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.

Cooking a 3-Course Meal with S&P Santan!

soup ceera

I was fortunate enough to be cooking a complete meal of three courses organized by S&P Santan in Sungai Buloh. The I <3 S&P Santan Cooking Workshop is helmed by Chef Andri Hadi – a very interesting character indeed!

chef andri hadi

I was teamed up with Ceera Noh and I have to admit I couldn’t ask for a better partner. She has solid, practical skills as a mom and seasoned a lot of our dishes to perfection.

team

I was more focused on plating and I tried very hard not to let her down by doing it professionally.

cutting onions

I dare say that our presentation was best – it wasn’t clownish and kid-like on one side of the spectrum it wasn’t sloppy on the other (did three plates for our main course before I was satisfied).

team awesome

The I <3 S&P Santan Cooking Workshop is actually a contest between all the participants. There were 5-6 teams of two in total. I humbly named us “Team Awesome”. smirk

Appetizer: Spinach Broccoli Coconut Soup

appetizer

The first dish that we cooked. I sliced up the broccoli florets and garlic while Ceera did the vegetable soup stock. We didn’t cook the fresh baby spinach but blended it into the soup later, as the chef did.

ceera hb

I also went up to do the Massimo Wheat Germ garlic bread.

butter garlic bread

It’s really easy, just butter one side with butter and twist it, sealing it in with another dab of butter.

spinach broccoli

I love the ease of the S&P Santan Instant Coconut Cream Powder. It comes in 50 gram packs of Original, Omega 3 and Pandan and we used the first for this. You can dilute it with 1 cup of water for heavy coconut cream or 2 cups of thin coconut cream but for this recipe, we just poured it into the saucepan and seasoned it with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I really liked how versatile and convenient the product was.

cooking with ceera

We worked pretty well as a team and since I proofed myself somewhat adept (at least I didn’t burn down the kitchen) – I plated up. Our spinach broccoli coconut soup is a real French style soup – thick and hearty.

layering soup

I floated a tablespoon of S&P Santan Coconut Milk on top for contrast and flavor.

spinach broccoli soup

It received pretty good reviews from the chef and heartened, we moved on to the next dish.

Entrée: Baked Cajun Chicken Wings

entree

This is something that both of us knew how to do and the chef did a demonstration while asking us to work at the same speed – no problems there.

fritter batter

We shared an oven with another group of two girls and thus we put in our chicken together. There is a great irony somewhere here.

cajun chicken

I carefully arranged my chicken wings so that the tips were facing *outside* on the baking tray. This is done so that the heat of the convection oven won’t burn the meat.

perfect wings

Unfortunately, we didn’t know that the oven hasn’t been pre-heated and when the chef came over to everyone’s station to look at their chicken, ours was the very best in the entire class. It’s browned to perfection!

cooking ceera

We made the Coconut Pandan Cheese Sauce with Blue Key Superfine Flour, S&P Pandan Santan Coconut Cream Powder and 2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese. Both Ceera and I tasted the sauce and it was good – I made sure that sufficient time has passed so that any raw flour has been “cooked out”.

coconut milk cheese

I plated the chicken in a smear of the coconut pandan cheese sauce and stood two chicken wings up, supported by each other.

same oven

…and when it came judging time, it turns out that our chicken was raw. -_-

chef andri

It needed 3 more minutes in the oven due to the lack of pre-heating (we both thought the other team had done it).

judging

Oh well.

cajun chicken wings

Here’s our dish!

Dessert: Cavendish Coconut Fritters

dessert

I learned a very nifty trick during the I Love S&P Santan Cooking Workshop. Banana fritters tastes a lot better if you dip it alternately into batter and desiccated coconut. We used 1 cup of S&P Santan Sejati Desiccated Coconut and 1 cup Blue Key Superfine Flour for the dry coating. The desiccated coconut really comes in handy as it has a longer shelf life and comes in a convenient pack.

bananas

We actually learned from the previous mistake and made sure to make two batches. I sliced up one banana for the first test batch while Ceera did the second batch.

coating fritters

Our Cavendish Coconut Fritters were deep fried for 2 minutes in boiling hot oil before we plated up in front of the judge.

deep fryers

I did the plating and I had planned to do a quenelle of vanilla ice cream to show off my skills.

banana fritters

Unfortunately, the ice cream was way too solid and despite heating two ceramic Chinese soup spoons on the burner, I could barely make a passable quenelle. I’m glad I did it though, no one else did and I saw from the blank looks that not many knew what a quenelle is either (except for the chef, of course).

