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Monday, Bloody Monday: Finding Pig’s Blood in L.A. for Halloween
Not just for tricks, blood can be a treat too.
Is it just me or does that famous scene in the horror film Carrie, when the film’s namesake character gets pig’s blood dumped all over her at the prom, make anybody else hungry? Anyone? Oh, I see. I’m the only freak in this town. But the truth is: pig’s blood is delicious.
Pig’s blood is a favorite delicacy in many Asian culinary traditions. The Chinese enjoy pig’s blood tofu in a deep red chili stew that’s not only spicy—it’s full of essential iron. A bloody good version is served at Happy Garden in Alhambra.
Filipinos love piling dinuguan, a dense stew of pork blood, meat, and offals, on top of freshly steamed rice. Find dinuguan dished up at Grill City in North Hills—it's chunky with meat like a hearty, albeit bloody, chili. Dinuguan bleeds with deliciousness.
And don't forget the delicacy of blood sausage, enjoyed throughout the world. The Korean version is known as soondae. Sliced and then served, these pork blood sausages are typically stuffed with cords of sweet potato starch vermicelli and spiked with plenty of garlic and sesame oil. The result is a slightly sweet and savory feast of blood with a side of pork guts. Seoul Soon Dae House Two in Koreatown makes a version true to form.
Perhaps the oddest in the bloody bunch is the Taiwanese pork blood cake offered at Old Country Cafe in Alhambra. This concoction is really a confection. Sweet sticky rice is mixed with pork blood, molded into a bar, and eased onto a stick. Yes, it’s blood on a stick. The texture of the blood cake is like a stiff mochi ― chewy and sticky, but firm. Peanut flour gives it some heft. A thick, sweet chili sauce turns up the sweet as well as the heat. It's a blood-sicle worth seeking out for Halloween—or any time your appetite is spooked.
Old Country Cafe, 2 E. Valley Blvd., Alhambra, 626-284-4610