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1950's Old Style Chinese Steamed Pork (Hom Yu)

m
Mochi Oct 3, 2005 06:17 PM

Hello,
Anyone remember the steamed pork that was served back in the l950's at Chinese restaurants Far East Cafe in Japan Town in Los Angeles or Tin Sing in Gardena? It was softer and didn't have the stinky fish (the actual hom yu) on top. It had a distint flavor that I don't find in steamed pork with hom yu these days at most Chinese restaurants. Any one know what they might have put in it to make it taste so good?
Thanks in advance, it's a nostalgia thing for me. Also, it's flavor was very distinct and I don't ever taste it any other dish these days.
Mochi

  1. k
    Kanani73 Aug 9, 2013 07:52 PM

    Omg....I grew up with the food from Tin Sing. I've only found one other place who has it similar, that place is called Wo Fat in Las Vegas. Their food is incredible! It's the pork hash that you want! If you remember Tin Sing's fried shrimp... They do it the same way. Now, if I can only ind their Pak Kai, I'd be set!

    1. b
      bw2082 Jan 30, 2009 11:01 AM

      have you tried about 2-3 dried oysters soaked in water and minced into the meat?

      2 Replies
      1. re: bw2082
        g
        gourmet wife Jan 30, 2009 12:22 PM

        One day I had an extra tub of tofu. I mashed it up and mixed it into the pork. Result was a lighter pork "beng" but just as tasty.

        When I make my pork "beng" I add in chopped dried scallop & dried shitake (rehydrate them in water first) which gives it a nicer flavour.

        1. re: gourmet wife
          g
          gourmet wife Feb 2, 2009 10:05 AM

          Oh I just had a thought on the weekend. Perhaps it was shrimp paste in it? I know a lot of people use it for flavouring as very little is required to make it tasty.

      2. a
        Alan408 Oct 5, 2005 10:36 AM

        This is the recipe from a church cookbook my father used, unless he modified it. The cookbook is from the 60s.

        1.5 lbs ground pork (cook book recommends boston butt)
        salted fish (rinse with warm water to remove scales)
        ginger slivers
        2T cornstarch
        1t salt
        1t sugar

        5 Replies
        1. re: Alan408
          m
          Mochi Oct 9, 2005 12:37 AM

          Thanks so much for the recipe! I shall try it soon.

          1. re: Mochi
            h
            homyufan Aug 3, 2008 07:09 PM

            I hope you're still interested in a Homyu recipe. I think that the ingredient that gives it that unique flavor is a chinese wet bean curd called Fu Yu or Fun Yu. Until a few years ago there was one specific brand my mother used, but it can't be found anymore and unfortunately there are many brands out there that aren't as good. Anyway, here's my recipe:
            1/2 lg grund pork
            1/2 lb ground pork fat
            2 clove garlic crushed
            1 tsp salt (slightly less)
            2 TBS cornstarch1 - 11/2 cubes Fun Yu squares
            Mix all ingredients except conrstarch. Once mixed, mix in cornstarch
            Form into 9 patties
            Steam 18-20 minutes

            1. re: homyufan
              Pakkai Jan 30, 2009 07:55 AM

              homyufan,
              "I think that the ingredient that gives it that unique flavor is a chinese wet bean curd called Fu Yu or Fun Yu. Until a few years ago there was one specific brand my mother used, but it can't be found anymore"

              Was it the Quon or Quong Hop fuun-yu brand?
              I have not seen this in years. Major bummer. I miss it too.

              Oh the days of yore.

              1. re: Pakkai
                h
                homyufan Jul 23, 2009 01:32 PM

                I don't recall the name, but I think the label was gold foil with red writing. Does that sound like the Fu Yu you were thinking about? If you find anything close, please let me know. I have purchased different jars of what I thought was fu-yu but ended up tossing them because the flavor was just not right.

              2. re: homyufan
                l
                luvgoodcheapeats Mar 3, 2009 03:52 PM

                I've been reading about all the hom yuk recipes. I go way back to Far East, San Kwo Lo, Man Fuk Low, Gen. Lees, Tin Sings, PK's, Etc. The true unique flavor of good hom yuk, forget the stinky fish, is the Foon Yu (sp ???) Any recipe without it is not going to taste right. Plus, you need lots of pork fat and people don't cook that way anymore. Too bad. Thats what make hom yuk taste sooooo good. I'm going to try your recipe. Sounds good. Also, you can still get decent hom yuk at Fu Shings in Torrance/Gardena and at least a few months ago, Pauls Kitchen on San Pedro. Neither have the stinky fish and are lean, but have decent taste considering they probably cut the fat in half. At least they satisfy my craving.

          2. m
            mty Oct 4, 2005 02:11 PM

            Are you sure the salted fish wasn't mashed up and mixed into the minced pork? That style of pork beng was more common when hom yu was rarer and more expensive. Plus the taste is much lighter than a solid piece of fish.

