Archive | March 5, 2009

Larger than life…

I think I have mentioned before that the paos (steamed buns) in Sibu were very much larger in size during my younger days. The skin would be very thick and there was very little filling for the simple reason that in those days, people had to toil real hard to earn a living and they wanted to eat something that was cheap and yet, would be able to sustain them for a very long time.

I gather that there is a shop in Kuching that specialises in “Sibu Foochow Pao” – huge, thick skin and very little filling, exactly the way they used to make it. Well, over here in Sibu, we do get some of those around…

Sibu Foochow pao 1

…but I think they do have a little more meat inside these days…

Sibu Foochow pao 2

With the escalating prices of everything lately, they’re RM1.60 each and I do wish they could be a little bit more generous with the bit of hard-boiled egg inside.

I can still remember that time when I was just a kid, we used to go to that Kiaw Siong Coffee Shop for Ah Kow kampua (and much later, Kow Kia beef noodles), located at the opposite corner at the Sibu Fire Station junction. Sometimes they had paos and the meat was red in colour or should I say, coloured red.

Somehow or other, the so-called char siew pao version of the Sibu Foochow pao today reminds me of those that I used to enjoy very much then…

Sibu Foochow pao - char siew 1

Of course, it’s nothing like the authentic char siew pao that we can get at the regular dim sum outlets. The texture of the skin is different, the meat -though red in colour – is definitely neither char siew meat nor char siew sauce/oil…

Sibu Foochow pao - char siew 2

Well, if it’s char siew pao that I want, I’d much sooner head to Mitsu Tea House where I can buy a storey (basket) for RM3.50 and get THREE char siew paos (though smaller, maybe by half) the way char siew paos should be! These pale imitations of the real thing cost RM1.60 each but then of course, they’re huge!

Now, how big exactly are they? Well, you can see from the above photos that they’re about the size of a saucer or perhaps, it will be much clearer to you if I say that they’re as big as…ummm…

Sibu Foochow pao - palm-sized

…my palm, or perhaps even a little bigger!!! Now, now, Clare…what were you expecting me to say? LOL!!!

So there you have it – something from Sibu that you can try if you’re here on a visit! It ain’t too bad but personally, I would not put it on top of the list…but then again, as they say, one man’s meat is another man’s poison.