hot spoon

I also finished with a flair with some toasted desiccated coconut and a smear of caramel and passed it to the judge. We were the first team to finish.

quenelle

Although we didn’t win anything (the winner was a female duo from Weibo) it was fun to cook with someone with a Malay heritage and a practical background as opposed to my more recent and modern interpretation of cuisine. Ceera was the one who seasoned and tasted everything and I felt bad that we didn’t win.

cavendish fritters

Nevertheless, it was a fun morning and afternoon learning about the various uses of S&P Santan products. Coconut oil and milk is a source of healthy HDL cholesterol and has numerous health benefits. This is something that Australians and people from the United States are finding out and they’re using more coconut milk in their cooking. The S&P Santan products are easy to use and cater for health conscious consumers as they do not contain artificial preservatives and flavorings.

fritters

It’s a very trendy ingredient and I have a whole range of S&P Santan products at home now. I’ll share more when I cook soon!

keep calm

Do you have your own recipes using S&P Santan coconut milk? Share your recipes at the S&P Industries Facebook page and win more than RM 1,900 worth of prizes!

spinach soup

Thanks to S&P Santan and Chef Andri Hadi for a great time! A big thank you to FFM Marketing for providing the superb venue – I loved the clean and well-equipped kitchen islands. It’s open for rental too – contact marketing@ffmb.com.my or 03-61457888 for enquiries.

spinach leaves

Props to Denise and Michele for their tireless photography and cheers to my team-mate Ceera Noh for being awesome! :)

Raro East Meets West Cuisine

soup in bread bowl

Raro serves up a mish mash of cuisine, like the restaurant’s name suggests. However, the “Eastern” dishes consists basically of rice with the steaks and other mainstays of “Western” cuisine. My dad is a regular there with his friends and he says the bread is really good.

raro

I took my dad out to dinner last night and checked out the Chef’s Special Mushroom Soup. That’s the official moniker for it, it’s mushroom soup inside a hollowed out bread bowl. The bread is sourced from a bakery here and it’s pretty good.

soup in bread

This appetizer goes for RM 6.90 and you can opt for it to be separated (like my dad’s order) if you don’t want the bread to go soggy. I like the soup inside the bread though so I went the regular way.

bread in soup bowl

I also had a New Zealand Lamb Chop (RM 20.90). It’s quite cheap for the portion – three thinly sliced lamb chops served in an oblique dish with half a boiled potato and some vegetables. I wasn’t very impressed with the sides but the meat is solid enough.

nz lamb chop

My dad doesn’t eat a lot of meat so he didn’t order a main and just had some off mine. Even with his help, the portion is quite satisfactory. However, one thing I didn’t like is the fact that everything comes in at once – they don’t wait for you to finish the appetizer before serving the mains.

hb dad

I think that’s how it’s done in Sibu but I still don’t like it. The drinks are pretty good though – had a Milo Shake (RM 8.90) and they didn’t skimp and dilute it. Raro East Meets West Cuisine is primarily known for its steaks and soup in a bread bowl but I didn’t find it exceptional.

raro restaurant

Good bonding time with my dad before everyone comes back tomorrow though! :D

Tang Shifu

tang shifu

Tang Shifu literally translates to “soup master”. I was surprised that there is a place which has soup as the predominant feature of it’s menu. There is just a token nod to other dishes (probably half a dozen or so) but their menu is filled with pages and pages of soup! :)

tang shifu cheesie

I went there with Cheesie last week for lunch. I didn’t feel like eating a huge meal and a place that serves up soup (no, it’s not a soup kitchen) sounds pretty appealing to me so we headed over to Tang Shifu. It is actually a franchise with most of it’s branches in Johor but there’s two outlets in the Klang Valley.

tang shifu soup

American Ginseng Bei Qi Sharks Bone Chicken Soup (RM 19.90)
This is supposed to be a souped up version of chicken soup. It claims to replenish blood cells, calms the mind and nourishes the lungs. Ringo had this for lunch.

american ginseng sharks bone chicken soup

I like how they serve it – it comes in one of those containers you use for Cantonese style double boiling soup.

dried scallops petite abalone mixed rice

Dried Scallops & Petite Abalone Mixed Rice (RM 15.90)
To be honest, I ordered this one coz it looks good in the menu. Heh. It’s supposed to nourish and strengthen your physique and I like how they mix the steamed rice into the soup.

