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Feb 17, 2007 09:26 PM

Gan Chay - Liver ? Heart?Jerky from Bale

OK, I was craving a certain kind of beef jerky from a certain Thai place in NY, but of course there were none to be seen here in LA.
Today, though, I thought i saw something like it in Bale (on Valley & Atlantic)..It was in a same type of plastic container, it had the same dark, almost black color, and had some flakes of chili seeds..... I loved that for ingredient it said: sugar cane Blade, sugar, chili, garlic sodium, soy sauce. Upon closer inspection I see that it's.....Liver !

Took a chance and bought it. I like it! It's a little scary at first because I was expecting dry, over-cooked liver, but it is actually soft, yet chewy. It doesn't have the sinewy texture of beef jerky, but it has a deeper flavor than the Chinese sweet pork jerky.

From the same place there's also the Pork Song (the stuff that looks like loose, fuzzy lion mane) that taste great! (it only says "Formosa Small Box" on it, $7. The large box is probably $15 or something like that)

Generally had a good food day today...The Stinky tofu from Lee's Garden next to Bale was very promising. The flavor is right, except that maybe the oil is old because it was strangely bitter. Their sauce is well put together. Better than Yong He, for sure, but then that's probably not too difficult to do. (you can tell I didn't enjoy Yong He much) I'll be back after the New Year to try.

The shaved ice from Shau Mei on Valley was indeed very good. Much better than QQ's.

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  1. Sorry about the rain last night and this morning. Hopefully it won't happen again during the rest of your visit. Have you been by the jerky place in the Shun Fat Supermarket at 421 N. Atlantic Bl. in Monterey Park (south of the 10 Fwy., but north of Garvey)? They sell all kinds of jerky in jars. It's in the space near the northern entrance to the market.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl

      I actually love that rain with the mountain air!

      Thanks for the tip for jerky. I was in that area, but didn't know to look. Is it freshly made locally?

      1. re: HLing

        Good question. Don't know where they're made. Forgot to mention the Champion Gourmet chain that also sells varieties of jerky as well as other dried edibles. They've got locations all over--Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights, Irvine, Cerritos (not to mention Las Vegas & Seattle). Can't recall if they have a location in the Monterey Park/San Gabriel area, though.

        1. re: Chandavkl

          Thanks for the rec of Sun Fat! They did have a lot of jerkies all in bulk bins. I didn't find one that's not somewhat sweet, but some were better than the usual. I had fun tasting a bunch of them as the lady was quite accommodating.

          I did find some of the dried fruit to be really a trip back to Taiwan: the sweet and sticky light brown mango slices really hit a spot. They also had the crazy red dyed salty and sour, but dried mango slices that brought back memories.

          The new stuff I've never had was the chewy Kojac strips.(medium rectangular pieces) I think the passion fruit and tomato flavored ones are a bit weak, but the darker brown savory ones could pass for vegetarian jerky. It's makes good vegetarian snack at least for the novelty of it.

    2. Oh man, thank you for the tidbit about stinky tofu! I've been craving the deep fried kind for a long time and since Lee's Garden is close to my parents' house, I went there this weekend. The stinky tofu was exactly what I was looking for. Funny thing is, on the english menu, it's called "Fried odor tofu."

      This stinky tofu seems like the real deal and not the fake stinky tofu some places make where they imitate the smell with herbs. I ordered a togo order and had to roll down all the windows in my car to survive the drive back.

      The thick soy sauce ws a bit too salty for my taste, but mixed with the chili sauce, it was edible. The picked cabbage they included on the side wasn't too shabby either.

      2 Replies
      1. re: PandanExpress

        I liked the sauce that Lee's Garden put together. It's got a really good balance of spices. I wish I had another chance before leaving LA, to find out if it was actually bitter, or just was an off day.

        I'm not sure if I've posted about this, but a couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with the guy at QQ. Upon hearing my request for stinky tofu he replied that they don't serve it, but., he mumbles, "..better get your fill for it if you like it.." I asked him to clarify. He wouldn't really tell me where to get some, but that if I know where to get some, to get them while i can.... He said under his breathe that they're probably going to ban it (if it's not already) or crack down on it soon...

        So there you have it. Enjoy and start saving up for a trip to Taiwan...

        1. re: HLing

          Well, apparently they've already banned it from Houston's Chinatown so anything's possible. (On the other hand there are so many different municipal jurisdictions in the San Gabriel Valley I can't imagine an areawide ban.) Nevertheless, if you pass by what is perhaps the premiere stinky tofu place in the L.A. area, Dynasty Plaza in Rowland Heights (which despite the name is a shack adjacent to the Hong Kong Market at 18414 Colima Road) , you'd probably conclude it was a public nuisance based on the fragrance that it emits. (And if you make it out there you can check out the varieties of jerky at Champion Gourmet, a branch of which is inside the market building.)