September 28, 2011

Roof Top Factory : Red Rice Sheet Noodles

 I met a wonderful  lady who is strong and very understanding. She has been a good community volunteer and has helped many women who have difficulties in life.

Besides this lady has sacrificed a great deal to help her husband and son to make a living out of the simple red rice flour.

Red Rice Sheet Noodle is not at all familiar for most Chinese or for that matter the Asians.

The family has a small farm house and on the roof they created a special kitchen to make the rice sheet noodles - a specialty in Yunnan.

She brought my friends and I to see her little factory and in it her husband  and son were hard at work in the afternoon. He and the son were preparing the noodles for sale in the evening and for the next morning.
Although he was having a hard time containing his anxiety problems he can be financially independent and  work at the roof top for as many hours as he liked.... He however would not leave their home and mix with people socially according to her.
This is the view of their small factory from the other side. The factory has been built by my new "sister" and her husband. As their son grew older her husband made him his apprentice and the two of them have been producing more noodles then before. Sifu and "apprentice" have been working very well together Although there was very little conversation between the two of them I noticed the work process was really smooth. Both of them were absorbed in their own work and in their own happiness.

The rice sheet noodles in the final state and are ready to be taken out by sister Li for sale at the familiar street corner.
My friends and I were given some as a "welcoming" treat after visiting the factory. If this is a first time for you to try the sheet noodle it would be polite to slice off a smaller piece...but never never say "I don't know how to eat this".  I know many people who think they are too good for some kind of food and snub the food offered.

If my friends say something like this I would snap back and say.."If you have thanked God for the food please eat nicely and you would never know when your next meal may be..." We must be always grateful for food on the table. Many millions of people have nothing to eat for days!!

A special Yunnan chilli paste is kept in a plastic bottle and the rice sheet is cut into smaller pieces. I love the chilli paste she made. According to her this type of Yunnan chili paste is also available commercially. But she makes all her own pastes to keep the tastes the family likes. And furthermore it is more economical as she grows her own chillies in her farm.
This is a rolled up rice sheet with chilli paste filling. Excellent in texture and taste. I am thankful for the sustenance provided by the sister. She is really very accomodating and hospitable. Furthermore she is very articulate and I am sure if she had the opportunity to study she could have become a lecturer too.

I left her home energized and feeling at peace with Heaven for providing such a wonderful and enterprising woman to this village...She who has helped her husband's family to prosper . We have to admire her for her resilience and infinite tolerance and love for her family.

She is indeed one of millions of Chinese women  who has helped lift up the Chinese sky.

And how often do women stand by their men when things are not that rosy!!

Recipe for Chili sauce : Pound together  a handful of dried chillies and  two tablespoons of sichuan peppercorns. Add some cloves and five spices and garlic. Pound. Finally add sugar and salt and some preserved brown or black beans. You can add other spices to create your own chillie sauce. In order to preserve the chilli sauce for several months simmer the paste in cooking oil for about 1 hour.


Anonymous said...

i really "tabek" these China man,even with this kind of dilapidated roof top "factory",he can still churn out products to sell and survive - China Boleh !

- Ah Ngao

Ann said...

looks like ZHU ZHANG FEN they sell in Singapore.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes Ah Ngao...tabek them!!

And the two guys are really hardworking. They are lucky to have such a good wife/mother to help out.

She really stands by her MEN...the product is really good.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann...yeah..but the texture of this noodle is very good..more like our Foochow Bah Kuih..but softer..I love their chilli paste.

Sibu Tales : Liver in the Noodles and other stories

I grew up in Sibu where the butchers' corner was the most significant "part" of the old market. It was where many people wo...