petite abalone

I’ve never seen abalone like these either. The petite abalone is *tiny* – it’s the size of a piece of contact lens…that’s how small it is. It tasted pretty healthy (which means it’s blander than the stuff I normally eat) and you have to consume it quite rapidly before the rice starts soaking up the broth but it’s good soup. :)

snow jelly with gingko

Snow Jelly with Gingko (RM 8.90)
This is Ringo’s dessert – it’s a classic one, and the menu says it revitalizes and moisturizes your skin, calms your mind and regulates breathing.

dried pear with chuan bei

Dried Pear with Chuan Bei (RM 6.90)
I also went with this coz it looks appealing in the menu. It’s supposed to help with coughs and clear phlegm in addition to relieving heat. I don’t know about that but it tastes pretty good. ;) It’s the presentation more than anything – the slice of dried pear with the assortment of other things you’ll usually find in a Chinese herbal shop in a bowl, chilled.

tang shifu us

Tang Shifu has stuff like Buddha Jumps Over The Wall (RM 69.90) too. However, it doesn’t seem to be very popular – the lunch time crowd was decidedly absent, we had the place to ourselves except for two other tables and Tang Shifu is a huge restaurant…that specializes in soup. (of all things)

Bak kut teh fortified with pig’s heart

Bah Kut Teh Recipe #3: Bak kut teh soup with pig’s heart

pig heart

A proper bak kut teh dish MUST have pork in it. It doesn’t matter what cut of pork (or offal) but the oink must be in the soup at some point.

pigs heart

This is the third and final installment of a three-step cooking process with my bak kut teh recipe. The first one is Chik kut teh with oily chicken rice and the second is the simple Bak kut teh ramen with drumstick and egg.

pig heart blood

Here comes the final dish of the series (sorry for the delay) where the bak kut teh soup has been stewed through all those two recipes, absorbing all the tastes and flavors in the process. The soup is delicious. It’s orgasmic. It just needs:

pig heart vein

A bleeding heart! *cue “We have a bleeder!”

pig heart prep

Well, a pig’s heart anyway. These things are pretty cheap, you can get a whole pig’s heart for about RM 4. I’ve cooked with pig’s heart before and can attest to the taste and texture of this wonderful organ in the portfolio of porcine delights.

pig heart slices

Start by slicing the pig heart into manageable pieces…

bkt pig heart

…before dumping it into the soup. There’s a lot of clotted blood inside the poor pink animal’s heart and you might want to remove that or just cook it as clotted blood. It really doesn’t make much of a difference as long as you wash it first. :)

bak kut teh pig heart

Let the pig’s heart simmer for about 30 minutes and you’ll end your bak kut teh adventures on a high note. The broth is hearty and the pig’s heart is chewy and absorbs all the flavors, producing a delectable slice of <3.

ABC soup and the stone soup folk tale

abc soup recipe

ABC soup is basically a soup where you dunk in everything that’s available to make a clear broth soup. The traditional (if such a word can be used to describe this) method calls for:

abc soup vegetables

An onion (whole)
Carrots
Potatoes
Tomatoes

abc soup ingredients

I used to think that ABC soup is called that because it’s easy as 1-2-3 (or ABC) but I’ve been thinking about this old folk tale about the stone soup story. There are variants of this story but the one I heard is about this traveller who comes into a village hungry with nothing but a pot.

abc soup pot

He asks the villagers for some ingredients to put into the soup but no one wanted to part with anything. He then announces that he’s got a “magical stone” that makes wonderful soup and proceeds to fill the pot with water and puts the stone inside. So, he’s sitting there, stirring what amounts to nothing but water when a curious villager comes over and asks if it’s done.

abc soup cook

The traveller says not yet, but it would help if someone had carrots to put in it. Enhances the flavor, the dude casually mentions. The villager grudgingly says that he might have some carrots at home and adds it to the hot water. This became a cascading effect as the villagers watched the traveller cook his soup – each one started contributing their own stuff – a bit of meat, some onions, tomatoes etc and lo and behold – it was the best soup they’ve ever tasted.

abc soup boil

There’s a moral in there somewhere but that’s not why I’m writing this post. Heh! ABC soup has become something of a staple in our cooking since it’s quite versatile and very easy to cook. You basically need onions (sliced in half), carrots (diced), potatoes (whole if you use the tiny ones) and tomatoes (sliced in half).

