Friday, April 17, 2009

Soy Milk & 'Oily Pieces'

Finally back in KL after tour leading our tour group in Guilin and its surroundings for 6 days. The 6 days tour was equally as eventful as the prior 9 days spent backpacking, as Mother Nature was continuing her mood swings in Guilin. But more on this later once I have the photos ready.

One of the first things I miss once back in KL was the regular breakfast combination of hot soy milk and 'yiu tiau' (aka 'yow char kuay' in KL) while in China. In Mandarin 'yiu tiau' roughly means 'oily piece', a very literal translation for this ubiquitious deep fried dough (for the uninitiated, it's something of a Chinese version of the doughnut, shaped straight rather in an 'O') . Yes in KL, you can get 'yow char kuay' and you can get hot soy milk BUT is there any place you can get both at a single hawker stand or shop and sit down to gulp/slurp the combination down ?? I may not be up to speed with the eating spots in KL so do enlighten me from my ignorance....

To me, the combination of a comforting bowl of hot soy milk with a crunchy 'yiu tiau' is hard to beat. Do look out for the oil used to fry 'yiu tiau', if it's dark coloured or foams during frying, it means the oil has been reused too long. That's bad for flavour and bad for your health. I like my soy milk with sugar but I discovered that in China, you can have salted soy milk as an alternative. You can also have a hot soy and 'yiu tiau' sit-down breakfast in Laos and Thailand, where the latter is called 'pah-thong-koh', and shorter in length, about 3 inches.

Another unbeatable combination in Laos and Thailand is black coffee (the local one filtered through a cloth bag - called 'cafe thung') with 'pah-thong-koh'. So far, unable to find this combination in China.... tea is supreme in China!

above: my breakfast stop in Mengzi, Yunnan

above: breakfast for 3 in Jianshui, Yunnan - all this for only 7 Yuan (approx RM 3.50)

above: Pah-Thong-Koh shop proprietor in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand

above: stall at Udomxai town bus station, Laos - the stall owner is from China
Lots of Chinese businesses in this part of Laos which is close to the Chinese border

above: Pah-Thong-Koh, local black coffee, chinese tea as chaser and grilled pork
at the popular stall under the mango tree, Luang Prabang old quarter.
.... regulars to Luang Prabang will know this spot .... :-)

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