As I was loading the pictures for this post yesterday, I was marveling at this picture below.
I was thinking how amazing it was when we had this. The simplicity of the dish and yet it is delicately complex. The entire process that goes into making this involves techniques that one takes for granted but not many cuisine would even dare to think of.
And then while I was loading the pictures, I came across a website which has a picture of a bag of Pork Floss and under the picture it says something like “Used for getting bacon out from between your teeth!”
It was then I realized how repulsive (for the lack of a better word) the dish above is to other cultures and yet to me this is considered a delicacy.
What I like about this is also that this is cheap. This is called simply the Preserved Egg with Tofu and is $3.50. This is a cold dish and the tofu is sometimes chilling cold when served.
The thing that is strange to non-Asians is the … fluffy stuff called Pork Floss and the black jelly-like thingy which is an egg.
Suanne had made Pork Floss at home before and even has a home recipe for it. You might want to check it out here. Actually Suanne also has a recipe for this entire dish here too (not just the pork floss recipe).
Maybe it is the name “floss” that is inappropriate here. You know, I am not sure how the English word floss came about for this but it is a well known word used to describe it. Anyone has a theory as to the genesis of that name “floss”?
Pork Floss is basically dried out pork meat fibers. You just gotta forget how it looks and the name of it and try it. I am pretty sure that if one gets past that, 99% of you will discover that this is indeed a marvelous food.
I think the more difficult thing to digest is the preserved egg above. We call it the century egg making it worse because it evokes thoughts that these are eggs left to rot or something for a long time. I mean, one would have thought that the blackness of it is because it is eggs gone bad.
Eggs are supposed to be white. Bad eggs are supposed to be black, right? Trust the Chinese to even think of making a delicacy and making the eggs black. Who on earth would want to do that? LOL!
But really, it is not too bad. The egg white turns translucent and into a jelly like thing. The yellow yolk became grey ash. And the taste turns “interesting”. It is like but not like eating jelly with a creamy center.
We had this at the Huang’s Beef Noodle restaurant. I had passed by this place many times and several times I noticed that it was packed and people were milling outside like they were waiting for a table. So I took a mental note of this place thinking that this has to be a restaurant worth checking out.
This restaurant is located on Victoria Drive and East 54th. When Suanne and I came here, we did a crazy thing. We parked our car way down on Victoria Drive and SE Marine Drive. That walk is about 1.5 km with a 700m elevation gain. Hehehe … we wanted to have a little workout before a meal. Gosh, I think we are getting old — we are actually enjoying long walks with each other. 🙂
This restaurant is really tiny. Basically a hole in the wall and seats only 20 people, cramped. It seems like a lot of their customers are living in the neighborhood from the casualness of the way most dressed.
And yes, there were people waiting for a table every now and then. The wait is never long though. People come, order, eat and go. So the tables turn fast.
Their menu is a simple two-pager. Knowing the name of this place of course we had our mind set in Beef Noodles. Their prices are cheap as expected.
Besides the menu above, Suanne saw there are combos of the side dishes on the wall:
- $8 for big intestines, tripe and pork ear
- $5 for flavoured tofu, seaweed and egg
Sounds good. I would probably have ordered these if I knew it earlier.
The Flavoured Pork Intestine ($3.50) is another of our favourite appetizers. You guys know about this if you had been following chowtimes. It is just that I can’t resist ordering this every time I see it on the menu.
The serving here is small and is just so-so. I think it would be better if only the intestine was of the thicker cut.
The money dish: Beef Noodle in Soup $6.50.
We got the spicy version. At a glance it did not look as appealing and inviting as some that I had seen. I had seen must better ones. Do you guys remember this poll I did called “The Most Favourite Taiwanese Beef Noodle in Vancouver”. You can see the results of the best Beef Noodle restaurant in Vancouver in this link here.
Huang’s beef noodle soup is topped with chopped sour mustard. There were some Shanghai bok choy. The broth was quite spicy. It is not bad … but it is not terrific to me personally. Hehehe … adding the word “to me personally” so that some of you don’t get too emotional with me when I did not say “It is GREAT!”. This is called defensive writing. LOL!
