asked for ice cubes so it made it all the more refreshing (and it boosts energy from the sugar too).

thai condiments

You have the choice of a plate of pork leg rice with egg for 60 baht (about RM 6) or platters for two starting from 140 baht, excluding rice. There’s also the option of having the pig trotter meat on top of your rice or served separately – we went for the former.

It didn’t look like much when it came – there were a few slices of choice pork from the trotters, braised pig’s skin, egg, pickled vegetables on top of a plate of rice with the gravy poured over it. However, when I ate the first bite, I was instantly converted. It’s crazy good!

khao kha moo

The Thai style salted vegetables are slightly sweet (unlike our local salty pickled vegetable) and goes very well as an acidic component on the plate. The smattering of fresh coriander (whole stalks, not just the leaves) adds a great dimension of flavor and the star of the show, the braised pork leg is absolutely fabulous – fork tender, melt-in-your-mouth porcine goodness.

I told my dear that I wasn’t very hungry then but I polished off my plate faster than she did! Even the humble braised egg adds a lot to the dish. The khao kha moo here is delicious and everything on the plate belongs there, including the Thai style chilli sauce. I like how they’re generous with the gravy too.

pork leg rice stall

I could eat here everyday and not get sick but since we’re on holiday, I had to limit myself to just that once so we could eat other things. The bill came up to THB 222 for two. I’m thinking fondly of this pig trotter rice now, I would certainly go back again next time we’re in Hat Yai! :)

The Joy of Sharing, Kota Damansara

pulau ketam set

I wanted to bring my better half out to a new fish head place last night that I’ve been meaning to try for a while but it was raining heavily so there were no tables outside. It was also the Deepavali public holidays so a lot of people were out eating that night.

the joy of sharing

Unable to get a table, we went for a steamboat dinner instead at The Joy of Sharing. This is a very popular hotpot place that’s constantly packed but we managed to get seated. I always say that I’m not particularly fond of soup dishes or tofu (and steamboat has both in spades) but truth to be told, my palate has changed a lot as I’ve grown up.

joy of sharing

I’ll eat anything and enjoy it nowadays. We decided to go for a mixed Seafood Superior Soup and Tomyam Soup combination in our hotpot. The Seafood Superior Soup is the flagship of The Joy of Sharing and it’s actually quite nice. I also upgraded our order from the Pulau Ketam Set (RM 33.60 for 2 pax) to the Special Mix Set (RM 37.60 / 2 pax).

joy of sharing hotpot

The latter has everything the former seafood heavy option has, plus some pork offerings which you can cook shabu-shabu style in the hotpot:

  • Thick cut bacon
  • Pork balls
  • Pork slices
  • Scallops
  • Prawns
  • Fish balls
  • Fish noodles
  • Tofu
  • Eggs (quail and chicken)
  • Enoki mushrooms
  • Vegetables
  • Homemade dumplings
  • Rice vermicelli
  • Noodles

…and that’s just the ones I can remember. smirk

homemade dumplings

It’s actually a pretty good deal and I can see why the place is packed all the time. The service is good and refills for soup comes pretty fast too.

thick cut bacon

I found that I actually rather enjoy eating hotpot/steamboat during a rainy night and having to build up the flavors of the soup in the pot by gradually adding in ingredients is fun! The Joy of Sharing also has a new “soup” called Silky Porridge which is an innovative congee based soup for steamboat!

hotpot noodles

Parking can be a bit of a pain in that area, especially if it’s raining but as per custom with steamboat places over here, the staff actually helps you with parking. You can double park and block someone else’s car and if they finish before you, one of the waiters will come and get you to shift your car.

joy of sharing us

Our car was also blocked when we were done but the diner came out in less than a minute so I thought the system works really well. It’s a good dinner and we enjoyed the 2 hour respite from the rain, eating hearty and warm hotpot – the Seafood Superior Soup is really good.

scallops prawns

We’ll be back to try the new Silky Porridge “soup” when we feel like eating something more substantial. The bill came up to RM 48.40 for two, inclusive of drinks, which is quite cheap considering the items bundled into the set.

