Delicious Pork Skin Fish Balls from 51st Avenue/Broadway Cart in Elmhurst
Those of you who know and/or roam the area frequently have definitely either seen or checked out this cart, on 51st Avenue a few paces off the corner of Broadway, hard by the building that used to be the Elmhurst public library.
She sells your basics - dumplings, noodles, cheung fun, fish balls and tea eggs, much like the two carts down by the NY Supermarket parking lot. This item, the Pork Skin Fish Balls, caught my eye during a walk a few months back, and I made a mental note to try them. To my delight, they were nothing like what I was expecting.
First off, I ordered them with the works, ie all sauces, with an extra helping of the red hot stuff. The fish balls were accompanied not just by the pork skins, but by chunks of daikon radishes, which was a very nice surprise. Not having ever had pork skin (not knowingly anyway), I didn't know at all what to expect - but guessed that they might be heavy, greasy, perhaps crisp and crackly as well (an after-the-fact google image search fleshes out - pardon the expression - several different preparations). Not the case at all. The skins were laden with crevices, sponge like, almost see-through and absorbent, subtle in flavor and not leaden at all. What I really liked about this dish was that it's pretty much all about the texture of the trio, with the balls, daikon and skins all adding something unique and working beautifully together. Most of the flavor came from the mixed sauces, which formed a soup in the small container.
I loved this dish. I ate it in my car which was parked around the corner and revelled in the moment, that complete satisfaction one gets from good street food. And, at three bucks, it's the best deal I've found all year. Highly recommended.