My paternal grandfather's Sungei Merah (Sibu) home was sited next to a soy sauce factory belonging to the late Mr. Wong Cheng Ang (of the first Foochow communist fame). As kids we used to visit his factory and we used to pretend that we were shaolin swords men and women looking for revenge....We even managed to hide behind some of those huge urns. Later when Mr. Wong went into the jungle to fight his guerrilla warfare his stressed up wife had to close the factory and lived elsewhere. We literally saw the factory being torn plank by plank by day light robbers. I was too young also to remember who took the urns away. But my relatives said that probably the neighbours but it was definitely not my own relatives (smile).
It was a sorry sight actually to see the derelict soy sauce factory the following years. Today a huge road has been built right over the factory site and in fact their original can no longer be seen. I always wonder if the family was ever compensated for the requisition of the land.....
Years alter I came across Hua Chan Soy Sauce Factory in Miri all my memories came back. Recently I visited its new factory in Senadin and was given a wonderful tour by the younger owner.
The smells of fermented soy beans are exactly as I remember And memories of my childhood came back. Shadows of the past danced before me as I went from vat to vat and from one section to another other!!
|A nice view of the covers of the vats.|
|Side view of the vats|
|Yellow beans after being cooked.|
|Front view of the Hua Chan Sauce Factory Office.|
the management of this factory is modern and visitors are welcome to visit the factory outlet. A tour can be organised by its pretty marketing manager (Karen). It is delightful to know that school children have visited this factory very often and especially at the end of the year. I hope one day tourists would also make the factory one of their destinations.....
Soy sauce is such an important part of our Chinese food history and cuisine. I am glad I have a grandmother who taught me how to make our own soy sauce from yellow beans. She not only taught me good lessons but she helped create good memories for my siblings and I.
It is nice to know that a factory in your own city can produce high quality soy sauce using very high stands of production (ISO).
And you know what? The young proprietor also calimed that it was his grandmother who initiated the Hua Chan soy sauce making in their family and set if off their their family business in Lorong 7 in Krokop. (Krokop Miri is the birthplace of many family businesses. And today Krokop has become quite a heavy industrial area.). Later his grandfather must have perfected the recipe(s) with his grandmother by trial and error. And his father was the only one interested in carrying on the business with great enthusiasm. Today the business is in the hands of the third generation and is still growing fast..
(P/s to know more about the company and their products there is one business CD given out by the company officially whenever visitors come around ).