The Joy of Sharing
(also known as Ba Sheng Zai Huo Guo)
15, Jalan PJU 5/3
Dataran Sunway
Kota Damansara

Yuzu Ramen @ Yamagoya Ramen, Publika Solaris Dutamas

yamagoya ramen kl

We’ve been hankering for some good ramen so my better half and I decided to drive down to Publika over the weekend so we can do some grocery shopping and satisfy our ramen craving at the same time. I actually don’t think about ramen much, it’s my dear who loves to eat it, so I try to accommodate her. <3

yamagoya ramen

Yamagoya Ramen has been open for a few years and it’s claim for fame is Hakata style ramen with their tonkotsu (pork bone broth) made with pork bones flown all the way here from Japan! Their black garlic ramen is pretty well known too and I wanted to order the flagship Mukashi Special Ramen (RM 24) before I was tempted by a Japanese flyer advertising some ramen made with citrus.

yamagoya ramen menu

I asked one of the waiters and he explained that it was their new yuzu ramen, made with that citrus fruit which is a hybrid of sour mandarin and Ichang papeda oranges. It has a pork broth that looks appealingly lime green in the picture and I was quite intrigued by it. They also have a lemon ramen if you’re so inclined.

Yuzu Ramen (RM 26)

yuzu ramen

I was expecting an intensely overpowering yuzu flavored broth. I was wrong. It was perfectly balanced. The tonkotsu was seasoned with a reasonable amount of yuzu citrus fruits and it actually tasted really good!

I ordered it as a lark but it turned out better than I expected. The char siu (pork belly slices) I got with my ramen had a nice and distinguished layer of fat together with the lean meat and it was a wonderful bowl of ramen that I’ll go back for.

Roasted Char Siu Ramen (RM 24)

roasted char siu ramen

My better half got this and the broth was a lot more hearty and robust compared to mine. The thickness of the roasted char siu is commendable too – one slice is easily more than ½ inch which makes one piece of her char siu equivalent to 3-4 of mine.

It has a nice char (smirk) on it too – the roasted flavors comes through forcefully and considering there are 3 slices of the roasted char siu inside this bowl of ramen, it has a rather generous amount of protein for a ramen dish. It’s worth the RM 62.65 bill for two.

yamagoya ramen us

There was a Japanese family next to us who used the sesame seed dispenser *liberally* and I tried that too. It turns out that it works very well with the flavors of ramen. You can also order a bowl of rice to eat with your leftover broth if you want. The correct way to eat it is to take a small scoop of rice from the bowl before submersing it into your leftover broth and finally putting it into your mouth.

sesame seed ramen

I read that while researching for our Japan trip. Haha. It’s actually a good way to finish up the leftover broth instead of ordering the usual additional portion of ramen noodles.

Yamagoya Ramen
A2-G2-8, Solaris Dutamas
1, Jalan Dutamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur

Raw Pork Noodles a.k.a. Sheng Rou Mee

raw pork noodles

I first heard my uncle singing praises about this new place in Sibu. It was the coffee shop that we wanted to go to after my mom’s 3rd day funeral services but it was closed. My dad and I went hunting for it with my aunts the day before I was supposed to fly back to KL.

sheng rou mee

The place serves sheng rou mee which is roughly translated as “raw pork noodles”. The meat is not raw per se but it’s very rare. The meat is pounded into small, thin slices and then served in a broth and it cooks with ambient heat much like shabu shabu.

oily noodles

There are four (4) types of noodles on offer – the most popular is kampua mee, followed by oily noodles e.g. “you mien”. The latter is different from the ones in KL – the Sibu version is much thinner and absorbs the lard well. The noodles are tossed in lard oil, much like kampua mee.