What do you call this part of the meat with lining of tendon like stuff? Not flank right? I like this cut of beef. It is tender and not too fibrous like the flank. I don’t like flank because it gets stuck between my teeth and drives me nuts all the time.
The noodles are the thicker type. As a whole, this beef noodle is decent. Judging by all the people who ordered this, I guess it must be good to some people. Just not my type.
For the second item, we decided on Jar Choy & Shredded Pork with Noodle in Soup ($5.00). I felt that this is pretty heavy in MSG flavour and quite salty. Suanne likes it and so I left most of this with her. Yeah, we often share food and we swap dishes midway. Gross? Not to us!
The noodles for this is the thinner type.
I am sure that many of you had been to this restaurants before. Tell me, what do you think of it. I wasn’t overwhelmed and so want to hear from you. Am just curious why it is so popular and maybe I am missing something here.
We finally know what people says when they talk about the original Mui Garden. Just a couple of doors away is this small restaurant with the Mui Garden logo. It must have closed a long time ago and given the state of the place no one had wanted to move into this space yet. So, now I know where the Mui Garden started from. Today Mui Garden has four locations around Metro Vancouver.
This Post Has 50 Comments
You were close to me! Should have called me to come eat 😀
What do I think? Great neighbourhood place, I used to go after my dad picked me up from swimming practice at Killarney Pool. I still went from time to time when I went to highschool, and now you have my craving.
They’re so friendly. I watched their kids grow up!
Foodwise, their style of “TW beef noodles” is different, but you’ll notice they never say “Taiwanese” specifically on the menu, so it’s hard to say it’s not a good TWBN.
As for that Miu Garden, up to 2-3 years ago it was still being used as storage, but looks like not anymore.
BTW Ben, did you see that Tibisti grill at the corner of Vic&54th? You should TOFTT …cause I don’t want to try it yet haha.
I only found out from your post on Huang’s BN yesterday. So you live around that area huh? Yeah, I noticed too that they did not refer to their food as Taiwanese. IINM, I thought I remember hearing them speaking in Cantonese too.
Tibisti Grill — how could anyone miss that corner shop with all the delicious looking pictures outside? Actually Suanne and I was debating whether if we should change our plans from Huang’s to Tibisti but we did not. It was too heavy a meal and we did not want to eat too much. It is an interesting place and worth writing about for sure. It is because they are both a butcher and a restaurant. Suanne said that for a place like this, the meat should be good. We’ve noted this down on the to visit list when we can get the boys to come along. I know they will like this kind of food. The Poor Food-E blogged about Tibisti before it seems. See here: http://goo.gl/IWtix
For everyone’s info, below is how the Tibisti restaurant looks like:
Oh, one more thing, Kevin. We noticed there is a ramen shop across the street from Huang’s. Suanne loves ramen and was wondering how good the food is. Have you been there before?
Ramen isn’t good. They have massive bowls though.
Only good for rolls imo, and that’s very basic / cheap stuff.
hey b – i’m part of your small percentile that isn’t so lovey dovey with this place. came here over a year ago and have since seen quite a few pics from friends raving abt it.
glad to know you can reaffirm this otherwise i woulda returned from all the picture pressure hahaha!
props on walking up from marine – WOW!
Hi Ben and Suanne,
Often I read your blog, but I’ve never have thought to have commented until I read this one.
I totally understood what you meant when you mentioned how you were unsure as to why Huang’s is so popular but their food is quite average. Before, I frequent purchase their spicy beef noodle for take-out until there was this ONE time the MSG finally hit me. The soup is definitely the catch for most patrons, but the few times I decided to drink the entire bowl, I had to drink another 4 glasses of water after the meal.
I would return, but I’m in fear of the massive liquid consumption afterwards.
If you decide to return, their Spicy Cucumbers are pretty good!
