To get Mei Long Village's house special 12-hour cured pork pump (braised pork knuckle and/or pork calf), you have to order it in advance, sometimes more than a day. Their version is silky tender, but very different from the standard Shanghai pork pump.
"The braising sauce was not of the old familiar 'red cook' style, but rather it was clear, thin and exuded an odd fragrance which was strangely familiar and not entirely pleasing to me," says Mr Taster. "It nagged at the back of my mind. I knew I had smelled it before."
Mr Taster finally identified the smell as one he associated with beondegi, the Korean silkworm larvae soup. "Whatever spice they use to season the silkworm larvae is seasoning the cured pork pump."
"So, overall it was delicious, but ... I have this mental block now which may keep me from fully enjoying it in the future, which I will need to work to resolve," says Mr Taster. The pork pump, he says, is utterly worthwhile, and everybody should try it.
Mei Long Village [San Gabriel Valley]
301 W. Valley Boulevard, Suite 112, San Gabriel