Better this time…

I’ve tried eating it before in my younger days but I did not like it at all. I guess it is an acquired taste and not everybody can appreciate it. What I am talking about here is tapay,or tapai as some may call it…

Tapay 1

I got some for my mother from the Bandong stall that I frequent at 4 for RM1.00. It is actually fermented rice wrapped in leaves and it tastes something like tuak, the rice wine made by the ethnic people in Sarawak (…and don’t some people call that tapai too? In Sabah perhaps?). That’s all there is to it – rice to which some yeast has been added to make it ferment…Β 

Tapay 2

I wouldn’t say that I didn’t like it this time around. As a matter of fact, I thought it tasted all right. It left a lingering sweetness in the mouth, and that was what I particularly liked.

It certainly does not have the offensive stench and strong taste of belacan (dried prawn paste) which can turn off those uninitiated individuals who have never had the chance to try it before. When I was in the UK, everytime I cooked curry, the English kids walking past the house would go “ooh” and “aah” – they loved it! But whenever I was frying something with belacan, they would go spitting away, wondering where that horrible smell came from. But don’t we all love belacan regardless whether we use it to fry vegetables like midin or kangkong or as a dip for our ulam?

Ladies fingers ulam

Anyway, getting back to the tapay, I guess I would regard it more favourably from now on but given a choice, I think I would opt to just stick to my piansip kampua mee pok

Soon Hock's pian sip mee pok

What about you?

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

44 thoughts on “Better this time…”

  1. You bought that from Bandong?..I thought this is banned there..oops.

    Why would it be banned? The rice is fermented using yeast – no alcohol, and my mum’s Indon maid claims that she knows how to make it….and how the ones I bought could be better! Gee! She would put Simon Cowell to shame, I tell ya! Hahahahahaha!!!!

  2. Definitely not for me! You know after reading your blog, I think food on my plate is really too limited! I have not even heard of tapai or whatever! Hey you have made me feel like a frog sitting in a well looking at the limited sky!

    That can be made me feel “depressed”. Sorry did not get to “interview” you as proposed for my depression story. Read in BP today? (do some free selling here, that’s what friends are for!)

    Lifelong learning! We learn new things every day! LOL!!! Ok…I most certainly will look it up!

    1. boy, are you a source for sore spot? getting interviewed for “depression”!!!??? remedy: eat your blues away.

      Yes, that’s the best advice! That’s why fat people always jovial and happy. Actually, deficiency of certain vitamins and zinc can lead to depression too… No wonder those skinny people on a diet often depressed! LOL!!!

  3. Haiya!u know yesterday after i read your blog,i had to help out at my son’s school,the whole afternoon my tummy was growling,my mind on the yummy food.Today,one of my fav.tapai! Torturous! N brought back memories of ‘Lipieng’,kuih drum…n the deepfried dough like scones(u know the receipe?Ah Hiok will know,if so let me know),JFV’s loved to fry on rainy days, it is raining,dark n gloomy here,so after this I had to drink some coffee n munch on Anzaz bikkie,pretending it is tapai!LOL!Kesian…!

    I don’t like lipeng – very oily…but I love the air deram – now with sesame seeds, it seems. Dunno the scones you’re talking about, and hey! Didn’t know you like tapai too… Yum! Yum! Hahahahahahaha!!!!

    1. Aiyor, kesian! You are so deprived of all the delicious food here! πŸ˜›

      That’s the price you pay when you move overseas. Like my brother when he came back from NZ – that time my mum in medical centre. He would go downstairs to the coffee shop or the takeaway…and buy all kinds of things to eat AND he thought everything was nice. Eyew… Talk about being deprived!

  4. Wah! Piansip mee pok is my favourite also! I opt for mee pok over kampua most of the time. And instead of miserable see through char sio, I prefer piansip too! I find piansip in Sibu is bigger and got taste as compared to kiaw in Kuching. Why ar?

    Great minds think alike. Sibu’s bigger? I always grumble at the little bit of meat inside – they apply like butter on bread…and the minced meat mostly fat too! Can buy the sking and make our own…then can be generous with the filling!

    1. probably, you haven’t heard of singaporean complaining of the pian nik being all wrapper skin and no meat…

      It is all skin…mostly. I like the skin. Sometimes I would buy the dried pieces from the shops and cook soup with bone stock – add fried onions and spring onions. Very nice! Like piansip in the coffee shops…! LOL!!!

      1. wah.. u mean hmm..ahh.. *glistening eyes*.. i love to put the dried bits into my maggi mee sup..