Hi Glo: Glad you took time to comment and leave a feedback. Hope to read more! Yeah, this is one place we *thought* that there was a lot of MSG. Normally we will feel the thirst kick in on the way home but here we *thought* we felt the MSG right away. Yet I was reading some reviews elsewhere that claims they are MSG free. *shrug*. Ben
i love making the tofu, floss and egg dish although I slice the tofu in thick slices and quickly pan sear the outside with soy for a slight crunch. add everything above with also cilantro and some sesame oil and it’s velllly good!
there was an episode on survivor where one person from each team had to compete to see who can finish a century egg. one team had a white guy that was completely grossed out and the other team picked the chinese guy who thought he had the competition in the bag. the white guy won because he just swallowed the whole egg and the chinese guy took longer because he was like, savouring it or something so he lost. what a disgrace to the chinese! lol
Your tofu version sound very good. Hope Suanne picks up on this pointer and try it one of these days at home. Hmmm … I would throw in some birdseye chili too for that extra kick. I think that would work! 🙂
Oh … for those of you who still thinks century eggs is gross, maybe this will convince you … NOT! LOL
I think my favourite part is that the box is marked “Lead Free”. 🙂
Ben: I would say “pork floss” is to pork as “candy floss” is to candy. At least, it’s a better conceptual fit than the image of dental floss. 🙂
Kevin: Funny, I just came across Tibisti Grill this morning while looking for something else entirely. I agree it’s intriguing. There are some tasty looking photos on the intertubes… Looks like some essential meat cuisine.
Clever girl, Shmoo. That sounds right!
Instead of “pork floss”, I think “shredded porky jerky” would sound more appealing to Westerners.
Hi Chubbypanda: Yeah, we really need to change the name of the food. “Pork Floss” is perhaps too ingrained to make the change now. 🙂 Ben
That cut of beef is from the beef shank (part of the leg, specifically the calf muscle). It must be slowed cooked and served cut across the grain, like a flank steak, for best tasting results. The tendon is marbled like fat throughout the shank, giving it a bite but still tender. Hmmm…
Hi Lily: Thanks for that info. I further checked Beef Shank out. It seems like it is low cost and low quality cut of beef. Hehehe … and yet I like it. Ben
I know that kind of cut is sold in TNT or CITY FRESH (in richmond) as DIGITAL MUSCLE. It’s vacuum packed by the meat area.
I use this kind of meat to make “Kien Chi” which is basically slow cooked meat with soy sauce and veggies.
I must try this place! I pass by it when we head to dimsum in golden swan!
Small world. We had dinner @ Lao Shan Dong today n one of the dishes we had was the “pei dan dao fu”. I looove the century egg, pig’s intestines n pork floss. Beefy Beef in Van n its other branch in Bby still have the best TBN.
Hi cmee8: Oh you were in LSD today? I almost wanted to go in for a bowl of soup noodle on the way to my car but decided otherwise. It was drizzling and just perfect for a bowl of hot soup noodles. 🙂 Ben
we always called it pork carpet.
Hi Ryan C: Pork carpet? That is a name I have never hear people using before. Hmmm … doesn’t sound more appealing than pork floss. 🙂 Ben
me too, first time hearing the term pork carpet. is it a direct translation or is it because it looks like carpet… though I would hate to be caught munching carpet in public.
Yummy, that tofu/century egg with pork floss looks delicious. I will try it some day. I personally like Pork floss. In fact thats why i always go T&T and buy their Pork FLoss topped buns. I can even eat it on its own when i buy a bag of them. As for century eggs, its not a favourite but i have no aversion to eating them. But you know, when you talk about Prok Floss, its true that most of us chinese or asians do not really know the history of where our foods come from and why are they called those. I hope that one day, some great chinese food historian or chef will write a book on the history of chinese cuisine.
Hi Bill: I am quite sure that there are quite a lot of books written about the history of Chinese cuisine but they likely would be in Chinese only. Yeah, I for one would love to read more about cuisines (not just Chinese) around the world and learn about the history behind them. There was one book I read that talks about the beginnings of cuisines and went on to describe one event that is the start of human journey into culinary arts. I was mesmerized with theory. Ben
The pork floss does not sound disgusting to me, but I am not sure about the egg. Of the three, the intestine is the one I’d be least likely to eat.
