Archive for the ‘pork’ Tag

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Restaurant Review: Hong Kong Noodle

Restaurant review:  Hong Kong Noodle

One of my favorite Chinese restaurant is Hong Kong Noodle, which is a tiny little restaurant near the U of M.  Wit and Leng first came across it a couple years ago, since they both go to the U of M and ever since we’ve been introduced to the place, it’s become one of our favorite Chinese restaurant.  Here’s what we ordered for 5 people:

*My cup of tea

Ground pork with chives in XO sauce

General Tso’s Chicken

House clams

Eight Treasure Hot Pot

Deep fried frog legs with garlic

Different view

Deep fried sole with garlic (one of our favorite)

Salt and pepper squid (Chong meant to say salt & pepper baby squid but I guess he was too hungry or something)

Salt and pepper pork

Pros:  Great food, great prices, great specials, and friendly staff

Cons:  Small restaurant–may have to wait to get a table, especially if you have a big party (5+ people) or you go during rush hour, but it’s worth the wait, small parking lot (during rush hour) and it’s sometimes difficult to find a parking spot

My personal con is that whenever I go there, I and/or the people I’m with, usually order our favorites so we don’t try new dishes.  And most of the dishes we order consists of meat and more meat because we’re all a bunch of carnivores.  But that doesn’t keep us from going back.

*I took these pictures with my sister’s camera so I had to play with the settings, hence, the first picture is too yellow.

Zaub Paj/Chinese Mustard Green Stir-Fry

Zaub Paj literally translates to “vegetable” “flower”, respectfully, and is also known as Chinese Mustard Green.  It is one of the most common vegetable found in Hmong cuisine.  My mom had picked some from one of her various garden and gave me a bagful.  I was craving simple and delicious Hmong food so I made a quick stir fry with pork with a side of pepper and it was divine.  Sometimes, the simplest foods are the most fulfilling.

Zaub Paj (Chinese Mustard Green) and Pork Stir-Fry Pictorial

About 2 cups of pork, sliced thinly, cooking in 2 tbsp of oil + salt & black pepper

Fully cooked

Zaub Paj/Chinese Mustard Green

Add the zaub paj into the pot

Stir until the zaub paj is cooked (2-4 minutes) depending on how you tender you like your vegetables

My HUGE plate: rice, pork + zaub paj stir-fry + side of spicy crushed peppers

That’s a total of 2 ingredients, excluding oil, salt, and black pepper.  An easy, quick and delicious meal.

Steamed Rice Rolls (Fawm Kauv) Pictorial

I loved eating these when I was younger because it was a treat whenever my mom made it–which was only once or twice a year.  As I grew older and started cooking, I would often make these whenever the mood struck me.  Nowadays, my husband is sick and tired of eating them because I’ve made them so often.  There was a point when I made these almost every week.  And now I’m getting a bit tired of making them (and eating them), too.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with the 12 bags of powder we have in the closet….

Steamed Rice Rolls/Fawm Kauv


–  2 lbs ground pork

–  1 bunch green onion, sliced thinly

–  3 tbsp canola oil

–  2 bags of steamed rice roll powder

–  8-9 cups water *

–  2 tbsp oil

–  salt, to taste

–  black pepper, to taste

*The directions on the back of the bag says use 4 cups of water/bag but I like my batter thinner so I use 4.5 cups of water/bag.  Start out with 8 cups and adjust to your taste.


1.  In a pot, heat up the oil and add the ground pork.  Salt and pepper to taste.

2.  Once the ground pork is fully cooked, add the green onions and cook for 1-2 minutes.

3.  Drain the mixture in a colander or spoon the mixture into a bowl.

4.  In a large bowl, mix the 2 bags of rice roll powder, 8-9 cups of water, and 1 tbsp of oil.  Stir until there are no more lumps.

5.  On medium high heat, heat a non-stick pan.  Take a small piece of paper towel, fold it into a small square and dab it into the oil.  Wipe the hot pan with it and set aside.

6.  Pour a small amount of batter (1/4 – 1/2 cup)  into the pan, making sure to swirl the pan around so the liquid covers the bottom of the pan.

7.  Cover the pan and let cook for about 15-20 seconds.

8.  Uncover the pan and flip the thin crepe onto a plate.  Fill with the meat mixture and fold it like a burrito or eggroll.

Steamed Rice Rolls/Fawm Kauv Pictorial

Cooking the ground pork

Cooked ground pork

Add green onions

Cooked meat mixture

Meat mixture in a bowl

Bag of steamed rice roll powder

Steamed rice roll batter

Uncooked (seconds after the batter hit the hot pan)

Cooked (notice that it shrunk and the edges are crispier)

Add pork & green onion filling

Fold in opposite ends

Fold in third end

Continue rolling

All rolled up

Finished product

Peanut Pepper Sauce


–  1 cup peanuts

–  1/2 lime

–  2-3 Thai chili peppers

–  fish sauce, to taste

–  water, to taste

–  MSG, to taste

–  salt, to taste


1.  In a mortar and pestle, crush the peanuts.  Scoop out and put in a bowl.

2.  Add Thai chili peppers, MSG, & salt and pound until broken into small pieces.  Add to peanuts.

3.  Add about 1-3 tbsp of fish sauce, 2-3 tbsp of water, lime juice, and a dash of MSG to the peanuts and pepper.  Stir and add more fish sauce/water/lime to taste.

