Today’s guest writer is Mei from the food and travel blog CC Food Travel. She’s an amazing woman: gorgeous, daring, and willing to try any food once. We love her vivid descriptions of Malaysia’s restaurant scene and her stunning food photos. She’s the Internet’s leading purveyor of “food porn” and her posts always leave us hungry!
Here are 5 dishes that are believed by the Chinese to make your heart strong, but are not for the weak hearted. The Chinese believe that “heaty” foods actually help the body heal faster and more efficiently after injury or surgery. They also believe that if you are weak and catch a cold easily then the following foods help strengthen the body’s immune system and make you less prone to disease. The last dish in particular is supposed to be good for men’s virility! Unfortunately these dishes are bizarre looking and not everybody’s cup of tea, for obvious reasons. Here are 5 of the weirdest dishes from Malaysia.
1. Pig Brain Soup
Pig brain soup. Yes, in Cantonese this is the Chee-lou-tong.
They say eating brains makes you smarter. Not true. Try again.
They say eating brains makes you fatter? True! Brains are after all, almost 60% fat due to large quantities of myelin (which itself is 70% fat) that insulate the axons of neurons.. and we all know that brains are mainly made up of neurons right? Yes yes.. that’s why they call it grey and white matter.. it’s full of FAT. So, when they called you a “fat-head” in school, they were actually right! This high percentage of good fats also help the body recover and heal faster after injury.
How does pig brain soup taste? To me, extremely delicious! It has a texture not unlike what brains look like – A SQUIDGY MESS .. boiled in all that sweet, meaty goodness of pork meat and bones it really is a feast for the hungry.
2. Pig Intestines
Bakuteh (BKT) or Bak Kut Teh literally translates as “meat bone tea”, and at its simplest, consists of fatty pork ribs simmered in a broth of herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dong guai, fennel seeds and garlic) for as long as possible , i.e. days if possible. However, additional ingredients may include offal and some pretty disgusting looking large intestine. The place we like is situated in the vicinity of the Pudu Wet Market and is a hot favourite amongst KL-ites. Some may beg to differ or have their own favourites but for now, we bring all our friends here. Where else can you see the butchers hacking away at the pig carcass (corner alleyway), in preparation for tomorrows rations, from where you sit and eat along the 5 foot way. Grim? Gross? Well, this is pig’s intestines for you, Pudu style!
3. Chicken Feet
Would you ever say, it’s chicken feet to eat chicken feet? Probably not, unless you really love the taste of it! Here in Malaysia you can buy these wrinkly delicacies at any wet market. Wash them, marinade them, braise them or fry them up and you have a terrific chicken feet feast dying to be shared with friends and family!
4. Bull’s Eye
What do bull’s eyes taste like? Something like the fish eyes you get in your fish head curry, only bigger. Well, don’t stop there, buy the entire head if you like, and make bull’s head soup while you’re at it!
5. Bull’s Penis
This is a variation of the pig intestine Bakuteh. The place that serves this is up north in Penang. What can I say? If you’ve tasted one, you’ve tasted them all. It all taste like offal really – just the same! In fact the flavour of the herbal meat bone tea is so strong with the star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dong guai, fennel seeds and garlic that have simmered for days, you can hardly make out any bull’s bits at all! This dish is a male aphrodisiac but has no ill effects on women and that my friends, ain’t no bull s*** !
About this week’s guest writer
Mei is an avid traveler, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who enjoys writing about her travel and gastronomic experiences. In her words: “It all started out a couple of years back as a means to journal our travels and related photos. However, because we enjoy eating so much (as do other Malaysians) this blog soon took on the form of a food blog: Cumi & Ciki is a Malaysian food and travel blog. The name is derived from a popular educational television puppet show for Malaysian children in the 70s and 80s. This is the tale of the two traveling, eating, thrill-seeking monkeys from Kuala Lumpur. Food and culture go hand in hand. We feel that in life, we need to enjoy what we do, have passion; cultivate a sense of curiosity about the world.
We hope that this is conveyed through our travel and food blog Cumi & Ciki blog.
Alternatively check out our adventure blog www.whoa-adventures.com
Follow Mei on Twitter.