Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ipoh Taugeh Chicken

I am sure when I blog about this, people would have proudly claim that they have tried the famous Low Wong Nga Choi Gai. Sorry dude, Low Wong is my last choice if I really must have it. Not to say that they are not good. But I believe there are better ones. Most of my friends prefer the shop that is diagonally opposite that of Low Wong. If I am not mistaken it is called Ong Kee. You see, chicken meat has a certain tang of fishy smell that needs to be treated. I think Low Wong's chicken and soup had failed to tackle that. There was another at Cowan Street, but since the owner has passed away and his kids are all professionals now. We have lost a good place there.
But what makes ipoh bean sprouts (nga choi in cantonese and taugeh in malay) so popular? Well they are basically shorter, fatter and juicier. I don't really know what is the reason behind. One sources told me it is due to the water that is being used to plant Ipoh bean sprouts are from the hills (as you know Ipoh is surrounded by marble hills).
As for the chicken. it is simply the method it was cooked that made the meat soft and succulent. If you are interested, I can teach you how. (1) Get a fat chicken, at least 2 kg. Don't cut, just get the seller to clean the innards for you. (2) Wash the chicken, blanch in hot water for 1 minute and hang it to dry, so that the skin will be crisp and tender. (3) Boil a pot of water and ensure that the water is enough to cover the entire chicken. Throw in some salt, ginger and herbs to loose the fishy smell. (4) Once the water is boiling, put the chicken in, close the cover and off the gas. Let the chicken soak in the hot water for at least half an hour and do not open the cover. Use a chopstick to poke into the breast to check if the chicken is cooked. You can easily poke through if the chicken is cooked. Once cooked, drain the chicken. Throw in a bit of soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, srping onion, coriander and ready to serve.
The beauty of hor fun (flat rice noodles) in Ipoh is their smoothness and fineness. Those you find in KL are rough to the lips. Not suitable for slurping.
Best way to eat them all are to mix in a bit of the chillies, the chicken soy sauce and bean sprouts. Mix well and slurp them in to your heart's content. Hmmm...

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