Way back in the good old days when I was growing up, life was simple and we did not have much and we found delight in whatever treats there were at the school tuckshop or canteen or one of the few coffee shops in town. Most of the time, if my mum did not cook it at home, we would not get to eat it at all like this fried bihun (rice vermicelli) with canned clams in soy sauce…
…and each time we got to enjoy something like this, it was such sheer ecstasy, believe you me. These days, you can get this quite easily in some shops in town and some would even add bits of cangkuk manis to it but we never had it that way then.
There was some bihun in the house that day – I think my missus had opened a packet for Melissa to take some to her jungle school to cook and eat so I decided to cook that for breakfast. Instead of the usual Amoy clams, I thought I would like to try a local brand to see if it was any good but unfortunately, it paled in comparison. The clams were a bit bigger but it lacked the very nice fragrance and taste so at best, it was nice, just that it could have been a lot nicer.
I only managed to use half of what was lying around in the house so the next morning, I decided to fry and use up the rest of it and for a change, I decided to use as the main ingredient, those canned stewed pork chops instead…
…and to get rid of the oil/fat, I put the tin in the fridge overnight. The oil would float on top of the sauce and can be removed easily with a spoon…
In the past, my mum would always use the Ma Ling ones but we had had some not very pleasant experiences with their products, including their luncheon meat, so we would never buy any of that brand ever again – I don’t know how true this is but they say there are a lot of imitations and that is why many have been disappointed and are boycotting their products as well. On my part, these days, I would go for the Narcissus brand instead but oh me oh my!!! Only after I had opened the can did I realise that I had bought the wrong thing!!! This was stewed pork and not stewed pork chops! The latter would be mostly lean and would not have so much fat but this, as you can see in the above photograph, was actually pork belly with all the layers of fat.
Never mind! Left with not much choice, I just had to make the best of the situation so I took the pieces of meat in the can and removed all the fat, keeping only the lean meat for my fried bihun…
You can shred the meat if you like into something like what people call pulled pork these days but in fact, in the process of cooking, it would all come apart in strips so there is actually no need to go through all that trouble of doing it by hand.
I poured the sauce onto the pre-soaked and softened bihun…
…so that it would have its very nice flavour when cooked and these were the ingredients that I used…
– one or two shallots and two or three cloves of garlic, thinly-sliced…and since I had one tomato and some daun sup (Chinese celery) in the fridge, I decided to use those. These would be optional, of course – when my mum cooked hers, she never had these add-ons and despite it being so very simple, it was nonetheless very nice. I also had a spoonful of my missus’ pounded chili at hand, and two eggs as well.
Firstly, I heated a bit of oil to fry the shallots and garlic till golden brown…
…after which I added the meat…
…followed by the tomato and daun sup…
…before putting in the bihun and the pounded chili…
Once everything was mixed thoroughly and sufficiently fried, I added the eggs…
…and when the eggs were cooked and I was satisfied that the bihun was nicely done, I dished it all out, garnished it with some chopped spring onions and served…
Yes, it turned out pretty well. I know self-praise is no praise but I enjoyed it…and my missus had some too and since she was going over, she took the rest to my mother-in-law’s house for her to eat. My missus said that she loved it and finished it in no time at all. This was probably like what we were like before when we were kids – savouring and enjoying every bit of it and licking our plates clean each time we had had something that to us, in those days, was such an awesome and special treat.
I wouldn’t be surprised if kids or even people in general nowadays would not even cast a second glance at it…and would head to the nearest fast food franchise for a burger or some Japanese or Italian restaurant for a bowl of ramen or a plate of pasta. Time certainly has changed a lot, hasn’t it?
27 thoughts on “Good old days…”
Naise! I like my bee hoon with lotsa sambal belacan! and no, no pork thank you.
…between the devil and the deep blue sea? 😉
Sedaaaaaapp!!! Slurpssss!!!! 😀
I love the good old days, and your post and photos here….mmmmm, just wonderful!
We’re from around that same era – wonder what yours was like way back then. Should be very different from here, overseas.
oh, i would choose your bee hoon over a generic plate of pasta at an italian restaurant, honestly. it looks like something i’d polish clean. delicious. especially after reading about all the thought and effort you put into this 🙂
Thank you for your nice words, you’re very kind but truth be told, I would prefer this to pasta though I wouldn’t mind those once in a while for a change. I do think I enjoy them more than my missus though – she has to eat at times when eating out, more for the daughter’s sake than anything else, carbonara puts her off – too rich and creamy for her liking.
Yes indeed, I miss the good old days
Life was pure and simple then…
Gone are the good old days. That was a nicely fried plate of bihun, my type, all broken up into small pieces, easy to eat. Are you using the A1 Thailand bihun, small & fine? It looks like. Never fried with stew pork chop, only clams. So silly of me, I always throw away the sauce, thought it was dirty. Next time will pre soaked in the bihun. Thanks for the tips.
