The giant pork cheek porridge at the restaurant has a “million dollar view”
In Ho Chi Minh City, people are very addicted to rustic dishes with typical flavors, typically porridge heart. There are thousands of porridge shops all over the city, some selling cheap, some high priced but still crowded. There are even “masters” hiding on the sidewalk, like the shop of Ms. Thuan and Mr. Tuan (opposite 14 Duong Duc Hien Street, Tay Thanh Ward, Tan Phu District) for example.
Many people joke that this pork cheek porridge restaurant is affordable but has a “million dollar” view, because Duong Duc Hien street is located near the runway of Tan Son Nhat airport, guests can eat while watching the plane. hover over the head.
Anh Tuan – Ms. Thuan, the owner of the sidewalk porridge restaurant, has a view of “million dollars”
But what makes many diners fall in love with this sidewalk porridge restaurant is actually the pork cheek porridge with a huge serving. Usually in popular shops, people will sell quadrant pork cheeks (the upper cheek with the eyes or the lower cheek) for about 70 – 90 thousand VND / piece, depending on how it is processed. At Ms. Thuan’s shop, pork cheeks are sold whole (half a pig’s head), accompanied by a bowl of porridge for 50-60 thousand, depending on the size of the pig’s cheeks.
The restaurant’s signature giant pork cheeks.
To serve the pork cheek porridge, she usually cooks it soft first, then when the customer orders it, she will blanch it with boiling water and then put it in the porridge pot, cook for a few more minutes until it is hot, then put it on a plate. The “giant” pork cheek porridge is served with blanched onions, ground pepper, a plate of herbs, and a cup of chili sauce for added flavor.
The pork cheek porridge here is attractive because the meat in the pork cheeks is very thick, not thinned. With the price of about 60,000, diners can eat to their fullness, or divide 2 people with 1 portion of pork cheeks, and order another bowl of blood porridge to fit.
Besides “Miss” is pork cheek porridge, Ms. Thuan’s shop also has very popular heart porridge. Porridge here costs 20 thousand / bowl, including all the side dishes such as throat, sausage, pho, blood, liver, heart, stomach, including soft cakes and eaten with the same price.
Those who are observant will see that Ms. Thuan does not cook porridge with heart and pork cheeks in the Southern style, but with a little more Northern style. The porridge here still has a little ginger and lemongrass in the porridge, very dilute but with more blood clots. In particular, the part of the pho is cleaned inside, leaving no powder. Doi is also made in a hybrid style, adding a lot of herbs, fat and also peanuts, mung beans stuffed inside, creating a “firmer” texture than normal sausages and fat.
Although each bowl of porridge has 20 thousand, quite cheap compared to the standard of living of Saigon people, Ms. Thuan is also very generous in cutting the intestines and meat in thick pieces, biting her teeth, “to finish one bowl is full, no need to earn money. what to eat more,” she said.
The secret to buying a house, buying land in Saigon
Ms. Thuan and Mr. Tuan have been with this porridge shop for almost 20 years. Ms. Thuan said: “In the past, it was sold on Le Trong Tan Street, and the old market was still there, then moved to Duong Duc Hien Street, this street still has potholes and has not been made as beautiful as it is now. I started selling porridge for 2 thousand/bowl, now it’s 20 thousand“.
Ms. Thuan is a native of My Duc, Ha Tay (former), has been doing business since her twenties, before she was married. Then the couple left their hometown to live in the South, having been around for nearly 20 years. Compared to her 41 years old, she jokingly said that she had sold heart porridge “half of her life”.
At the peak, every day, they sell 60 cheeks, twelve dozen kilograms of heart, when it’s off work, the tables are packed along the road. Open for sale from 3 pm, usually 6-7 pm is “sold out” pork cheeks, about 8 o’clock, at the latest at 9 o’clock, you clean up the goods. However, there are times when guests from District 1, Go Vap wade through to eat in the afternoon and their cheeks are gone, the guests are sad, sulky and leave, the owner also feels guilty.
After many years on the sidewalk, Ms. Thuan and Mr. Tuan have enough money to raise 3 children (grade 10, grade 8, grade 4), eat school, buy a SH car, buy a house in Saigon. Anh Tuan revealed: “The house is only 1, but the husband and wife accumulated a few pieces of land, later to give it to their children“.
Their secret is revealed, which is “doing the root, eating the top”. “You have to work hard, you can work diligently, you can take a break from time to time when you have a job, and still sell all year round“, Ms. Thuan said. For many years now, the shop has only had a husband and wife who rotated among themselves, from going to the market, cooking, cleaning… without hiring someone. Thuan herself went to the morning market to choose and cook. , and Mr. Tuan is in charge of carrying the calves and cleaning, the couple is also very gentle, telling each other to do it, but rarely causing fights, comparing each other.
Ms. Thuan said, even selling on the sidewalk, she did not care about choosing raw materials. From the heart, the pork cheeks to the spices, she takes care of it like a restaurant. Basil and coriander are also picky short, a bit ugly but fragrant. Chili pepper also chooses delicious, buy pepper seeds, chili fruit to grind at home, not use ready-made goods.
The restaurant is also highly appreciated for its “restaurant quality” service. Pork cheeks are a difficult dish to eat anyway, with many bones, so you carefully prepare a knife, fork, and chopsticks to make it easy for guests to peel the meat. The shop also prepares soap and hand sanitizer for customers so that after eating the pig’s cheeks, they can wash their hands to enjoy the next dishes.
The cheerful and cheerful hostess is a plus point to make the shop more crowded. “Sales must be careful. The area we sell is near the food technology school, many students and workers. When I saw this guest, I took a little more porridge so that people would eat to fill their stomachs, so they wouldn’t eat more at home. Students, as well as my grandchildren, are far away from their father and mother, are at an old age, and they are too expensive to be satisfied.
I make a small profit, but selling in large quantities and pleasing customers is the main thing. It is important not to sell expensively to anyone and to serve quickly. Everyone is busy now, so it’s too crowded to slow down, people get up. That’s all, saving for many years can’t afford to buy land to buy a house, but there’s nothing sublime!” – Ms. Thuan said happily.
(Photo: Pham Dung, Sapa TV)