September 19, 2014

Sibu Tales : Kong Bian

Photo by Arthur Wee...Kompia or Guangbing
The Foochows in Malaysia and particularly in Sibu, are well known makers of a special dry doughnut

known as Kong Bian or Kwong Bing or Kompia.Qi Jiquan.jpg

the origin of this special snack is found in the history of the Chinese during the Ming Dynasty.

Photo by Sarawakiana - this is the way to eat kompia in a Fuzhou restaurant.
Photo taken in Fuzhou City : Fuzhou city style Kompia 

戚繼光 or Qi Jiguan (Nov 12 1528 - Jan 17 1588was a Chinese general of the Ming Dynasty. He led Ming forces against the WOKOU or Japanese sea bandits. Today there is a statue of him in Fuzhou city.

During the raids against the Wokou, he asked his soldiers to wear a string of Kong Bian around their neck so that when hungry they would just chew the bread which has a hole in the middle. This doughnut looking bread eventually helped the armed forces to win their battles against the Japanese pirates. He thus saved the coasts of Fujian and in fact the whole of China with his special tactics and strategies.

It could have been possible that if it had not been his heroic attempts, China might have come under the rule of Japan until today.

The army did not have to waste time to cook and eat their meals. They marched on and on and they were able to be quick to strike the skilful Japanese pirates.
Statue of Jiguang in Fuzhou

This hard "pancake" or doughnut is named after him using his last name Guang. guangbing (光餅, Foochow Romanized: guŏng-biāng, known as kompyang in Malaysia and Indonesia) or in Sarawak KOMPIA.

Anne Pang, the great grand daughter of Wong Nai Siong together with us..and our book, The Tastes and Flavours of the Foochows, launching in Sibu.

Note : The 2008 Chinese television series The Shaolin Warriors provided a fictional account of Qi Jiguang enlisting the help of Shaolin Monastery's warrior monks in defending China from the wokou and other invaders. Singaporean actor Christopher Lee played Qi Jiguang.


sintaicharles said...

Thanks for writing the book. I'll definitely buy it.
P.S. Kong Bian is my all time favourite.

Anonymous said...

Is the addition of fillings something new in China like over here? You should take a photo of the kompia from China and Sibu (with ikan bilis filling) juxtaposed.

Anonymous said...

Where can I get a copy of your book? BTW, I am now in the UK and saw in the Sainsbury a pack of 2 scotch eggs- I instantly remember your post of March 2008 about your impressive aunt and how she introduced scotch to your family meal. Bought one pack for 1 pound-expensive by Swak standard. But can you write something on scotch and maybe include a recipe?

Ensurai said...

Thanks..I will post the e-version site for you . Thanks for your lovely comment. And will defintely write again about scotch eggs since I just digitalized my aunt's Christmas photo.God bless.

Anonymous said...

How about your book on Foochow food in Sibu and Fuzhou? Where can I get a copy?

Ensurai said...

From the Sibu Resident's office. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I thought you have written another book.-about Fuzhow food exclusively in Sibu and CHina I am referring to that book. Where can I get a copy?

Ensurai said...

The Methodist Message Office, opposite Dr. Fan's clinic in Sibu. said...

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