Sunday, August 27, 2006

Mental Boost

The last 15 minutes before I started on this post has been absolutely infuriating and frustrating. And if you are a Blogger-user (i.e. been hosting your blog with, you will know what I mean. Ever since Blogger started switching a couple of weeks back to a beta Blogger format (heavens know what that means), it's been a bloody hair-tearing and cussing experience everytime I try to log in to post new updates (either they don't recognize my user name OR they tell me my password has gone awry OR I can't even find my blog) - whoever is behind this beta Blogger initiative is a BLOODY TECHNO-IDIOT. Sheesh, my blood pressure has shot up to undesirable levels and I need to c...a...l...m... d...o...w...n - counting o..n..e, t..w..o, t..h..r..e..e, f..o..u.r, f..i..v..e......... hmm, feeling slightly better now.

Anyway, what I originally wanted to share with you guys is the soup I rediscovered last week:
Mental Boost
Does it look familiar to you? This is PIG'S BRAIN AND CHICKEN FEET HERBAL SOUP.

My mum used to feed me this every once in awhile in my younger days in the belief that the former will nourish my brain cells (and hopefully increase my brain quotient) whilst the latter will give me sexy and better-looking calves (okay, I was kidding about the latter... actually, she was probably hoping to strengthen my leg muscles as I had a tendency to trip and fall between my toddler years up to my pre-teen years). This herbal soup is usually double-boiled with medlar seeds (kei chi), dried longan flesh and chinese yam (wai san).

I haven't had this soup in decades until last weekend when I happened to come across a hawker stall operating in the same coffeeshop at the corner of Jalan Besar and Allenby Road which I had posted about earlier this year with regards the prawn noodles soup sold within the premises. To my surprise, I saw this particular soup on their menu and I had to order it for old-times sake, and for hubby's benefit as he claimed he had never tasted this soup or eaten pig's brains before. And for your further information, up to this day he still hasn't tasted pig's brains as he took one look at the brain bits that day and declared it insane that anyone would deign to eat the same - all I can say... "coward"!

This particular soup was slightly peppery in taste (almost like pig's innards soup), with a tinge of sweetness from the kei chi. The pig's brain is soft in texture (almost like tofu) and if cooked correctly (with a slice or two of ginger), would hardly have any undesirable smells. Quite a yummy herbal soup once you get past the sight of clumps of brain in your soup! Unfortunately, pig's brains are high in cholesterol, and thus not advisable to take this on a regular basis.

And my final question to you, if pig's brain is supposed to be so good for us (as some traditional Chinese medicine practitioners would have us believe), why do we unflatteringly call a nincompoop as one who possesses a 'chu nao' (i.e. a pig's brain)???


Anonymous Anonymous said...

awww brains! those mushy stuffs, i can never bear to stomach them. isnt it gross? if i hv to eat it, i'll make sure i cook mine with alot of ginger + five spice LOL.

anyway cath, there isnt any prob in posting whatsoever in blogger. ya i know abt their beta thingy, but u hv the option not to switch i think. so it shdnt affect us. i believe they've now "merged" with google to create the beta version. anyway, i've decided to make the switch to blogger coz u never used blogdrive so u won't know. its too frustrating coz the server's down most of the time. loading is slow, and i get complaints from ppl that either their comments are not showing up (hence i switched to the haloscan comment box), or that the banner ad's causing them disconnection. or worse still, a few ppl hv said they cannot access my blog at all. so well, i think i made the right choice to switch. ya so, do update yr link cath.

8/28/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mum used to cook lambs brains for us when we we were kids but in a very Australian way: in white sauce. I loved them and realised only the other day that it's ages since I've seen them in Australian supermarket meat aisles, where you could easily get them in the past, or in our version of the wet markets. Such a pity. Love the sound of an Asian version, especially with five-spice. Do Singaporeans cook with lambs brains also? Perhaps it's time for a recipe???? But on the subject of chicken's feet.... I just can't get my head - or mouth - around them!

8/28/2006 02:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about the blogger thing, I think it's all just part of tech - uck.
Sorry about the soup - just can't go there. It's probably about like buttermilk, if you don't get it young, you are unlikely to get it.

8/28/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

@evan, gross? not really, it's quite nice, like eating tofu - I suppose if you close your eyes and just taste blind, you won't even know its brains :-)

@stephanie, so glad to know that western cuisine features brains as well (makes us Chinese feel less savage..*chuckle*) - lamb brains? Haven't seen any here in Singapore or Malaysia... should be interesting, wonder if it tastes like pig's brains?

@tanna, I know what you mean, it's just like I'll probably never understand the fascination with blue cheese!

8/28/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm ... you neber bring him to watch Hannibal? well, actually the book does contains a more vivid detail how a brain taste like hehehehehehe ...

yessssssss ... time to head to wordpress *grinz*

8/29/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Haha...I agree with you there about calling someone 'chu nao'. After all, it is suspose to be good for us. lolz. My dad used to bring me to eat pig's brain when I was young and I loved them. Notice the past tense?

lolz, ya I stopped eating them since my early teens. I once mentioned them to my bf and he gave me this 'yucks" exppression. haha..guys!

8/29/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Edith said...

this definitely brings back fond memories. I love this dish too but with nowaday's healthy eating, this becomes a no no. So sad.

8/29/2006 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

@slurp, is the book really more graphic - must go and look for that passage then (it should be interesting to see how it's described).. *wordpress* sounds attractive but I'll stick around with blogger for awhile and give them a 2nd chance!

@jacelyn, it's my personal view that guys are generally more squeamish and less adventurous than girls when it comes to tasting food - *probably a colored view influenced by hubby's behaviour*

@PM, with the constant lambast from the media on healthy eating, I agree that it's pretty hard at times to assuage the guilt from high-cholesterol binges!

8/29/2006 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brains!!! Have not had it for years too. The mother stopped cooking it mentioning toxins in organs of factory farmed pigs, or something along that line. Mutton brains you can taste at Kambing soup stalls.

8/30/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cath, i tot it sounds more "graphical". maybe time to pop by bookstores for a quick read ... should be easy to find as it near the end

8/30/2006 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Audrey Cooks said...

Oh Cath! I used to drink this a lot! maybe that explains my memory now. (very bad memory!) I can actually taste it now in my memory. Used to help my mom pick out the small tiny veins. Remember drinking it right before my major exams! with lotsa julienne ginger. Yummy. Hv u tried it fried with scrambled eggs?

8/31/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

@ST, had no idea that kambing soup stalls serve kambing brains... will have to search for it one of these days!

@slurp,thanks for the tip about the 'end' - just realized that Hannibal is a pretty thick book :-P

@audrey, I thot pig's brains are supposed to increase brain quotient, and if you can actually remember its taste from your childhood, I would say those pig's brains work very well! Haven't tried with scrambled eggs - so so intriguing, but first I have to find fresh brains in the market which is going to be quite a task!

8/31/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Audrey Cooks said...

Ha ha ha Cath, now I am very tempted to make myself some brainy soup just to satisfy ancient cravings.

9/03/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cath - I don't think I'm brave enough to try this, but your shot is amazing. I really like it :)

9/07/2006 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

@audrey, wow, if you know how to clean and cook brains... do share the technique with us!

@keiko, sometimes it's better not to know what you're eating if you've never tasted it before - pre-empts biasness and prejudices.. in this case, they really taste like tofu :0

9/13/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger sonitus aspicio peritus said...

Hmmm... Let me think of the many brains that I have eaten along the way. Pig / Fish / Chicken / Duck / Goat. Actually all of them has around the same texture except fish brains which is more juicy.

10/14/2009 03:10:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home