You know, when it comes to Penang food, most of what people recognize will be from the island – char kuih teow, laksa, prawn mee, curry mee, and such. However, the bigger, less glamorous landmass Penang government “rent” from Kedah does in fact offers a few gems of its own when it comes to hawker food – one of which is the topic for today – yam rice with pork offal soup.
Yam Rice stall at Tien Tien Lai, Ara Damansara
While my favorite version in Penang is from Chip Heng kopitiam at Chai Leng Park, Butterworth, I was recently introduced to a stall offering something pretty much equally as good right here at Klang Valley, at Ara Damansara’s Tien Tien Lai kopitiam.
This particular yam rice stall is in fact introduced to me by my mom’s friend (who is also from Penang). A bowl of soup goes for RM 8 and comes with plenty of ingredients you’d expect in this dish – including pork ball, pork slices, tongue, intestine, coagulated blood, tofu, salted vege, and parsley. You’ll then get to choose to have it with yam rice (RM 2), or white rice (RM 1), and if you ask me, there’s no question the former is the version to go for.
yam rice plus pork offal soup with salted vege and tofu
The yam rice itself is properly flavored with good aroma from yam, and the soup is packed with porky goodness properly balanced with the saltiness & slight acidity offered by salted vegetable. Grab a piece and dip in the homemade chili sauce with dark soya sauce, then mix it up with a spoon full of yam rice, put it in your mouth, and follow up with a spoon full of soup… yums!
If you want some proper yam rice with pork soup without having to travel up to Penang, this is one to check out.
Address: Tien Tien Lai kopitiam Ara Permata, 33, Jalan PJU 1a/42, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.117288, 101.587120 Hours: breakfasts
The funny thing about tastes is that for things that you absolutely loath as a kid may yet turn out to be one of your favorites as an adult – such is the case for me with bitter gourd, and to be frank, quite a few other items.
So for those of you who dislike durian, petai, asparagus, Guinness, and more, perhaps ya’ll just need more doses of them until you like it!
Anyway, here’s one of the recipes I did with bitter gourd over the course of this Covid-19 season.
Bitter Gourd Tofu and Pork Soup Recipe
1 bitter gourd, cut in chunks
300 gram pork belly, cut into bit size chunks
1 block of soft tofu
1 inch ginger
a handful of salted vege (optional, you can replace with salt to taste)
boil pork belly for a couple minutes and remove from pot, throw away the scummy water
use a bigger pot, boil 4-5 bowls of water with everything except tofu for about an hour or so in low heat
add tofu just before serving
salt (optional) and pepper to taste
Comfort food especially on rainy days, I usually have it with steamed rice and some soya sauce + cili padi as condiment.
Yet another day of cooking at home, and today let’s look at one of my childhood favorites – salted vege soup with tofu and pork slices, one of the simplest traditional Chinese soup to prepare, and yet wholesome and fit for those rainy days.
salted vege (I used pickled mustard green, you can use others too)
soak salted vege for 30 minutes in water, remove after
boil salted vege, tomato, and pork slices in low heat for at least 30 minutes
add tofu in the last minute or two
season with salt (if it’s still not salty enough) and pepper
Now isn’t that simple?
For more of my kitchen creations, check out my recipes here.