abc soup peel

Just use to golden rule:
PEEL the stuff that needs peeling
SLICE the stuff that needs slicing
DICE the stuff that needs dicing

abc soup

You bring a pot of water to boil, add some salt to taste and dunk everything in. Allow this to simmer for 30 minutes or so and it’s ready to eat!

abc soup heat

The best thing about this is that even if you can’t finish it you can still eat (we use more ingredients than soup) it in the middle of the night. There’s this thermos like thing (except it’s much bigger) that we use to keep it warm.

abc soup leftover

I can just scoop some out and eat it at 3 am in the morning if I’m hungry. ABC soup is easy to cook and infinitely customizable – we’ve put leftover minced meat inside too, it goes very well with just about anything. It’s really healthy compared to the other stuff I eat too. :)

The soup place at Jalan 1/77B

soup hairy

There is a decripict looking place behind Berjaya Times Square that is supposed to serve a wide range of Cantonese style double boiled soup. It doesn’t have a name. It seems that people call it “The place beneath the huge tree“. Jeanie told me about it and sold me on the fact that they have some interesting soups with unusual ingredients like anteater (the animal).

soup place

I’m not a soup person but the prospect of eating wild animels is totally down my alley so we drove there to have dinner at around 10 pm. Jeanie was sick that day too and she’s a firm believer in the Chinese concepts of “heaty” and “cold” food so she wanted to have some chicken soup.

soup me coconut soup

I can’t say I share the same beliefs since I take everything that hasn’t been scientifically proven with an armful of salt.

soup crowd

The place seems to be very popular – most of the exotic soups have sold out by the time we got there so I chose a black kampung chicken with ginseng roots while Jeanie had their famous coconut chicken soup.

soups

The soup is kept in a steamer so it’s still nice and hot when they serve it.

soup pork

It should be noted that they also serve other food – the braised pork leg was recommended to us and I took it up, being a huge fan of swine based dishes. It’s cooked with chillis so it’s slightly spicy – this makes it more like the stuff my mom makes. I like the fact that they have a lot of fatty meat instead of the lean meat that most establishment serves.

soup chicken

This is the black kampung chicken with ginseng soup. I was told that the ginseng comes from a special part of the root – it’s the hairy bits from the ginseng root that’s used in this soup.

soup black chicken contents

It tastes pretty good and there’s also other herbs in there to enhance the taste. The chicken becomes tasteless after being made into soup though.

coconut soup

The coconut chicken soup is one of their flagship dishes – it comes served in a whole coconut shell and you can taste hints of the coconut and the ginseng they put in it too.

soup coconut soup

Jeanie likes chicken soup. Hell, it has become a bit of an inside joke since she drinks so much chicken soup. I once asked my grandma if she has chicken soup when Jeanie came for dinner. Turns out she did. smirk

soup spread

Anyway, you’re supposed to eat the soup with rice but to be honest, the only way that you can do that is by heavily saturating the chicken with lots of soy sauce and chilli (provided). The chicken loses all flavor when it’s cooked like this – the taste is transferred to the soup itself.

soup%20feline

The place is a little hard to find and your dining companions will likely include the resident canines and felines but they serve pretty good soup and their pork leg is divine! The soups are priced from RM 7 upwards.

soup us

I’m going to go earlier next time to get the more exotic soups.

Guilin Mi Fen with Horse Meat

There’s no horsing around in this outlet. smirk

guilin mi fen horse meat

Okay, the first thing on the agenda when I arrived in Guilin is to eat the famous Gui Lin Mee Fen (rice vermicelli) with horse meat. However, that proved harder to find that I initially thought. Rats too for that matter, but that’s another post.

guilin mee fen

Anyway, after walking 1,000 miles and nearly getting run down by several cars and buses (it’s left hand drive here in China) I decided to consult a person from the industry that knows everything about anything obscure or illegal – hard to find cuisine, the oldest profession in the world, substances, basically The Travelers Guide to a New City (TM). Your friendly neighborhood taxi driver.

gui lin mi fen eat

Within minutes (and a RMB 10 fare, which is RM 5, pretty damn cheap cabs over here) I was on my way to the oldest Guilin Mi Fen with Horse Meat establishment in town. It has reputedly been around for about 40 years (as told by two different sources) and caters to the locals instead of tourists (just the way I like it).

gui lin mee fen

Alas! How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! In the past, horses were used for transport, war machines by knights, riot control by mounted police, and prized stallions on the racetrack. It has now been relegated (at least in China) to food. Heh!