Peanut Pepper Sauce Pictorial


Crushed peanuts

Hot Thai chili peppers

Salt & MSG



Add fish sauce

Add lime juice

Add water

Add pepper


Dry Chili Pepper


–  1 tbsp dry chili pepper

–  3 tbsp fish sauce


1.  In a small bowl, add the dry chili pepper and fish sauce together.  Stir and serve.

Dry Chili Pepper Pictorial

Dry chili powder

Dry chili powder in a bowl

Add fish sauce


My plate:

Plate of fawm kauv

Add sauces

Cut up and ready to eat!

I have to admit, these are VERY time consuming to make because you can only make them one at a time but trust me, they are worth it.  I don’t like most restaurant or deli fawm kauv because they’re 1) too thick  2) taste weird  3) not enough filling and 4) they’re EXPENSIVE!  Depending on where you buy them, they can run from $3-$6 for a small package.  I can make enough to feed Chong and myself based on $6.  Plus, when you make them yourself, you can eat it while it’s still hot and freshly made, which is the best time to eat it.  Oh yes, these were what I spent 6 hours making on Mother’s Day.

Spring Rolls

Finally, a spring roll post! Spring rolls are so easy to make, although the prep time is very time consuming, and I’d say they’re pretty healthy for you. For some reason, whenever Chong and I go to Saigon, I’d always want to order the make-your-own spring rolls for $9. That’s pretty expensive, considering that there’s only 5-7 wraps in there! I can make my own spring rolls for that amount of money–and I’d still have a ton of ingredients leftover.

Argh. Since I made this a few weeks ago, I lost track of my ingredients and measurements so bear with me on my guesstimations.

Spring Roll


– 2-3 lbs of pork (shoulder or butt)
– 1 package of Asian BBQ powder (char siu)
– 1 cup water
– salt, to taste
– black pepper, to taste
– 1 bunch cilantro
– 3 carrots, grated
– 15 pieces of red lettuce, quartered
– 1 cooked pork meatloaf, julienned
– 1 package of rice wrappers
– 1 package rice vermicilli noodles, cooked according to the package


1. In a large ziploc bag, mix the packet of Asian BBQ powder (char siu) with salt, black pepper, and water. Add the pork and marinade for 2-3 hours, or overnight.

2. Turn the oven to ‘Broil’ and place the pork in a pan. Broil the pork for 7-10 mins on each side, or until cooked. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Once cooled, slice thinly.

3. In a large bowl or cake pan (depending on the size of your rice paper), add 1/2 inch of hot water (cake pan) or 2 cups of hot water (bowl). Soak the rice paper in the hot water either by placing the whole wrapper in the water or soak 3/4 of the wrapper and rotate slowly. The rice paper just needs a few seconds in the water because it’ll soften up out of the water.

4. Lay the soft/wet rice paper on a plate and add the lettuce, noodles, carrots, cilantro, bbq pork, and pork meatloaf 1/4 from the edge.

5. Starting from the shorter edge, fold the rice paper over the ingredients, then roll it over once, then tuck in the left and right edges and continue rolling. *Like how you would roll egg rolls or a burrito*

It’s so much harder to try to explain how to make spring rolls than it is to show it. Next time, I’ll try to post a video of it up.

Spring Roll Pictorial

Package I used/Powder+salt+black pepper/Add water

Chunks of pork—>Marinading—>Ready to be broiled

Next time, more powder, less water and all in 1 bag

Noodles/Carrots, cilantro, bbq pork & julienned pork meatloaf/red leaf lettuce (uncut)

I’m in love with this wrapper.  It’s better than the kind I usually get (and it’s HUGE!)


I made about 20-25 spring rolls, with a lot of left over ingredients.  During the spring/summer, I love growing or buying my own fresh herbs from the Farmer’s Market and add mint and sweet or Thai basil and cucumber for a little crunch.  Some version include shrimp but Chong is allergic to shellfish so no shrimp for him.  Spring rolls are so easy to make and very refreshing.  I can’t wait until the weather gets warmer so I can have an excuse to make and eat more spring rolls.  : )

Hot Pot!

Chong and I had Hot Pot this weekend. It’s been on my long list of To Eat. Prepping wasn’t too bad. I had planned on making dumplings but I decided to forgo that idea so we could eat sooner. I hate when people rush me, especially when I’ve mentally planned out my agenda (hint: Chong). Although the broth was at a low simmer, when I poured it into the HP pot, I didn’t let the pot+broth to heat up so it took a while to cook the veggies+meat. And the potatoes? Don’t even ask me. I didn’t even get to eat them because they never cooked!

Tofu, leafy greens (spinach, bok choy, napa cabbage, watercress, & yuchoy), bean thread noodles

Beef meatballs/pork/beef, mushrooms, potatoes, & seafood mix

Slowly cooking away

The morning after (includes potatoes)

I have to admit, it is fun to dump add veggies and meat into the pot.  It’s a great way to socialize while waiting for the food to cook.  It’s even more fun to eat.  I had 4 different kinds of dipping sauces (not pictured) and Chong, Pua, and I had a blast trying new combinations.   The next day, I pre-cooked the potatoes and added it to my broth.  Then I added the slower-cooking veggies, meats and noodles, let the pot simmer til everything was almost cooked and then add the fast-cooking veggies and beef.  This was easier and faster and just as good.  Chong liked the tofu, bean thread noodles, meatballs, and beef while I liked the tofu, mushrooms, watercress, spinach, and potatoes.

I’d prefer something where I can have my grilled meats and soup at the same time, but unfortunately, Chong and I live in an apartment and don’t want to be kicked out just yet.  Maybe I’ll try this during the summer at my parents’ house.