wan li sheng rou mee

There you have it – Wan Li Sheng Rou Mee is basically kampua mee with a side dish of clear broth with rare pork slices inside…

raw pork soup

…and it’s delicious!

wan li pork noodles

The place was *packed* when we were there and new customers streamed in as soon as the others left. It’s RM 5 per dish, irrespective of the noodle type you choose but I’ll opt for the kampua as it goes with it well.

pork slices

It’s the latest fad to hit the town and I have to say that my uncle was spot on, it’s a nice place. Considering that a plate of kampua with radioactive red char siew goes for RM 2.50 in most stalls, paying a little extra for a nice bowl of clear broth with generous amounts of pork slices inside is apparently, a very solid business model!

Betty’s Midwest Kitchen, Dataran Prima

bettys kitchen

I remember going to this pork friendly (or rather unfriendly, if you’re a pig, it really depends on where you stand smirk) establishment way back when it opened. I stayed at Dataran Prima Condominium when I came to KL again in 2008 and this was just around the corner. It generated a lot of buzz when it came out – and I thought it closed down and haven’t been there in years, until last night.

bettys midwest kitchen

It was a rainy night and also a Chinese festival (Winter Solstice) and we decided to go back to see if it’s still open. It was…and business is booming!

bettys aman suria

I mean that literally, we arrived early so we were seated within 5 minutes but there were others waiting on stools while it rained for an hour! It’s the only shoplot that has a security guard to direct and seat people too. Haha!

(He did also help us get into the car by escorting with dual umbrellas)

Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale (RM 18)

dead guy ale

This is a “craft brewed” beer that’s brewed in Oregon, following the Midwest theme. They have a couple of beers from that region (mostly from Rogue Ales) at a reasonable price so I had this maibock with dinner. It’s an import, robust (it’s a bock, not an ale as the name suggests) with all the sediments you’ll expect to find, I liked it.

pigs

Betty’s Midwest Kitchen is known for their porcine menu offerings – I remember their “Dog Food” best, which is fries and pork and cheese all churned together into a melted and delicious mess. This time, we ordered three mains:

Pulled Pork Burger (RM 12)

pulled pork burger

This is another popular offering – a filling main with fried burger buns and pulled pork at a reasonable price. I like the way they fried the buns and the slow-roasted and shredded pork tastes good with their “secret” BBQ sauce.

Baby Back Ribs (RM 32.50)

baby back ribs

This is probably the most expensive item on their menu. It’s grilled pork ribs marinated in their special rub and sauce and grilled to succulent tenderness. That’s the menu description, the reality is a bit of a let down. I remember them having way better ribs than this. The dish we had last night was rather disappointing.

I recommend Racks Bar and Baby Backs in Changkat Bukit Bintang if you’re looking for awesome ribs (wonder if it’s still open?).

Pork Chop with Apples (RM 23)

pork chop apples

Hot off the pan, their pork chops are pan-fried to juicy tenderness and served with their delicious house mash potatoes (love their sauce). There’s two huge chops and the apples naturally goes well with pork – you know the cartoon pig with a *shiny red apple* in its mouth ready to be roasted? :)

I liked this dish, it’s one of their better ones. The entire meal cost RM 94.05 for the both of us. Betty’s Midwest Kitchen charges RM 0.30 for iced water according to their menu but they waived it for us in the bill.

betty us

Overall, the service was decent and the food was good. However, it wasn’t as good as when I ate here years ago. It’s still intensely popular and they enforce a lot of rules (like no seating until entire party is there) so I guess they must still be doing something right. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but it’s just not the awesomeness that I remember it to be.

tong yuen

My dear made me some tong yuen for the Winter Solstice and that’s a wonderful dessert to end the night! <3

Betty’s Midwest Kitchen
Jalan PJU 1/43, Aman Suria,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Pork skin noodles – making noodles out of pig skin

uncooked pig noodles

This is not your usual noodle dish. The noodles are made of pig skin. It’s not pork noodles – it’s pig skin noodles! The noodle is not the carbohydrate in this dish – it’s the protein! I first came across this in an episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America. I did a quick search for the restaurant that serves this and came across a blog post that describes exactly how to make pig noodles out of pig skin.