Hi etranger: LOL! No intestines huh? To tell the truth it smells a bit too and I can say it is not pleasant to people not accustomed to eating intestines. 🙂 Maybe one of these days when you come by Vancouver again, I’ll bring you to some place to eat exotic food like this with the condition that you are not supposed to ask what it is. 🙂 Just kidding! Ben
give etranger pork bung stuffed with pork blood laced with runny century egg yolk and shrimp braaaaaaaaains!
Well other than brains I will try things! One thing I don’t understand is tripe, which I’ve had in hot pot. It doesn’t have much flavor, so I am not really sure why I should eat it.
Hi etranger: Yes, tripe by itself does not have much flavour. However, it is excellent in soaking up the flavour with whatever you cook it in. It does gives a very unique crunch and texture. So it is a really versatile ingredient used in many ways of cooking. As you probably already know, a lot of cultures does eat tripe but I do understand that eating offal is not something that North Americans get used to seeing a lot. Ben
I have seen tripa in Mexican restaurants plenty of times. I grew up in a family that ate deer, fish and game birds so I’m pretty familiar with using everything. We ate the heart, liver, tongue, etc. But not tripe/stomach, tendons, or intestines (except as sausage casing). Because they were field dressed, the offal was left behind because it was too hard to keep cool and to clean (intestines). You wouldn’t be able to collect blood like you would in a barn.
Down south they eat intestines, called chitlins or chitterlings. You should go to a soul food place next time you’re in Atlanta. Something called sweetbreads is also eaten. That’s the adrenal gland. This is served in very high end restaurants, the opposite of soul food.
Never heard of sweetbread before … but that sounds like my kind of “bread”. 🙂 Gosh, I MUST try that next time when I get to Atlanta. Just saw some pix of the sweetbreads. They look nasty. 🙂 Ben
You should be able to find sweetbreads in Vancouver…
For some reason, they are one of the few kinds of offal still common in western restaurants. But as etranger says, they are generally reserved for higher end establishments. (My guess for why that is is that they probably entered North American cooking through French and Italian cuisines. Also, they’re sort of fussy to prepare.)
Since I have a vested interest (my Dad loves them and maybe it’s time to take him out to dinner), I took a quick look for who’s got them on the menu these days. It was harder than I though, and I only managed to scrounge up the following:
* Le Crocodile has both entree and main course versions on their current sample menu. (Err, note that “entree” is “appetizer” in French, even though we use it as “main course” in English.)
* Boneta lists a sweetbread small plate
* L’Abbatoir lists them as a small plate
And that’s about all I could find in a brief search. I’m sure there may be other options hiding out there. Of course, one of the problems is that the sorts of places that tend to serve sweetbreads also tend to change their menus frequently.
Anyhoo, fwiw, the term usually refers to either the thymus or pancreas of a calf. Although I’ve seen reference to “lamb sweetbreads” once in a while, too.
For taste and texture, I think maybe it’s sort of like brain? Soft, mild, and rich, but somehow holds together.
Hi Shmoo: Awesome. Thanks for the research. Just added “sweetbreads” in my to-try list. 🙂 Ben
I think sweetbreads are more common in “wester” restos because they are fairly integral to classic French cuisine. I’ve certainly heard of them but have yet to try them myself.
Hi Grayelf: What is “wester” restaurants? I think there is a story behind that. Ben
They sell shredded beef jerky at Oberto’s outlet in Seattle. A lot of backpackers use it. I’ve had it and it does not seem too appetizing as a name change for pork floss. Maybe pork threads. Definitely not carpet.
Hi etranger: Is it the Oh Boy Oberto Factory Outlet you are talking about? I am not quite following what you are saying … is the Oberto shredded beef jerky like pork floss of the Chinese kind? Ben
Yes, that’s right. Oberto’s at their outlet down below the stadiums has big bags of shredded beef jerky that looks about like the pork floss in texture, probably not as fine. One of the other posters called it shredded pork jerky, which is what made me think of Oberto’s product. The beef jerky can be rehydrated and is added to ramen on backpacking trips for lightweight protein.
