Time of the season…

In the past, everything was so predictable. It would be hot and dry around June and the end of the year would bring the rain…and flood. Year end would also be the time when all the seasonal fruits would appear on the market – rambutans, durians and so on. These days, with the global climatic changes, they may bear fruit at odd times in the year.

Well, it’s October and some fruits have made their appearance already like this buah engkala or what the Melanaus call “terbulus“…

Terbulus 1

I don’t know if it’s available elsewhere, though I had seen some at the Satok Market in Kuching once but Gundot said they were not nice as the people did not know how to pluck them. You cannot pluck them off the trees like other fruits. You must climb up and pluck them one by one by the stalk (as in the photo).

Now, how do you eat them? You must remove the fruit from the stalk like this…

Terbulus 2

…and put the number that you would like to consume in a pot or saucepan. Sprinkle salt over the fruit, cover the pot/saucepot and shake it (to toss the fruit inside and mix it thoroughly with the salt). Let it stand for less than 30 minutes…and the terbulus would be ready to be eaten. It would have gone soft by then and you eat the white part inside which would be rich, sweet and creamy like custard or icecream. Very nice!

Terbulus 3

Some people eat the skin as well as it is in fact good roughage…but I usually do not unless the skin is very thin.

Dabai or black olives are coming out too but they are still too expensive at the moment…

Gundot's dabai

There has been quite a lot of rain here this year, so I would expect quite a bountiful harvest of fruits within the next few months…so if you plan to come to Sibu, this would be a good time and you will be able to taste all those fruits and also all the exotic and unique mouth-watering Foochow or Melanau delicacies that are not available elsewhere…only in this little town!

The riddle…

I think I’ve explained it before in some previous posts of mine and I am positive I once shared something about making your own kampua at home. But I still notice that everytime somebody posts something on the noodles, there will be someone asking, “What is kampua?” No, it is not like the konlou noodles in Sabah…

KK's konlou noodles with roast duck

I had this konlou noodles in Kota Kinabalu with roast duck and it was definitely nothing like kampua. Neither the texture of the noodles nor the ingredients are the same. Likewise, it is also very different from wantan noodles…

Wanton noodles @ 1 Utama

These were the wantan noodles peteformation had at 1 Utama which seemed different from the usual I had had before that were swimming in some kind of black sauce, garnished with some slices of char siew and  blanched green veg plus a bowl of soup with some wantan inside. The special wanton noodles are yellowish, smaller and thinner and are in no way, the same as the kampua noodles and of course, the ingredients and taste are also different.

Then there were people who had been to Kuching and they would ask if kampua was like kolo mee

Kim Joo kolo mee

This is the kolo mee special from Kim Joo, Carpenter Street that Gerri of drivenbymood.wordpress.com had. Normally, you would get the slices of red-coloured meat plus the minced meat only. The mode of preparation is different as, if I’m not mistaken, they cook the noodles in boiling water and then they soak them in cold water and the process is repeated a few times. I believe this is to prevent the noodles from sticking together and getting too soft and soggy. Anyway, the type of noodles is different from those in kampua…and the ingredients differ as well.

So what is kampua? Well, kang means dry and puak means toss or mix thoroughly…so if somebody orders kampua and instructs puak tau eyew, it simply means that he wants it with black soy sauce. Somehow or other, instead of being called kangpuak, it is known as kangpuang in the Foochow dialect (The Foochows tend to add -ng to words e.g. Come in = Khang ing!) while the Hokkiens would call it kampua. I think konlou means the same thing but in a different dialect – kon meaning dry and lou to mix…and somewhere along the way, konlou became kolo(k) in Kuching.

During my younger days, the kampua seller would prepare the oil in the afternoon by melting pig fat in a giant wok. Once it had liquidified, the brown crusts from the melted fat were removed and thinly sliced shallots were put in to fry. The fried shallots were removed and once cooled, they were kept in an air-tight container to ensure they would be crispy/crusty when used. The lard would now be slightly brownish and very fragrant. When somebody ordered a plate of kampua mee, the seller would put a spoonful of the lard and a spoonful of chio cheng (local-made light soy sauce sold then in stone jars), a teaspoon of msg and a sprinkling of fried shallots and spring onions in a plate. After cooking the noodles in boiling water, he would put them in the plate and mix thoroughly with the ingredients. Then he would place some thinly-sliced meat (coloured red…until it was discovered that the dye used was hazardous to health, so they stopped that…but now it seems that they are doing it again, probably with a different kind of dye that is safe) on top. It was served with a bowl of clear soup made from the same ingredients used for the noodles to which the seller would add the stock made from boiling (pork) bones.

You can still get the authentic Sibu kampua at this place in the Selemo area but I do not like it very much as I find it a bit bland and the size of the serving is not substantial enough for me. I have posted on a lot of kampua varieties from different places in Sibu, and recently I had this at the Delta Seafood & Cafe in the Delta Housing Estate area in Sibu…

Delta kampua

They use pork braised in soy sauce…but I did not like it because of the very strong ginger taste. I did not like the soup either for this same reason. The noodles taste ok…and that costs RM2.40. Then there is another place in the Delta Commercial Centre (Different area! This one’s right behind Delta Mall!) named e-Cafe. Nope! Sorry, you can’t order the kampua online! LOL!!! For RM3.00, you can have this bowl of kampua special…

e-Cafe kampua special

It isn’t too bad and definitely better than the so-called kolo mee special at the Toto Cafe next door (It was nothing like kolo mee and did not even taste nice, I tell you…and no, you won’t get lucky by eating there! LOL!!!). But all in all, I still prefer the kampua-kolo mee fusion at Rasa Sayang. In my opinion, that one is still the best!!!