Some years back, I posted about eating pork noodles with all the trimmings – ie kidneys, liver, and intestines – and a reader commented on how I shouldn’t be eating the organs of internal animals, as they are ‘full of cholesterol and bacteria’. They then proceeded to lecture me, an Asian who has eaten internal organs my entire life because it is a big part of my cuisine, about how these are cleansing organs, and can be harmful if ingested.
Welp, still alive and kicking pretty well after 32 years. So. *shrugs*
Perhaps the comment was well-intentioned, but the wording sucked, and I’m going to call it what is: ethnocentrism. It’s not uncommon to come across people like this who think that their culture is above another’s, labelling anything different as dirty, disgusting, or subpar compared to theirs. Some, like said commenter, might even try to educate you on your own cuisine.
Hey, I find reindeer blood and rotten herring pretty odd too, but I don’t judge you for it (*you can probably guess where my commenter is from, lol).
Some westerners may label animal guts as gross, but most of the world’s population, including in China and Latin American countries (contrary to popular belief, the world does not revolve around Europe and the US, folks!) enjoy offal as part of their diet. In places that have historically experienced poverty and strife, nothing on an animal is wasted – and why would they be, when these are the parts loaded with protein?
While yes, they can be high in cholesterol, so is full fat dairy and red muscle meat – a staple of western diets. And burgers and chips. You don’t eat them every day, do you? You switch it around, pair it with veggies, or other dishes. Same thing.
And as for bacteria, you get bacteria in all sorts of meat if it isn’t prepared well – it isn’t limited to just organ meat.
But I digress from my veryyyyyy long rant about ethnocentrism and cultural cuisine. I was actually gonna post about the time I had intestines from a Taiwanese restaurant in Puchong 😀
Located within a busy commercial area in Bandar Puteri Puchong, Jin Taiwan Restaurant specializes in Taiwanese cuisine, offering a variety of classic dishes such as braised pork with rice, salted fried chicken chop, oyster mee sua, and more. I’ve passed by the place many times, but never got down to trying it until recently. The resto is no-frills, sort of like a canteen more than a place to hangout, but it’s comfortable and air conditioned. Prices are relatively affordable too for the setting, with most main dishes averaging around RM12-RM15.
I was happy to see braised intestines on the menu, because this dish is hard to find outside of select Taiwanese restaurants (the only one I can think of is Fong Lye). I ordered a plate to pair with rice. Intestines are difficult to prepare as cleaning them is an arduous process, but Jin Taiwan does it well. The intestines tasted clean and the rich soy sauce masked the natural, slight gaminess that usually comes with organ meat. Also, I love chewy things and these were just right: chewy and bouncy to the bite, but not stringy.
The Hubs had braised pork belly rice. It was served in a humongous portion with some vegetables and a fried egg: I think the meat was good enough for two. The pork belly was fatty, but not in a gross way; instead, the fat kind of melted in the mouth as it was very tender from the braising process.
We washed down our simple meal with Jasmine tea with honey, and red tea – both perfect to cut through the meat’s greasiness.
There are many other dishes we have yet to try out on the menu, but I can see myself coming back here whenever I need an intestine fix lol.
JIN TAIWAN RESTAURANT
72, Jalan Puteri 5/1, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor
Opening hours: 12PM – 8.30PM (closed Tuesdays)