Tuesday, April 14, 2009

RED HOT CHILI PEPPER....Humen Specialty!

Again, Humen amazes me...the food I had here were simply delicious! Blame it on my lousy Beijing and Shenzhen trips I had before, I wasn't quite impressed with China, so much so, my expectation was set to the lowest. But Humen totally changed my mind.....read on and you will understand the reason why...

# 1 - I FEEL SO @ HOME
I was surprised when Hubby told me the locals here love Malaysian food especially curry. I expected it to be very mild and diluted in taste but I was so wrong after having my lunch at Hubby's friend's restaurant which is located just right in front of our hotel. Yes....my first meal here was Malaysian food!!! Cooked by a Malaysian chef based in Humen, I tell you, this plate of curry chicken with potatoes rocks! The moment I put a spoonful of gravy into my mouth, I grinned and exclaimed to Hubby "It tastes exactly like my recipe!!". Thick, rich and flavourful...and very spicy!
1

The chef whipped up a pot of Fish Head Curry for us to try and comment. Although I find the gravy a tad too sourish, the fish head was really good. The meat was soft and fine in texture.
2

Another dish for us to try, Prawn Noodle aka Mee Yoke. Lack of prawn flavour and I was too busy attacking the curry chicken to even pay attention to this bowl of noodle. Well, for those who are interested to make this at home, do try
my recipe for richer and tastier broth. 3

CRABS!! My all-time favourite food!!! I really didn't expect to have crabs for lunch! Using the same curry paste as the chicken, it was used to cook the crab. Hubby said he prefers the chicken version whereas I enjoyed both! If I didn't have so much rice earlier, I would have taken some buns offered to us to wipe this plate clean!
4

I spotted soup in the menu and I just couldn't resist such comfort food especially when it was raining mostly throughout our trip. Don't ask me what are those black fungus thingy cos I have no idea. It might be some kind of mushroom as the soup has got some woody taste.
5

#2 - HUNAN CUISINE AKA XIANG CAI

I was told one of the specialty in Humen is Hunan cuisine
湖南菜 or also known as Xiang Cai 湘菜 which is well known for its hot spicy flavour. You can get more information on Hunan cuisine here. The Hunan restaurant we went to is a big restaurant with many branches. I didn't manage to get the name or the address as everything was in Chinese. Also, they didn't allow me to take any photos of their food, so I guess no point to do any further publicity for them. Anyway, I still managed to take some photos before and after I was stopped..hehehe! The first dish below was Spicy Frog Legs, a very colourful and aromatic dish. One bite and I was hooked! Their level of spiciness way exceeds our Malaysian tastebud. Even for a chili lover like me I find the dishes here wayyy tooo hooot!!
6

But after a few bites, my tastebud seems to adjust to the heat. The lotus roots braised with soya sauce was so tasty. Crunchy and rich with soya flavour and yes, it's super spicy! Such a simple dish yet so yummy, I hope I can recreate this dish at home.
7

Three yummy dishes in a row...I love Hunan cuisine! The Stir Fry Mushrooms with Pork Slices was wonderful too. It was full of wok hei (essence imparted from the wok) and yes, it's so spicy, you can feel your tongue burning! We were grabbing tissues at this point in time to clear our nostril and the sweat on our face but the dishes were so addictive, we keep on going for more......
8

If not mistaken, this is the famous Water Cooked Fish....super duper HWAAATT!!! A layer of red hot chilies were hidden beneath the sliced scallions. The fish was cooked to perfection with 3Ss...Soft, Sweet and Smooth!! Actually the gravy would go so well with a bowl of steaming white rice!
9