Exactly what my cousin in Oz does – pour away the sauce. Aiyor…if the sauce is dirty, everything in the can is dirty, no? Of course, there would be those preservatives and what not – that’s why it is best not to eat canned foods too often. Once in a while, ok…convenient, if no fresh ingredients.
Fry your bihun a little longer – these fine Thai ones will surely break into small bits and pieces. I always leave till slightly golden brown at the bottom and toss to alternate – feel it will be nicer that way, more fragrant. Never use the China ones anymore these days – smells of cockroach…
this is better than any other pasta lor. oh, i cook more or less same like u but i will add a packet of those fried mihun seasoning. for now i love the prima taste mee siam one. yum yum. add prawn at the end.
Aiyor…use the mee siam seasoning, no need to use much else but of course, would be a whole lot nicer with prawns added. Can’t go wrong with those. That mee siam, same as Nyonya Colours one, I think…not the same as the Singapore Nyonya mee siam. I love that…a lot more!!!
Alamak! Now you make me crave for fried mihun. I still enjoy the mihun with stewed pork. Somtimes my mum will used the “rou ting” (canned spicy pork) for the mihun too. Very flavourish.
Ahhhhh!!!! My missus loves that with her porridge. I saw a can in the pantry this morning, was thinking of using it but changed my mind. Decided to try the grilled clams that my cousin in Oz said were nice. Not really, nowhere near Amoy.
I love my mom’s fried bihun too. I will always have 2.5 plates of it every time 😀
I bought these canned pork belly once, never again. I’m a self proclaimed pork guy, but I can’t stomach the sight of the oily, 80% fat meat! I prefer the 50-50 ratio.
Fast food is for old farts like me, kids nowadays will not bother with fast food. A 12 years old kid in KL would probably know what escargot or sashimi moriawase means.
I know what escargot is – French cuisine but not the other one. So jakun, this dinosaur. Wahhhhh!!!! They are all so high class now kah, not into fast foods anymore? Gee!!! So lucky. We certainly were born in the wrong time and place.
The pork chops are not as fat but I’m not a fan of canned whatever meat because of the smell, except corned beef and luncheon meat…but I would use this to fry bihun…nice, and for old times’ sake – once in a long while (plus they do not come cheap these days, can’t afford).
I haven’t had my breakfast yet! Your fried meehoon and fried rice always look so good and I know it tastes excellent too. I am now craving for fried meehoon with canned pork 😀
Tell you the truth, everyone is the house is sick and tired of my fried rice and noodles but my girl doesn’t mind fried bihun – will tapao any leftover to her jungle school. Fried rice, not really – had an overdose of that during the years she was in Sg Petani.
Have not heard of tuckshop for ages and guess those gen Y ppl may not know this term. Real good ole days.
We old school punya people bah, pak!!! 😀
You and your fried mee hoon / frird rice always looks good!!
Thank you, thank you. Sometimes presentation nice, when eat, not so nice. 😀
…yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy… 😀
I do like the fine texture of rice vermicelli.
The Thai ones are very good, nicer than the ones from China.
I love to see food you cook, you are such a good cook.. If you say nice, means the food is good.. And if you cook, I know the food will sure taste delicious.. Growing up days huh.. Mine was simple but unpleasant.. Mum never allowed us to go anywhere, and we always brought food from home.. No buying food from the canteen til I was 14.. Yep, 14!
Thank you, thank you. You say the sweetest things, so nice of you. 14??? Gee!!! You were in secondary school by then…but your mum has your best interest at heart. I know…my girl’s in the same boat, the doting mum’s also like that – dunno how or when to let go. 😦
For me, I love chinese type of food anytime compared to others… no burgers for me please.. hahaha.. I am an old fashion type of person who loves authentic food only… food that my mother used to cook while I was young and hawkers’ food of the yesteryears too… everything has changed now… some for the better and some cannot be compared at all… well, I guess we do what the Romans do these days but when it comes to food, I still prefer those “olden” type of food anytime!
I’m more flexible, I guess. Anything that’s nice, I would like. That is why I wouldn’t mind trying anything new…but they usually do not come cheap. In fact, nothing is all that cheap anymore…unlike in the good ol’ days on one hand and on the other, we did not have much then – and everything was like heaven on earth.
we had that for lunch.
Cooked your own or they sell this in Penang?
Ma Ling! So nostalgic ~
We also used this brand to make fried bihun 🙂
Haven’t had it for at least 10+ years though! lol
You’ve been away so long?
I need this, now.
Fast to cook, nice to eat! 😀