Pork Skin in Laksa Broth, with Rau Thom in Moderation

I know. This is not exactly the healthiest of breakfast.

When I was young and growing up in Malaysia, I used to always walk to the open air wet market near my house to buy breakfast. There are a lot of choices but there is one thing I like to buy most of the time is the curry with pork skin. I like it so much that in my last trip back to Malaysia a few years ago, the first place I headed to for breakfast is exactly that.

For some reason, back home in Vancouver, I completely forgot about it.

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The reason was because I did not come across pork skins until now. So with the help of Suanne, I made the pork skin in laksa broth above. Maybe the proper word to describe this is not made, but rather assembled.

For those of you who love laksa and pork skin, this will be something you will like a lot. I am sure. The pork skin does a great job in absorbing and holding the laksa making it bursting with flavour.

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There are not many places where you can buy pork skins like these above. Or at least I have not paid much attention to it until recently.

What really excites me is that it is really cheap. It is just $2.99 a pound. Not knowing how much is a pound, I told the shop that I wanted $5.00 and they ended up giving me $7.00 worth of it. That makes it well over 2 pounds. Actually it is not really what it is weigh because it also holds some clear jhup which I figure makes up the bulk of the weight.

The owner of the shop told me that not many places will “bow” (translated as explode in English), these pork skin but they do make it themselves. I am wondering if any of you knows of other places who also “bow” pork skins in Vancouver.

With this important ingredient, I am all set to … recreate my favourite childhood breakfast item.

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I stumbled upon this dish on that day we had the Mi Quang and Cau Lao at the Hoi An Cafe. Suanne and I walked around the neighborhood after the meal and found them in this small shop above. It has a strange name, MBA 168 BBQ Enterprise just across the street from Hoi An Cafe (on Victoria and 34th).

This is a Chinese BBQ shop which I had never noticed before. It is next door to an interesting Canadian-Chinese cafe called the Mayflower Cafe. We would love to visit it one day. It seems like Mayflower Cafe is an old time place worth visiting and learning about.

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While you could eat the pork skin by itself as it is flavourful with the jhup it is cooked in, I decided to make it with Laksa broth. The above laksa broth premix is our favourite. The brand is called Tean’s and it is made in Malaysia. This one has authentic Malaysian laksa flavour. If I dare say too, it rivals Bo’s Laksa too.

You can get this from most Asian supermarket or grocery stores easily. I won’t be surprised if you can even find this in the Real Canadian Superstore. This is $2.49 a packet. It is in paste form.

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And of course, true Malaysia laksa must have coconut milk. Making the broth is easy. The instruction to make the laksa is printed on the package of the Tean’s Curry Laksa paste.

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Oh … we had suchgood exeperience with the Rau Thom in the Hoi An Cafe, we thought we also make our own. Mostly just to make us feel better that we have vegetables too. 🙂

So we went to buy lettuce, basil and mint. We bought it the day before and left it in the fridge. It sort of wilted the next day and was not as fresh as we wished it would be.

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By special request from Ben, we also added some birdeye chili for that extra kick. No one touched this other than me.

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Nice! Actually, back in those days in Malaysia, there is also rice noodles which we call chee cheong fun. This one doesn’t have it … just cut to the chase. Seriously, you need to eat this in moderation. If you end up addicted to this, please don’t tell your doctor it is all chowtimes fault, OK? 🙂

Would this be something you will dare to even eat?

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. I love this stuff! I do miss the fresh “see-hum”(cockles). I usually add the pork blood chunks, steamed shredded chicken, fried tofu puffs and some steamed shrimps too. When lazy, a few slices of store-bought BBQ pork will do. Definitely some fresh lime wedges too.

    1. Hi Chris: You sure know your laksa! I also see some place put in eggplant and a side dish of sambal chili! Ben

  2. Looks good. I think I would need to add the rice noodles to balance the richness. Unless I were just having a few bites as a snack.

  3. Thanks for the post, I love pork skin and laksa and getting some wonderful ideas from you and your commenters.

    “I told the shop that I wanted $5.00 and they ended up giving me $7.00 worth of it. That makes it well over 2 pounds.”

    Sounds like these guys also went to the same butcher university as the Siu Lap butchers.

  4. Hi Ben,

    If you are interested in an old time cafe, try Laura’s coffee shop. http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/1510184/restaurant/Mount-Pleasant-Main-Street/Lauras-Coffee-Shop-Vancouver.

    It’s in an industrial area near my workplace, and when I’m hungry for some greasy spoon food, that is where I go. I usually get beef brisket curry, for about $7. It is similar to Mui garden curry, in other words, Asian style that is very mild and creamy. What I like they use the potatoes from the breakfast hashbrowns, so they are nice and fried.

    But set your expectations right. It is a no frills place, but has a nostalgic charm that I like. Fries are pretty good too…very crispy!

    1. Hi Ryan: Laura’s Coffee Shop sounds like a great place to check out. We were around the neighborhood just last week. We went to Argo’s (recommended by HM) and it was fabulous. I can just imagine that Laura’s is somewhat similar to Laura’s CS. Wow, that is a great idea (using hash browns with curry). Thanks for the recommendation. We will definitely want to check out Laura’s! Ben

  5. I think they also sell this on a skewer from Curry House in Yaohan food court.

    1. Hi agingteen: Ah … now that you mention it, yes, I remember seeing pork skins in some of the food court stalls. Particularly in the stalls where they also have curry fish balls. We never ever buy them at the stalls and so it so slipped our mind. Thanks. Ben

  6. Hi Ben, Where did you get the “bowed” pig skin? Thanks. mamacat

    1. Hi mamacat: The “bowed” pig skin? I got them from the MBA 186 BBQ place on Victoria around 34th Ave. Just bought another pound of that on Thursday. Asked for 1 pound and they gave me 1.3 pounds! Ben

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