# 3 - I LOVE SZECHUAN CUISINE MOST!!!
Szechuan cuisine 四川菜 is quite popular in Humen too and the restaurant that we went to really rocks! I was totally in love with the first dish, an appetizer made of wood ear fungus. Very pungent and I could taste very strong garlic flavour, sesame oil and coated with chilies. Of course, the infamous Szechuan peppercorns were added for the tingly-numbing effect. A handful of raw crunchy peanuts were thrown in too. It took only one piece of the wood ear fungus to numb your tongue. The numbing effect started off right in the middle of my tongue...and as I put more into my mouth, within minutes, my tongue became totally numb. 10

I didn't quite like the steamed spare ribs as I tasted a layer of flour coating the meat. I suspect it was battered and deep fried before being steamed.
11

Crunchy french beans soaked in chili oil topped with lots and lots of garlic, chilies and peppercorns....it was actually very very tasty!!
12

I don't know how to translate this dish into English, but for those who understand Chinese, this is a very famous Szechuan dish named as Fuqi Feipian (夫妻肺片). It consists of thinly sliced boiled beef brisket and tripes drizzled with the same spicy sauce consisting of chilies, garlic, sesame seed oil and peppercorn. Wanna guess who insisted of ordering this dish? 14

The waitress recommended us their specialty noodle dish. I quite enjoyed the chewy translucent noodle. Initially I find the soup too spicy...but as my tongue went totally numb, I drank one whole bowl of soup without feeling a thing!

13

You must be wondering by now if I suffer any side effect from being overdosed with chillies. Amazingly, nothing. No sore throat, no constipation, no tummy upset. Maybe it was the beer...we had so many bottles of it to cool our body.
Maybe the cool and rainy weather helps too! Food here is cheap...4 dishes of appetizers and 3 bowls of noodles with 2 bottles of beer came up to only RM60 for the 6 of us.
16

After my Humen trip, I noticed that my chili intake has increased. I was searching for spicy food to satisfy my cravings the first couple of days after I am back home. Anyone could recommend me any good Szechuan restaurant in KL or PJ?

Anyway, do drop by again for my last post on Humen to find out what I had for supper, TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW!

39 comments:

Selba said...

The food looks so delicious!!!

I'm wondering why the szechuan chilis can make our tounges feeling numb?

calvinthen said...

You can find good Szechuan dishes along Changkat Thambi Dollah. There are a few Huo Guo (steamboat) restaurant that also serve ala carte.

Inner Mongolia along Jln Pudu is also not bad.

My Szechuan wife mentioned that these few places are quite authentic in the cuisine.

Happy hunting

550ml jar of faith said...

Hawt hawt hawt!! I feel sweat trickling just from looking at the fiery overabundance of chillies! Surprised no side effects came about!

Bangsar-bAbE said...

I find Szechuan food too spicy for me. And you ate it all with no problems... *salute!*

The curry crabs look so yummy la... Did you lick the shell clean clean?? =P

CRIZ LAI said...

Wah! You sure did eat a lot in Humen. There are so many new creations that I had never seen before. Even the soup was brewed with so many kinds of herbs. This is a very impressive spread in you so-called "hidden" town. Make sure you share the recreated recipe ok?

http://crizfood.com/

Live2Talk said...

That's one hot post my dear! Chili in almost every dish. I remember the Fuqi Feipian (夫妻肺片)from the TVB drama 'Happy Ever After' (金玉滿堂)starring Bobby Au Yeung, now showing daily at 10 pm Astro 314.

J2Kfm said...

peppercorns of doom. ahhaha ... bet they're supposed to have medicinal properties lah ... dunno what lah, maybe sweat all toxins out? =P

beef tripe sure your hubby's order lah, from the repeated HK posts.

Precious Pea said...

selba: It's the peppercorn, not the chili. Szechuan peppercorn is well known for its numbing effect. We don't use this kind of pepper much in our cooking.

calvin: Thanks! I heard about the Mongolian restaurant, but is Mongolian dishes the same as Szechuan? So, can your wife cook Szechuan dishes too?

550 ml jar of faith: I think the amount of chilies i had in three days is equivalent to my three weeks portion here.

bangsar babe: It was wayyy to hot for me too but after a few bites, you will keep on asking for me. Really good stuff! They gave me glove when I ate the crabs..of course it was jilat until clean! Hahaha!!

