I’m surprised that Cleaver Quarterly has finally put some content on the internet.
Have you (or anyone else around here) been to Mien Nghia Noodle Express?
thanks for the link
what the hell is this?
My daughter Supertina will drive up from OC to Mien Nghia occasionally as it is one of her favorite noodle places. She particularly likes the dry noodle with the broth on the side.
Thanks for sharing my article Unfortunately The Cleaver Quarterly’s current site doesn’t support photo captions, so those were left out! All of the photos were taken on my trip to Swatow a few months ago, and were supposed to be labeled as:
- Rice noodle soup with fish balls and pork
- Rice noodle roll with egg, shrimp, ground pork, lettuce, bean sprouts, carrot, and preserved turnip
- Teoswa beef hotpot broth is cleanly flavored, with few spices added
- Fresh seafood on display at Swatow restaurant. Diners order their meals by selecting raw items and specifying cooking method.
- Stewed goose on the chopping block
- Saltwater-steamed fish (鱼饭) on display at Swatow restaurant
- Raw beef, including Teoswa’s famous beef meatballs, at a beef hotpot restaurant. Teoswa-style hotpot requires fresh (not aged) beef
- Offal soup with Chinese motherwort
- Abalone at Swatow banquet restaurant
- Shrimp topped with scallion and minced garlic
BTW, I’m a big Mien Nghia fan. Their noodle soups are great, and I love their chicken gizzard a la carte dish.
The Chinese crullers at Mien Nghia are truly a travesty.
So bad, in fact, that their atrociousness (chewy, rubbery and a tad greasy) make them the perfect accompaniment to a plate of pork kidneys, with an extra topping or two of the ginger-garlic-scallion tapenade.
That was a good read!!
Great article other than her constant use of teoswa. It’s a very recent term that is mostly used in China. You’ll never hear a teochew immigrant anywhere use teoswa, unless they’re very recent or still I’m the mainland. Probably not the best term to describe long time immigrants, especially since they call themselves teochew nang.
Yes they are horrible but not bad for soaking up soup or sauce if you’re really hungry.
Yup mien nghia is great, been goin there since I was a kid!
Thanks for the kind words about the article, everyone!
@blimpbinge, thanks for highlighting that. I used Teoswa deliberately because that’s how my extended family and their neighbors in Swatow describe themselves, and part of my goal was to highlight the food enjoyed in that part of China today. As I mentioned in the article, my family is unlike many other US immigrants with roots in that region, as we left Swatow relatively recently (I was born in China and lived there for a few years).
When I talked to the SGV restauranteurs whose families first left China many years ago, I was careful to use their preferred terms (Chiuchow or Teochew) in the interviews. (Can you tell I’ve been thinking about this Teoswa vs. Teochew/gaginang identity a lot recently? )
Indeed! The reason I discovered this difference is that I met some friends from there who immigrated here recently (they’re in their late 20s, early 30s) and they tend to use teoswa. I was a bit surprised because I’m used to talking to teochew immigrants that left much earlier. If you go to Singapore, for example, many of the teochew left the mainland a number of generations ago!
the top pic looks like abalone - scored in a checkerboard pattern to create that particular texture.
the lower, probably prawn stuffed with crab. EDIT: my bad - it’s just garlic.
I’m working on a book about the food & people of the Teoswa/Teochew diaspora & am always looking for more interviews — so if any of your Teoswa or Teochew friends are interested in sharing their stories with the world, please let me know! (My Kickstarter campaign to support this project is actually wrapping up in a few days if anyone is interested.)
Interesting, but the word for “eat” is “jiak”, with a soft K ending. Maybe unless the specific swatao dialect avoids the k sound?
I’ve seen it romanized many different ways by different people — jia, jiat,
jiak, chia, zia, ziah, etc… There doesn’t seem to be a consensus among
speakers/translators so I went with my favorite option.