April 21, 2011

Kueh Chap - A Malaysian Favourite

This posting may cause some debate regarding the similarities in the origins of the Dian Bian Hoo and Kueh Chap.....do they have the same origins?

I am keeping my mind open....and let's see whether my Foochow and Teochew friends will say something different!!

This posting is dedicated to my young school friend Evelyn Fong......as I remember her parents the late  Mr and Mrs.Baughman who showed how kindness and gentle ways could win people over in my younger days in Sibu.....Cheers Evelyn!!

Recipe is for six person (small bowls) or 3 persons (big bowls)
A. Boil the following in a pot with 6 bowls of water or more. Add if the soup seems to dry up!!
2 big bulbs of garlic (or more if you love garlic)
1 thumb size ginger (sliced)
4 tbsp black peppercorn(crushed)
3 tbsp cloves
6 pieces of  star anise
3  cinnamon sticks
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbps light soy sauce
6  black cardamom
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 to 1 tbsp five spice powder
3-4 pieces of dried chillies (soaked)
some pepper

Optional : a knob of b lue ginger - smashed

B.  noodles:
1 to 2 packets of kueh chap pieces thai ones) - prepare as instructed.

C. If you prefer ONLY Vegetarian ingredients - 
for vegetarian Kueh Chap soup - add suitable amount of gluten mushroom and ham to make the soup 
6 pieces of dried mushrooms

D. For both vegetarian and Non vegetarian Kueh Chap
1/4 kg fu chook (soaked and made ready)
1/4 kg fried tou hoo (slice into two pieces each)
1/4 kg bean curd sticks (broken into bite sizes and softened)

E. For non vegetarian kueh chap
1 pork knuckles or chicken body parts (remove skin)
1/2 - l kg   kg belly pork or lean meat or chicken meat3 - 6 hard boiled eggs (without shell)
as much pork intestines and pig ears or more chicken meat  as you like.

F. Chili  sambal
2 chillies 
1 teaspoon belacan
some onions.
Pound well

G. Extra chopped garlic for individuals who may like garlic......


1.For non vegetarian kueh chap -  boil the knuckle ; offals and  meats for as long as you like. (do prepare the pig's ears and intestines well)
2. For vegetarian- boil gluten mushroom and ham to prepare for the soup separately for as long as you like.
3.. boil the dry ingredients in 6 cups of water for 1 hour over slow fire.
4. Add 1 and  soup only of 2 (discard all the herbs etc) together. Add some more water if the soup is too salty.
5. Prepare the toufoo etc.
6. Add the kueh chap (prepared according to the packet)
7. Add the bean curd sticks and other ingredients.

Before serving
1. Place 6 bowls on table. Put meats etc. in bowl. Keep boiling the soup over slow fire.
2. Put kueh chap into the bowls.
3. Give one egg or 1/2 egg per person
4. Garnish with coriander leaves.
5. Prepared chopped garlic and sambal belacan and chillies too.....place in small individual dishes.

 Tasty Teochew Cuisine - Kueh Chap.

According to Records of Traditional Chinese Cuisine,  Kueh Chap was first  found in Ming Dynasty (明朝) History. It was then known not as Kueh Chap, but Officially known as Ding Bian Cuo (鼎邊挫) or Ding Bian Hu (鼎邊糊). It was during the later Ming Dynasty, when the  Teochews developed their own style and taste the name Kueh Chap came about.

During the  Ming Dynasty, Ming Emperor appointed Qi Ji Guang (戚繼光) to guard at the Southern China (中國南方)  against the Japanese pirates & Commoner-Armies (日本倭寇). Qi Ji Guang started to worry about Food-supply for the Armies. First, he worried that the Food-supply might not be easy to transport to the Southern Part of China due to mountainoues nature of the area, secondly, he worried that his soldiers might not like the Food in the Southern China.

Unable to rest he went wandering around to think of a Solution. Just as he walked past a Kitchen, he saw an Old Lady who woke-up early to do her cooking for her Family. While Qi Ji Guang peeped into her Kitchen, he saw the Old Madam grounding of the Raw-rice into Powder-form and after the Raw-rice turned into fine Powder, the Old Madam added water into it and make it into sticky-paste form (米漿). When the Wok was getting Hot, the Old Madam scooped a little-bit of the Paste and poured it around the side of the Wok. Once the Paste contacted the Heated Wok, the Paste started to get harden and immediately, then the Old Madam "tore" the dried layer of rice "skin" off from the Wok. After repeating a few rounds of the amazing action, the Old Madam stopped and started to  boil a pot of Water .