Criz: Actually I had one more meal which I didn't get to take any picture. Can you believe it, i was so hungry till i forgot to take out my camera! I will try making the lotus root dish at home.

live2talk: Same here...i first heard of it from this show too. But i tot it was squid all along.

j2kfm: Smartnya but i guess Hubby is too predictable la....so whenever you see beef especially brisket and tripe...all his order.

ai wei said...

i feel so warm n hot with all ur chillies. haha

Christy said...

Soft, sweet and smooth, is that not 3S instead of 3Cs? :p

Oooh, that was a wide spread of food....Szechuan is always red hot chili and they cook their stuffs in red chili oil...fooo, spicy!!
Did you try their specialty Fish fillets in Red Chili soup?
I tried that in Shanghai, although not really a wow factor, but it was so RED and HOT!! LOL!

thule a.k.a leo said...

woo la la... authentic Chinese food!! Yummy... my stomach is groaning as I look at those pictures.. hahaha.

By the way, there's a Sze Chuan restaurant located in Lisa de Inn... at the Rothman roundabout in SS2... since u r PJ resident before, I'm sure you'd know about this.

Hong La Jiao @ Jalan Changkat Thambi Dollah, Off Jalan Pudu.. behind Times Square KL.

If you like spicy food, have you tried Restoran Chongqing Chicken Hotpot in Kuchai Lama??? I was left sweating everytime I went there... lol!!!

Jessica said...

Hey Ivy,
Jessica here (Monash days).. Anyway, you can find good mind-numbing Sze Chuan food in PJ Section 14, same row as Digital Mall, 2-3 shops down KFC upstairs. The name is "Chou Cha Darm Farn". Nothing fancy, but very very nice. Careful though, menu totally in Chinese.

Julian Si said...

RED hawwwttt.... eeeep!

ps - Welcome back :-)

Emile Zola@life said...

I'm swallowing my saliva already, I love spicy foods, must find one day visit to this place.

Tummythoz said...

Oh those torturous numbing peppercorns! I pick them out everytime. Takut-la.

::. Anton ::. said...

Looks unbelievably yummy. Gosh, I need to plan a trip to Humen now.

+Ant+

tigerfish said...

At first, I thought you wanted to say Human amazes me....hahhaha

Looks like all the dishes there are red and hot!

sc said...

goodness, the food looks excellent! fiery looking but gosh, am drooling looking at it. thanks for sharing!

New Kid on the Blog said...

Everything looks so hot to me!!!!

mimid3vils said...

It's really hot post indeed~~~ I can't "tahan" those numbing spiciness =.=''

Nic (KHKL) said...

i'm seeing red, red, red, red, red!!! woah, hot! haha! i think it's the most appetising colour of all. thanks, precious pea. i'm banjir-ing my space with my saliva d...hehehe...

terri@adailyobsession said...

wah wah looks reaally delicious! tt floury spareribs is supposed to be floury bc it's called 'fen zhen pai gu' (flour-steamed ribs), a sichuan specialty.

i'm like u, the more i visit china, the more i realize there's so much food to try! i think a lot of malaysians don't like china chinese food bc they were too ethnocentric, thinking tt our local chinese food n whatever they r used to eating is the best. but we know better, right??

foodbin said...

no side effects from those hot and spicy food-fantastic!

Jason said...

I think we had the same effect from the chillies when eating Szechuan food... spicy, tongue-numbing but still crave for more!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

As you can imagine, I'd probably die after eating all that. I think I need to go there for training.

Cheesilus chocolatum said...

Hey Precious Pea, I have frequented ur blogs for quite some time, being a super glutton myself. I accidentally found out from 'From Durians to Floating Pies' blog that you will be in Melbourne from mid July onwards. Hey I'd really like to share my food adventures in Melbourne a few months ago! wan some recommendation?

