…and Three (+) Pigs in Seattle
Days ago I posted pictures of pig-filled plates outside of Seattle, and promised you local options. Here they are. Most are Asian, with appreciation of the utilization of as much of the animal as possible. Pictured above is bopis, which is a spicy and vinegary saute of pork heart and lungs. I recently discovered bopis at Family Time Restaurant in Shoreline, where it’s a special served on weekends only. The textures of this dish, as with all the offal dishes I’ll mention, are part of what make it special. Bopis reminds me of dinuguan–pork blood stew, another favorite of mine. (It typically has pork liver, and I’ve had versions with pig ears and intestines.)
Speaking of pork blood, another favorite is the Vietnamese soup called bun bo hue. I like the version (and the atmosphere) at Hoang Lan by the Othello Station light rail stop. Bun bo hue feature rice noodles (spaghetti-like) in beef broth with braised beef, pork blood cakes, pork liver, and a pork hock. To this you add the accompanying bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, sliced banana blossoms, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime. This noodle bowl is perfect for both a cold, wintry day, or even a hot summer one.
The pork dish in the area with my favorite name is “The Other Parts of a Pig,” on the “Wild Side” menu at Bamboo Garden in Bellevue. It also has pork blood cakes, along with pork intestines and tofu chunks. There’s pickled cabbage and a tangy broth. You can ask them to make it as fiery as you can handle. As you can see from the photo, I say the redder, the better. There are some other adventurous dishes on that Wild Side menu, so I encourage you to explore.
Looking for something more “mainstream”? I thought back over the years, and the pork dish that stands out most in my mind is a Carleton Farms pork chop that Renee Erickson prepared at Boat Street Cafe. Erickson’s famous for her pickles, and here the pickled raisins packed a powerful punch. And the layers of mild-tasting leeks mixed with Beecher’s cheddar cheese made the dish all-the-more decadent.