making pig noodles

I had to source for the pig skin – most butchers don’t sell pig skin. It’s either discarded or meant to be sold with the cut of meat. However, I went to Sanbanto – an organic farm-to-table butcher cum restaurant and made my unusual request.

pig skin softening

The clerk was puzzled for a second while processing what I really wanted and took a bag from under the counter. She gave it to me free of charge. I wonder why it was bagged like that in the first place but it didn’t register right then coz I got into a conversation of what I wanted to do with the pig skin – to make noodles!

pork belly skin

The pig skin I got is from the belly (as can be seen from the teats) and I tried slicing it but the skin proved to be way too tough for any of my knives so I decided to wait until I’ve finished it. I wanted to make pig skin noodle ramen like the post I read in From Belly to Bacon – but with a different twist. I’ll do a two animal broth!

chicken carcass pork bone

You will need:

  • Pig skin (find sheets so it’s easier to cut strips of noodles)
  • Pork bone for soup
  • Chicken carcass
  • Edible flowers

chicken pork stock

I used a chicken carcass and a large pig bone for soups in my cooker. There are ramen places like Santouka Ramen that’s famous for their chicken broth and other Japanese ones who use the traditional pork broth. I wanted a combination of both.

pig skin sheets

The rice cooker was filled up to 1.8 litres of water, after the displacement made by the chicken carcass and pig bone. I also threw in the pig skin so it’ll be easier to cut once it’s tender and cooked.

making pig skin noodles

I took:

  • 14 hours
  • 4 litres of water
  • 4 refills

stirring stock

to boil the ramen stock. It was an overnight event with alarms set to refill the cooker.

boiling stock

However, I made a *very big mistake* – I left the pig skin in too long. I should have taken it out at the 2 hour point and cut strips out of it. I left it in for the entire 14 hour duration and it was a soggy mess when I attempted to slice it into strips of noodles.

pig-skin

It was quite a feat since everything in the cooker was pulverized and reduced into a very yummy and gelatinous goo. I did manage to slice it and poured the broth (it’s way thicker than what you’ll associate with this word) over it for a bowl of ramen.

refill broth

This is my first attempt. I would like to do two things differently next time:

  1. Take the pig skin out after 3 minutes of boiling to cut into strips of pig noodles
  2. Freeze and strain the gelatinous broth through muslin cloth to create consomme – a very clear broth – to highlight the pig noodles better

reduced broth

The end result after 14 hours of boiling – very hearty and thick semi-liquid with a consistency more like lard than water. We both liked a small bowl but eating more than that would be quite a challenge due to the heavy stock.

slicing pig skin

This is quite soggy but ideally the pig skin should just be soft enough to slice though…

sliced pig noodles

…and retain a very al dente texture!

pig noodles carb

My better half managed to eat her bowl though. I did hers with some rice vermicelli to provide some carbohydrates – the pig skin noodle is the protein in this dish!

pig skin noodle ramen

The stock is simply poured out after layering the pig skin noodles in a bowl. I also did some decorating with edible flowers – not just for aesthetics but to provide a refreshing crunch and a (semi) balanced meal. smirk

pig skin noodles

Mine was a pure pork skin noodle made out of pig skin ramen with broth from the chicken and swine stock. It was a fun and interesting cooking experiment that I’ll like to try again with consomme and a quail egg! :)

Rosti cottage pie with fresh Chorizo sausages, bacon, minced pork, fennel, curly kale and kidney

rosti pie topping

This is my attempt to do a cottage pie with lots of pork inside a pressure pan with a Rosti topping instead of mashed potatoes. I think it turned out pretty good despite the medley of ingredients – that’s what makes it work! :)

rosti cottage pie

You will need:

  • Rosti
  • Chorizo sausages
  • Minced pork
  • Fennel
  • Curly kale
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Whole pig kidney

frying rosti

I made the Rosti topping first. It’s a Swiss potato dish that comes out flat. It consists of sliced potatoes and herbs and you can make your own but we bought this packaged Rosti that had just enough to fill the pan.

rosti

I needed it to fill the pan coz it’s supposed to be a cottage pie – like a Shepard’s pie, the Rosti needed to cover all the ingredients underneath. I pan fried it until it was cooked and set it off to the side while I made the other ingredients in the pie.

bacon fryup

Next up was the bacon. I fried about 12 rashers of streaky bacon so I ended up with about 3 heaped tablespoons of fragrant pork oil.

bacon grease

Check it out! All this yield from just a dozen rashers of bacon. :)

chorizo sausages

The oil was used to fry up the fresh Chorizo sausages. I chose the fresh Chorizos as opposed to the cured sausage coz I didn’t want the flavorful sausages to overpower the taste of the pie.

fresh chorizo sausages

Plus, it was on special when we bought it so it cost just RM 31.57 for 4 sausages – about RM 8 per sausage (!!!). I also set these aside.

sliced fennel

Next, I cut up the fennel to small pieces and set it aside. I learned how to prepare fennel from a YouTube video and wanted to add it to the pie. Again, set this aside. I didn’t need to cook this so everything that needed to be cooked was given the heat treatment then set aside and the raw ingredients were just set to one side to be combined later in the cottage pie.

steamed kale

The curly kale was steamed while I was working on cooking the Chorizo sausages. Steamed kale is the best way to prepare it coz it retains all of it’s nutrients. It tastes delicious too!

kidney

I went on to cook the whole pig kidney. I didn’t slice it up or do anything fancy – it was just chucked into the frying pan with the remainder of the oil from the bacon fry up and then cooked for a bit.

broke spatula

It was a bit of a challenge to do this coz I forgot to take it out of the freezer and I actually broke a spatula while trying to fry it evenly!

pork mince

After replacing the spatula, I took about a pound of fresh minced pork and fried it. There was still bacon grease at this point! smirk

rosti pie ingredients

Now that I had everything I wanted to cook prepared and waiting set off and ready for the final combination. This is everything that goes into the Rosti cottage pie!

egg filling

I used four (4) eggs and beat them with some flour and baking powder…

raw milk

…before topping the mixture off with raw milk. This is an awesome find. It’s unpasteurized and non-homogenized milk. It’s supposed to be heated up before drinking (due to health concerns) but it tasted just fine from the bottle. Every bottle tastes different too coz there’s no homogenized treatment! I love this milk but it’s really *expensive* at about RM 9+ for 1 liter.

butter lined pan

I also used a long tube of butter and greased up the surface of the non-stick pressure fryer.

kidney pie

I then dumped everything except the vegetables into it – Chorizo sausages, bacon, minced pork, kidney.

meaty pie filling

The egg + fresh milk + flour + baking powder mixture was poured to cover all the meat inside.

setting pie

This was cooked for about 3 minutes and right before the egg mixture solidified, I put the pieces of sliced raw fennel into it.

fennel pie

I then closed the pressure pan again and let it cook until everything was done.

kale topping

The steamed curly kale was added on top and then the pressure pan closed so that it’ll retain the pie shape.

rosti topping

I left it for a couple of seconds before opening it again and sliding the cooked Rosti for the topping. It was left for another minute so the general shape of the cottage pie would be firm.

rosti pie serving

I served this just like a regular cottage pie. It tasted really good! The fresh Chorizo sausages and bacon added a lot of flavor to the pie. The minced pork filled it up and the generous bits of fennel and the curly kale topping made this into a full nutritious meal.

rosti pie

I think my Rosti cottage pie with fresh Chorizo sausages, bacon, minced pork, fennel, curly kale and kidney was quite awesome! My better half even ate more than her usual serving! :)

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