Nice! Next time I am in Seattle, I will definitely check that place out. Ben
I went to Huangs once and never went back. I was just not a fan of their broth but I did like their noodles.
My favourite was Beefy Beef until their soup got less flavorful and bland. LSD is my go-to place now.
At $3.50, the century egg & tofu dish is cheap but you can easily make at home for much less-especially since most Chinese have all these ingredients at home.
I have to say pork floss is a lousy English term, particularily for marketing a restaurant dish. No I’ve tried never it. Do I want to? Well, let’s put it this way: I prefer pork dishes where the pork is not pulled (shredded) where all the flavour, in my opinion, tends to be lost. I can’t get excited by ie. pulled pork sandwiches at all.
So I see pork floss in the same way. I’ll eat it if someone offered it to me but I wouldn’t go out of my way to spend money to try it.
Maybe another synonymn for pork floss could be pork “clouds”, for those who enjoy it?
Hi Jean: I hope someday someone will be able to convincingly and cohesively explain to me how people perceive food within the context of their culture and experiences. For some reason, I thought that pork floss (or “clouds!”) is one of food that could explain this mystery. Maybe I should just carry a pack with me everywhere I go and see how people react to it as an experiment. Ben
“. Maybe I should just carry a pack with me everywhere I go and see how people react to it as an experiment. Ben”
It would be a good experiement..and blog about it! Today I had chicken chipotle tomato soup.
Soup was fine, not too spicy. I wasn’t impressed by the shredded chicken in it. Didn’t add much to the tomato flavour which was nice.
I’ve had more home-made “unusual” stuff. Mother used to steam pork kidney in a bit of soy sauce, flour and oil. I used to help her as teen, prepare this dish. Same for liver. Then she steered away from the inards stuff, more because she didn’t see it as eating a “clean” part of the animal. Fine. No one asked for the stuff at home.
She immigrated from China in her 20’s.
ben : i heard pork bung has a different taste if not cleaned properly. have u ever discussed this with anyone?
Tell me more, NeigeT. I had never given much thought about the name pork bung although I had seen this in menus. I always equate pork bung with pork intestines but am thinking now that pork bung is less desirable. Suanne had never made pork intestines before but she does make pepper pork stomach soup every now and then. It is a LOT of work cleaning it. She uses several steps to clean it — first using salt, then vinegar, then finally corn starch. Ben
Suanne knows what she’s doing then. i’ve heard about the cleaning but didn’t know what went into it. thanks for the pork stomach insight as cleaning the bung is probably similar! bung is less desirable but sounds funny though hahah.
Heh, neige, for a while there I thought you were just poking fun about cleaning out the contents of a bung. 🙂
I think I’d be too lazy to process the more complicated innards at home, unless economically pressed. Guess I’ll be leaving the bung and kidney prep to the restaurant pros.
Hehehe … not only is there a lot of work cleaning the pork stomach, it smells too. Suanne knows I love that and that is the only reason she puts up with cleaning it. None of the butchers will do the cleaning up. The thing is, restaurants don’t give you a lot of pork stomach if you order dishes like pepper soup. Suanne’s pork stomach pepper soup comes with lots of it. 🙂 I really enjoy it with just rice and a side of Suanne’s secret concoction of soya sauce. Ben
agreed. i haven’t eaten enough guts to be able to tell whether they have been cleaned up good or not. sometimes u just don’t have the time to do it all right in a restaurant.
Shmoo: not time to troll and poke fun on this site yet =)
Awww, it sounds like Chez Suanne really treats their star customer well. 🙂
Neige: I might not be able to tell in cases where the cleaning is for sanitary reasons, but in some cases it does affect the flavour noticeably. I’ve had stir fired kidney from Sichuan House that was wonderful, and steak and kidney pie from the Bay that made me want to throw the whole thing out at one bite because the kidney prep was so rank.
But you have a good point that the restaurants would be under time pressure and it would always be tempting to cut corners where possible.
Hmm. In the end, I’m lazy. So if I’m cooking at home, I’ll likely choose a muscle meat or something with less prep… But I’ll still take my chances at the restaurants and hope they’re being somewhat respectful of their customers. 🙂