April 30, 2016

Sibu Food : Steamed Egg

Steamed egg is one of the mainstays of many families meals for as long as I remember. It is an all time favourite and is a recommended food for patients in the hospital too.

My mother makes it very well, soft and fluffy with only three eggs.

My cousin hides some minced pork at the bottom to give it a nice base and a better flavour.

My mother sometimes would make steamed minced pork for lunch. What is left is used as a base for her steamed egg. Nothing is left to waste.

I would always remember her saying that if we know how to plan our meals, we could save a lot of money. And food would be ever so tasty too.

Steamed egg is one dish which tied us over for many many years.

Cost of three eggs in those days? 45 cents.

April 28, 2016


Chuong wang, or huang ark is a special breed of ducks with red face. Their feathers can be all white or green and black. Most of them can grow up to 5 or 6 kg.

They make good soups and are also used to make the famous Soy sauce braised duck or Pah Lo duck by the Hakkas and Cantonese.

The Foochows love Duck Soup, Duck Essence or 8 Treasure Duck Soup.

It is a very nutritious protein.

April 25, 2016

China Series : Wun Chieh's Dried Bamboo Shoots

These are the bigger ones from Fujian.
Bamboo Shoots from my great grandfather's village of Wun Chieh , near Jinsha, Minqing.
Rehydrated Bamboo shoots from China, sold in Sibu.

Dried bamboo shoots are very important food items of Fujian. The fresh bamboo shoots are collected and dried so that every one could have food on the table during the winter months. They are also very importnat ingredients for all the 4 importan festivals.

Bamboo shoots means productivity, eternity and long and healthy life.

There are many good dishes which use bamboo shoots and they are given very auspicious names in Chinese.

there is one Chinese new dish which is made up of rehydrated bamboo shoots, pork leg, belly pork, mushrooms and many other ingredients. The whole pot is cooked over and over again. And grandmothers would say, " Siak Meh Liu or cannot finish eating". This are the auspicious words uttered throughout the `15 days of the Lunar New Year!!

April 23, 2016

Sibu Food : Soft or Silk Tofu

There are many ways of cooking silk or soft tofu.
......clay pot tofu with miso sauce.
.......steamed tofu ..photo from Ivy Ngui

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April 16, 2016

Sibu Tales : "Orange Chicken" with sesame seeds

In the United States, a very popular chicken dish is "General Tso' Sesame Chicken.

When a West Bank Sibu restaurant Tang Kee started serving sesame chicken, people came in droves to order it for their lunch guests.

Sesame and chicken is a good marriage but is not Foochow in origin. The Tang Kee recipe is a whole chicken coated with a lot of sesame chicken.
Tang Kee's Sesame Chicken (PHoto by Sarawakiana)

Soon many other restaurants start to serve chicken nuggest coated with sesame seeds.

In other parts of Malaysia, there is also a fairly popular dish called Orange Chicken with sesame seeds.

In the age of the Internet, chefs today are more adventurous. It is now easy to find so many different kinds of chicken recipes, both new and traditional. And some are even "invented" for political reasons.

In fact the idea of chicken coated with sesame seeds might have come from the famous American Chinese dish called General Tso's Chicken. General Tso was a Hunanese but when researched, the Hunanese do not have this recipe.

There is a documentary film that premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. It was directed by Ian Cheny and produced by Amanda Murray and Jennifer B. Lee.

April 15, 2016

China Series : Chai Buoh Giang

In the olden days radish was grown along the Rajang River basin in large amounts. Somehow in my memory as well as many of my contemporaries' memories our relatives did not have many problems with bugs, viruses and diseases which attacked their vegetables.

So radishes were quite easily grown and well harvested. The surplus would always be made in dried and slated radish slices, stored in jars or bottles and taken out to fry as side dishes for our porridge.

This fried ,salted and preserved radish slices (often chopped fine) has always been a comfort food for us.

Today preserved radishes can come all the way from China as few people grow their own vegetables in Sarawak. Radish is no longer easily grown because of plant diseases too.

Besides China, TAiwan, Australia and Genting Highlands can produce large quantities of fresh radishes.

Sibu Tales : Making Bah Gui from Scratch

The pioneering families of Sibu Foochows continued to practise the  adoption of girls from poor families who become their maids (slaves). ...