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!!
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.
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.
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