Yee Jie (Second Sister) Nighttime Fishball Noodle Stall @ Pasir Pinji Wet Market, IpohNovember 27, 2010 | 9,144 views
Let’s take a walk down memory lane. This stall, housed in such an inconspicuous manner deep in the middle of Pasir Pinji wet market had always been a family’s favourite haunt back in the 90’s. Or maybe late 80’s? I can’t be sure, for when we were still residents around the Pasir Puteh area, we used to eat the fish ball noodles (also known as ‘kap liew’ or ‘liew fun’ to us Ipohans) here on a weekly basis.
When pigging out like mad won’t cost you a bomb, an arm, or a leg. Every piece of ‘yong liew’ (more popular known as Yong tau Foo in the other states) is priced at 40-45 cents each.
Back then, I never paid much attention to the stray kittens and puppies circling under our table. Nor the slight stench from the day’s offerings sold at the wet market; and the random pest or two.
Only one stall was operating then; this same “Yee Jie” (translated to Second Elder Sister) stall is surprisingly still up and running. And the allure of tucking in into a bowl of soupy goodness with a myriad of stuffed fish paste as sides proves to be evergreen.
The “Yee Jie” hard at work. A family business this one, the third generation of youngsters already knee deep in assisting the operations.
Read on to find out more about this past favourite of Motormouth’s, and how such a simple fare can attract the crowd to a dilapidated wet market at night …..
Who needs elegant ambience when the food speaks for itself?
From the exterior of the wet market, you can barely justify whether this was worthy of patronizing. I mean, eating at the market for breakfast sounds okay, but to imagine going all the way late at night and bracing the stench, grime and all ……. Is it even worthy of the hassle?
To me, YES.
Fresh “yong liew” to be cooked on the spot, and the saucer plates of garlic chili sauce.
Certainly brought back a deep sense of deja vu from my childhood days; when this eager Motormouth was still at his infancy, honing his skills at differentiating the various flavours from Ipoh’s amazing culinary finds.
No, I am not naming this experience of seated on wooden stools, and eating noodles from melamine bowls placed on metal tables and even from the counter; a gourmet extraordinaire. Far from it, judging from the many good fish ball noodle stalls in Ipoh (read about the famous Big Tree Foot, the extensive array of ‘liew’ from Kwong Hong in Gunung Rapat, and even Nam Fatt‘s revamped environment), and Yee Jie’s version could never make it into an essential tourist’s guide.
When Teh Shuet (or Teh Ping, to many) aka iced milk tea goes for only RM1.20/USD0.40 per glass, and the picture on the lower right shows a rare stuffed pig’s skin with fish paste.
However, to sum up the experience of walking into the market still lighted with a few fluorescent lights, walking over to the counter displaying Yee Jie’s repertoire of fresh ‘yong liew’ then making your choices, then subsequently seating yourself at any of the tables or counters stretching until halfway into the market?
Highly doubt one can find this type of bottles that easily nowadays.
And how to resist the abundance of crunchy Ipoh bean sprouts, spurting water with every bite?
Go for the ‘sar hor fun’; Ipoh’s timeless classic of flat rice noodles in their smoothest moment. Ask for the dry version (without the soup), so you can taste the noodles tossed (DIY) in a mix of soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and even a dash of lard oil. Yup, the pungent agent was definitely there to kick things up a notch. Order a piece or two of their ‘yong liew’, especially the not-so-common stuffed pig’s skin; a chewy/gelatinous piece of square pig’s skin stuffed with some fish paste. Gorgeously done.
The ‘sar kok liew‘ might not have broken boundaries nor worthy of being tagged the best in Ipoh, but still it’s darn hard to find something of similar nature in the other states.
Yes, I have tried a version of it in SS2 in Petaling Jaya (at a shop named Ipoh Sedap, also opened by a proprietor from Pasir Pinji … surprise, surprise?), but definitely not on par. Wanna know where to get a good ‘sar kok liew’ in Ipoh aside from the famous ‘yong liew’ stalls mentioned earlier?
Try Ngan Woh in Bercham. And don’t forget the steamed fish head with bitter gourd.
Yup, deep in the labyrinths of a wet market. You can almost feel the day’s hectic happenings; toned down considerably come the darker hours.
Let’s hope in 5 or 10 years to come, Yee Jie and her family will still continue this legacy of a fish ball noodle stall. This may be another feather in the cap for Ipoh’s street food at its best, but without the continual support of the younger generations, we might just see another case of hidden gem vanishing into oblivion.
Yee Jie (Second Sister’s) Nighttime Fish Ball Noodle Stall @ Pasir Pinji Market
31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Business Hours : 6.45pm – 11.00pm every night.
Off day not fixed.
GPS Coordinates : E101 5′ 13.7″ N4 34′ 34.7″
Google Map to this stall