Once the pot of Water started to boil, the Old lady threw in Vegetables and some left-over Preserve Meats. Once the Soup boil the Second time, she took the rice sheets and tore them  into smaller pieces and threw them all into the Soup. After a while, the Soup was ready .

The General went in to ask for the recipe from the shocked Old Lady.

The Old lady told him that actually this was very easy to make & keep. As long as the rice flakes did not get contact with any form of Water/humid, it could last  long.  And it was easy because it was a one dish meal.Just add in a bit of Soy-sauce (醬油), Sesame Oil (香油) or Coriander (芫荽) to make it taste better.

 Qi Ji Guang went to his Camp to impart the knowledge to the soldiers (火頭軍). From that Day onwards, the whole Qi Ji Guang's Troop started to eat the rice flakes  with Preserve/Dried-meats.

His soldiers defeated the Japanese invaders and peace reigned in Southern China.

From then, this dish spread around in the Southern China, first was in Hokkien Province Fu Zhou City (福州市) and later, into Teochew City (潮州市). Due to different Areas, the eating methods were different, Today, if we  eat this dish in Fu Zhou, the Soup-base will be White or Milky in color whereas in Teochew, the Soup-base will be a bit darker in color.

In Fu Zhou City, every Year during the Li Xia Day (立夏, before Dumpling Festival), the Fu Zhou People will still have to prepare this dish to honour their Ancestors.



 1 Comment 





sintaicharles said...

I like Kueh Chap, particularly the pig offal in it.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Charles...You Cantonese?

Sunflower said...

Got to say I had not had this offally good kueh chap. Will try making this someday but it is not easy to get offals other than liver and kidney over here.

sintaicharles said...

Sarawakiana, I am Hakka. My father is of Hakka-Cantonese parentage. My mum is Hokkien.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Sunflower..I had some really good kueh chap in Brunei especially the shop in the Pork Market in Jalan Berita...In the 1980's liver and whatevers were thrown away by the English butchers!! Or my friends used to ask the butchers for them..."for the dogs at home!!" Smile....

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Charles..I always thought you were pure Cantonese...because I know a Lo family from China...Guang Zhou. thanks for visiting...and greetings to your Mum..Happy Easter.

Roland said...

I am definitely going to try your recipe. I found dried Kueh Chap noodles in the Asian store I frequent over the weekend. Will tell you how it turns out.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Sure tell me...but go by the smell and what you like regarding the spices...Some people leave out much from the list of ingredients and just go for the Five Spices and their favourite soy sauce...The secret may be in the soupstock....as they say...

.Not complicated..and all the best.

Ah Ngao said...

i do order kuih chap at times - mind is egg,tau hu and "soft" meat & of coz the kuih lah.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao...some people say the Kuching variety is the best...is it because the Teochiew there are better cooks? You know any secrets?

Bengbeng said...

i must try the Kuching variety too some time.

Anonymous said...

so far,they gives a lot of thumps up for Teochew kuih chap,...may be Teochew char boh more loh soh when comes to preparing kuih chap(i had a few "bad" encounters with Teochew char boh)

- Ah Ngao

sarawaklens said...

used to like this. not anymore haha. the last time i had kueh chap i nearly threw up LOL
but i'll take tian pian ngu!

Ann said...

ate some in Singapore, the pastry looks like the off cut wanton skin that my mum bought in Sibu.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Bengbeng...yes do give the Kuching KC as try...and let me know. Miri has some good ones too..and they all claim they are from Kuching ...hence Kuching Kueh Chap!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hahahaha Ah Ngao...you seem to have man-y adventures and mishaps with char boy-s. Teochiew KC is well prepared ...I like the way you said it...more loh soh...I think when it comes to good cooks...they are indeed more fussy. But few are as quick as Martin Yan (that's what I like about him - simple and easy...and we eat the food slowly...slolwy...)

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Sarawaklens...may it was the not so clean intestines....Diang Bian Hoo...is always very nice...I like the fish balls and the squid..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann...correct...but one is rice and the wanton skins is wheat flour.

I like Ipoh Nga tou fen...bean sprouts and chicken hor fan...

Glorious food!

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