August 18, 2010

Soochiew Ko or Man Chiew Ko (Manchu Kuih)

The Foochow Wedding Banquet of yesteryears would always include a plate of Man Chiew Ko at the end.

When I was young I thought that eating this cake I would become very mang chiew (speedy hands and hence a speedy worker) . So a kuali or diang owned by a Foochow must be Man (quick and hot). An employee must be man kar man chiew (quick). Those were the days! Remembering them makes me smile.

Later when I started to learn to read recipe books I realised that the nutty and oily cake that I like so much (in fact I not only have a sweet tooth - all my 32 teeth are sweet!!) is actually the Manchurian Cake fit for a Qing Emperor. We Foochows like to join our words together and they sound different to people from a different dialectic group.

Here are some examples of our dialect. So my karoo or legs are very big and my michiu (sounds like beer)or eyes are fairly big too. My children's favourite Foochow term is goruk-ah (arm pit)!! So whenever I help students to say the word "Strawberry" I would remind them that they have to say strawbri like the Foochows....and then "booring" is Foochow for fly. It is sometimes hard to pinyin Foochow words.

This recipe is for my friend Lisa Tie of Hamilton. Send a slice over when you make it Lisa!!
Set A
Make lard from the following
500 gm pork fat (to make lard) or use shortening instead. Take out the yiu char (particles)set aside and blend.
and then add 200 gm chopped shallots to fry in the lard until crispy or buy the ready made/fried ones - blend this also.

Set B
Cook the following until sugar well dissolved:
300 gm or less white sugar
200 ml water
Some dark soy sauce for colouring


200 gm peanuts (dry roasted)- remove skin and mill until fine

20 gm or more toasted sesame seeds (mixture of black and white)
8 -10 red dates pitted and finely sliced
500 gm low protein flour

Finally in a bowl combine milled peanuts and flour and the blended pork particles and shallots and the dates. Add lard and syrup. Combine all the ingredients until well mixed. (My aunt used to mix all the ingredients in her kuali so that she did not need to wash too many bowls.)

Grease a shallow rectangular pan. (9x9) Pour the mixture in (it is quite dry) and press the mixture down with your hands or a potato masher. Spread a layer of sesame seeds on top evenly. Some people like lots of sesame seeds so you can be generous with them.

Steam over medium heat for two hours. Sprinkle more sesame seeds for decoration.

Cool well before slicing.

Enjoy this manyew goh....cheers.


t.p.tong said...

Oh my God ! Manchiew ko is my great favourite !!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

TP...Try to find out where to get Manchiew Ko in Sibu or many people want to buy !!I am glad you like it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have a friend in Btu who knows how to make this manchiew ko, I used to buy from her but still like not the taste during my young days when we could get from the Hock Chiu Liu Res.
Make me salivate already lo! How about u make it and our whole group LCG go to your place? That evening we really missed u lah? Iv

t.p.tong said...

Besides Res Hoch Chiu Liu,if i'm no mistake,Res Ming Kong now at Bank Road,and a stall at Pasar Malam also sell the wonderful manchu ko !!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Anonymous...I am not sure I could make it well...always could buy some from Sibu...we'll see.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

TP Tong

thanks for the info...any private homes producing it?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Changyi
Thanks for the receipe.I think I can modify the receipe a bit to make it less fatty by using vegetable shortening.So many Foochow wants to eat and I may sell it on line if I am good at it.Doesn't seen too difficult to make.

Lisa, Hamilton, NZ

t.p.tong said...

Sorry,Changyi, i 'm not familiar any home-made personnel,but a friend of mine can bake nice mangchiu ko to himself only during Chinese N Y,and he always give me some !

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Lisa
I am glad you find the recipe is the simplest I can find...and I am sure you can sell it on line. I will let all my friends and relatives know too...let me know of your wonderful results..I will try this recipe too. I was given one very difficult one many years ago...also in Chinese...too many words until I got confused.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

You are one lucky have a good friend there.....Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Just thinking.You can make this receipe out of butter which will taste equally good.No red shallots in NZ but I will use the ordinary big onions instead.I thinking baking it will be better than steaming it.Will try during my days off.Have you ever try making Niankau by baking instead of steaming ? It tastes yammy and so much less work and energy saving too.

Lisa, NZ

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Lisa
Thanks for the tips...Niengow has always been my favourite. I would buy several and eat throughout the year....Freeze thaw steam and eat!! I do prefer baking. Steaming tends to be too long and often in my absent mindedness I forget and the kuali dries up!!

May be I will try using butter to make this cake. Good for people who cannot tolerate eggs.


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