gui lin mi fen horse meat

The Gui Lin Mi Fen is not rice vermicelli as we know it, it looks more like rice noodles to me. You are free to add as many condiments, pickles and spices as you want. I highly recommend their chilli flakes – Guilin is known for its spicy food so go wild with this one.

gui lin mi fen

Gui Lin Mi Fen with Horse Meat is a soup dish, which is not what I usually eat, but since it’s the local specialty, I tasted it and pronounce it GOOD. The spring onions adds a lot to the taste of the soup while the peanuts contribute that additional texture to this dish. Best of all, it only costs RMB 6 (RM 3) for a large bowl.

guilin mi fen

I love it, mostly coz of the horse meat. Horse meat can best be described as something of a cross between beef and lamb. It’s sweet and has a nice gamey aftertaste and it’s surprisingly lean.

guilin mee fen good

Mmm…equine meat!

Posted: 7:19 am China Time (Guilin is in the same timezone as Malaysia)

Sup Kaww!

sup kaww

Sup Kaww! (with an exclamation mark to prove the point) is a Malay soup establishment in SS 6 that boasts a menu filled with all things soup. This eatery is one of those hit-and-miss places. They’ll have really great soup one night and really crappy one the next. You never know what you’re going to get over here. It’s puzzling since I would have thought some measure of quality control would go into the process, but apparently not.

sup kaw special

On the good days, Sup Kaww serves a mean bowl of rich broth. It’s so thick (hence the name) that drinking the soup alone would fill most people up. Sup Kaww literally means “hearty soup” but due to the inconsistencies mentioned, it can range from a really sad broth to its namesake – hearty soup.

sup kaww special tongkat ali

I usually order Sup Kaw Special + Tongkat Ali (RM 12) which comes with the meat, bones, stomach, lungs and tail of a cow, infused with our local herbal Viagra substitute.

sup kaww special

Sup Kaww is not stingy with their ingredients…on any day (good and bad) you’ll find large chunks of meat inside your bowl. It goes really well with steamed rice. I went again with a couple of coworkers just now and although they’re having a Bad Soup Day (TM) it’s still a good place to sit down to a hot, steaming bowl of potage for two reasons:

sup kaww movie

The establishment is fond of showing DVDs of dubious copyright. You can catch the latest Hollywood flicks while having your dinner.

sup kaww carwash

There’s a car wash service right on the doorstep. Give your car a proper cleaning (interior and exterior) for just RM 10!

sup kaww me

I also like their RM 5 large fruit juices. Washing down a hot bowl of soup with an icy cold drink is heavenly!

I’m SUPer! Thanks for asking! ;)

Wei Seng Chicken Rice and double boiled Cantonese soup

wei seng chicken rice

Wei Seng Chicken Rice is a chicken rice shop
located at Tabuan Jaya at the food court beside Choice Daily. It also
boasts a repertoire of double boiled Cantonese soups in a heating
element beside it which the proprietors actively promote.

wei seng soups

The double boiled Cantonese soups (broth) is held in traditional
deep ceramic bowls and kept warm in a similar contraption to the double
boiling method used to boil the soups. I was told that the soups have
been prepared for as long as 24 hours for an authentic slow-boiling
Cantonese soup. They have a lot of different soups on offer, ranging
from Bitter Gourd soup to Ginseng Chicken soup.

wei seng chicken

I had their chicken rice (shared) with 3 other people and their
chicken rice is alright, though not as good as other places like Suan.
The rice portion is small, but cheap (a plate of chicken rice costs
just RM 0.60, an unheard of price nowadays). The chicken rice itself is
good, it’s seasoned well with chicken essence, but the chicken is
nothing to write home about.

wei seng ginseng soup

Their double boiled Ginseng Chicken soup (RM 3)
tasted good though. It has visible strands of ginseng floating inside
and the broth is fairly clear (as all good broth should be). There are
several chicken pieces inside and this place seems to subscribe to the
less-is-more school of thought as the soup only contains ginseng and
chicken.

wei seng ginseng

The Ginseng Chicken soup is a nice complement to the chicken rice -
I ended up having two plates of rice. The ingredients in the soup are
tender, with an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture to the ginseng. I
would recommend this place for their RM 3 double boiled soups as it is
hard to come by outside restaurants here. It’s best to go early as the
soup seems to sell out really fast.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...