Precious Pea said...

ai wei: Hahaha...yes, so perfect for the cool and rainy weather there.

Christy: Oppss..thanks for pointing out my mistake.

Thule: Thanks for the recommendation. I am so craving for hot and spicy stuff now..and I don't mean Malay food.

Jessica! Harlow! I didn't know you read my blog. How are you??? Thanks for the recommendation, i will sure go explore this place soon.

Julian Si: Thank you!

Emily: So appetizing isn't it?

Tummythoz: Yes wor..sekali bite, habis!!!

Anton: Sigh....we just passed a chance for 2nd trip in May :(

tigerfish: Hahaha..well...try and goggle Humen food and see what you get?? "HUMAN FOOD". LOL

sc: My pleasure to share!

nkotb: Hahaha..you can't take hot stuff?

mimid3vils: Addictive stuff leh, once tried, HOOKED!

Nic: So Chinese New Year feel hor? Imagine having these for CNY here..sure all ended up sakit teruk! LOL!

terri: OOO..no wonder la..but I don't like the floury texture at all. I guess when traveling, try not to join tour as they bring you to lousy eating places and we end up coming back telling people how awful food in China is. Eat where locals eat!

foodbin: Hahaha..yes, such a surprise.

Jason: I so wanna each szechuan food again, when? Wanna go explore explore KL for szechuan food ar?

luscious sista: Errr...err...stay away sista...i don't trust the medical services there.

cheesilus chocolatum: Harlow..yes yes, i will heading to Melbourne soon and would appreciate some recommendations. Left that place for some years and am sure there are lots of great places mushrooming now.

Cheesilus chocolatum said...

Hi precious pea, i've emailed you my comment on those restaurants that i visited during my time in Melbourne! hope you enjoy reading them! nice to know you!

Jun said...

talk abt spiciness, did u try ying thai on lygon st when u were in melb? the tom yum is fiery! perfect for gelati next few doors to end it :P

can't wait to catch up with u in melb!

Cynthia said...

I have just tortured myself my reading this post.

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JOjo said...

The black colour fungus thingy is called 茶树菇 which is a kind of mushroom only available at the northern part of China (东北)...i love this mushroom esp when cook with chicken and make into a stew =)

UnkaLeong said...

Whoa..Spicy! right up my alley ;) Faster post, what did you have for supper two nights in a row?

noobcook said...

I usually do not like China food because it's so salty. But looks like Hunan and Szechuan cuisine is closer to home! It looks like you had a food-filling trip, everything looks so delicious! ;p

Cheesilus chocolatum said...

jun: Hi! I am a fans of thai food too! I've tried ying thai in lygon st, & I do love the Il Dolce Fredo gelati a few door next to it (esp the snickers & Roche flavour)! If you like to try out new flavors, Casa del Gelato along Lygon St too has much more flavors to choose from! I'd say ying thai is good but not as good as the authentic thai food that can be found in my hometown, Kelantan! ying thai is among the most famous thai food in Melbourne city though! Another place called Isthmus of Kra at Park St has good thai food to offer too!OMG i wish i can go back to Melbourne, i really miss the food there!

backStreetGluttons said...

We hereby appoint you the new Malaysia-China Food Ambassador 2009
with the salary of life time unlimited food in Malaysia or China anytime night or day

Sam's mistress said...

*glarg droooool* I'm all over that wonderful spicy food!!!

Looks SOOOOO yummy!!!

worldwindows said...

Food looks fiery red. Surprise: Prawn Noodles! BTW the food can feed an army!

calvinthen said...

Mongolian food is not the same as Szechuan's but the Inner Mongolia along Jln Pudu do serve Szechuan cuisine.

Yes my wife can cook Szechuan dishes and proud to say it taste as good as the one found in restaurants - minus the MSG.

Whenever we go back to ChengDu for holidays, we will bring back ingredients not found here in KL.

 

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