            Another possibility, and I'm going out on a limb on this, is that what you remember isn't hom yu but hom ma, fermented shrimp paste. A little bit goes a long way and it has a different, but still very salty and briny taste.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mty
              m
              Mochi Oct 9, 2005 12:45 AM

              Hello,
              Thanks so much for the idea of smashing up the hom yu into the pork mixture. Previously, I was planning to do just that but could not find any hom yu at the store but I did find the shrimp paste. So, I did add the shrimp paste, but it was not the same. I'll have to look for the hom yu, I thought it might be a dried fish item, but could it possibly come in a jar in oil?
              Or frozen?
              Thanks for your advice.

            2. m
              Margret Oct 4, 2005 02:00 PM

              Not knowing the exact taste you are referring to, I could guess that some old timers used to add chopped liver lop cheung (liver chinese sausage) to the minced meat. I like the taste but my kids hate liver of any kind. Perhaps you can try it. I also think that chopped water chestnut is really important for this dish as it prevents the patty from becoming heavy and dense after steaming.

              Margret

              1 Reply
              1. re: Margret
                m
                Mochi Oct 9, 2005 12:59 AM

                Hello, Thank you so much for your advice. I've previously made it with lop cheung and it was quite delicious! But, it was not the same as the one I've been trying to re-make from childhood memories. Yes, I do think it did have the water chestnuts. They do make it nice and soft. The recipe that I've come up with so far is:
                Coarsly ground pork from Boston Butt
                Salted Fish (Hom Yu) that is mashed up
                Fine cut up ginger (?)
                2 T cornstarch
                1 t salt
                1 t sugar
                water chestnut, coarsly ground
                Chinese Rice wine
                Mix together and steam for 20 minutes.
                It's not a complex dish, I recall it being rather simple, humble, but with great flavor.
                We'll see if it does the trick!

              2. c
                ChineseChou Oct 3, 2005 07:26 PM

                I would love a recipe, if you have it...that is real comfort food to me.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ChineseChou
                  a
                  anna Oct 3, 2005 07:54 PM

                  Can't comment on the ones served at restaurants, but here's how we make it at home:

                  Mix together:
                  Ground pork
                  Soy sauce
                  Rice wine (optional)
                  Sugar
                  Corn starch
                  Oil
                  A little water (a tablespoon or so)

                  Put the mixture in a shallow place and put hom yu and/or salted duck egg on top. If using hom yu, also place some shredded ginger and oil on top of it. Steam till done. The steaming time will have to depend on how thick the meat is. You'll probably need to do some trial run on that.

                  The following are sometimes added to the meat:
                  Perserved vegetables (various types)
                  Rehydrated shittake mushroom, diced
                  Chinese sausage
                  Water chestnuts, diced
                  Dried mandarin peels
                  Egg (chicken), scrambled

                  A word about the ground pork: The best texture comes from making the ground pork at home. Instead of putting it through a grinder, cut the pork into small pieces then run the cleaver over them until you get the texture of sausage meat.

                  1. re: anna
                    w
                    Wayne Keyser Oct 3, 2005 09:39 PM

                    If the foregoing recipe is what you remember, it seems to me to bear a very strong resemblance (heck, it's identical) to three other familiar things:

                    (1) Basic wonton/dumpling filling,
                    (2) The meatball inside a Vietnamese steamed bao,
                    (3) The dish I just "discovered" last week: meatballs like this, served over rice, with a basic white (chicken-broth) Chinese sauce (yum!)

                    1. re: anna
                      m
                      Mochi Oct 4, 2005 02:07 AM

                      Hello,
                      Thanks for the recipe, I will try it. I made some last night, but, instead of using rice wine I used shao shing (sp) wine. I also added salt and white pepper, lop chong, shrimp paste and water chestnuts. It didn't taste the way I remember it. But, I'll try it the way you make it, it sounds like it would taste more of the way I remember, very simple and delicious!
                      Mochi

                      1. re: Mochi
                        t
                        theSauce Oct 4, 2005 01:05 PM

                        Mix in one uncooked salted duck egg and omit the salt. The steam pork in the restaurant probably has meat tenderizer mixed in as well.

                    2. t
                      theSauce Oct 3, 2005 06:47 PM

                      It is probably flavored with salted duck eggs mixed into the pork instead of the salted carp.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: theSauce
                        m
                        Mochi Oct 9, 2005 01:18 AM

                        Thank you for the idea of salted duck eggs. I have a feeling it did not have them in it because I think the recipe was quite humble and simple. I imagine the salted duck eggs are quite a delicacy. I am curious about the dish with ducks eggs and will try to make it soon.
                        Thanks for you advice.

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