        Bits of what? Belacan?…I use it to cook “sayur rebus” – boil a bit with some ikan bilis and whole chilli (seed removed)…and then add veg e.g. baby corn and sayur manis or paku or sayur manis and pumpkin/sweet potato, and add salt and msg according to taste. Easy! And yummy!!!

    2. Oh I have heard of that. But Singaporean’s complaints are negligible. They complain about everything. LOL!

      That’s true…and they always think that theirs is the best! LOL!!!

    1. try behind hock lee centre, joful garden… plentiful!!! even stp wouldn’t complain.

      I never complain! Everything is nice, or at least most of the time…but some others may be better!

  5. Ooh me love belacan! best with kangkung!

    West Malaysians don’t like our belacan. They say it’s too strong and very smelly! I, of course, prefer our own…but must buy really good ones. Have to know the source!

  6. Never fancied Tapai (as in the variety mentioned above) but loves the Tapai in Sabah… (especially those in Keningau area where you drink straight from the jar.. hahahaha) anyway, it “banned” supposedly in West Malaysia because its supposed to contain some alcohol created during the fermentation process.. but like people bother about such thing here in East Malaysia?

    Tapai in Sabah not the same as tuak in Sarawak? I dunno these things as I don;t drink…that much. Oh? The alcohol comes from the fermentation process? Didn’t know that… Thought they have to add spirit/alcohol…and hence the burning sensation.

    1. Yes Tapai in Sabah is the same as Tuak in Sarawak, Keningau version is slightly different.. Kpenyu should know…

      Not so much into these drinks…

  7. Tapai is halal and they sell tons of it during puasa month. Have to be eaten cold. Only like ones granny dimong used to make.
    Kongkay: why dont you go check out Srikaya Attap Cafe (see Sunday’s B. Post.
    Haha…STP, aku masih rindu keli no matter what you say!!

    Yalor…have yet to see a Chinese selling tapai. Only available from the Malay kuih-muih stalls.

  8. i love tapai….correct me if im wrong but i think it has some alcohol content in it becoz of the fermentation process πŸ™‚

    I dunno… If that’s the case, then they should not be eating. Like the story about this Jewish guy way back in the 50s or 60s eating away and claiming, “It’s ok. This isn’t pork! It’s ham!” LOL!!! These days, of course, we have turkey ham and beef bacon…so it’s ok…

    1. what fermentation? i guess you guys got “chow-s’ng” mistaken for alcohol fermentation… those fungi are making you delirious!

      Gosh! Now I’m utterly confused! Never mind! Just eat! What you don’t know won’t hurt you!!! LOL!!!

    2. Jewish guy? I thought it was a certain Northern Malaya playboy Prince from the 50s who said that…. heheheheh no names mentioned

      The one I heard was a famous lawyer who was the PM of a nearby country…

  9. That kampua looks awesomely delicious!! Mind telling where’s the shop is?

    This is Soon Hock’s, coffee shop to the right of Chopsticks chicken rice – my favourite for real/authentic kampua. I love Rasa Sayang’s too but theirs is like a cross between Sibu kampua and Kuching kolo mee…

  10. calvin ever heard of people mabuk tapai? make with ragi the same stuff you use to make tuak. The first stage of tuak making I think. Maybe its like you can eat grapes but not wine!!!!!

    I dunno how they make these things…but TOC should know whether the alcohol is added or whether it comes from the fermentation process as her mum makes very good tuak! I suppose it’s not intoxicating (yet), so it’s ok… Btw, can they drink Shandy?

    1. Alcohol not added.. alcohol comes from the initial fermentation process… and to equate grapes and wine in this scenario is different.. unless you’re eating fermented grapes.. hahahahaha and can they drink Shandy? hahahahahahaha.. no comment… you think?

      Dunno…just asking! But if you go to the pubs, music lounges in KL, you see lots of them…not just drinking Shandy, I’m sure!

  11. I also prefer piansip mee.

    Me too. Without meat, it’s RM1.50 and with meat, RM2.20 or 2.30. Imagine paying 70-80sen for those miserable 4 or 5 paper-thin slices of boiled meat, coloured red!

  12. Got the flu, and no appetite for anything. No gym today, made butter condensed milk pound cake, double whammy. Luckily no appetite…haha.

    I just came down with flu too…but that’s my problem! When I fall sick, I eat…and eat…and eat!!! LOL!!! Btw, no sign of KNB for two days liao? Sick too? Or his office found out that he’s been spending too much time here and decided to block as well???

  13. I like to eat tapai cold it has a unique taste. Will buy to make Huat Kueh too..I can make vv nice Huat

    Next time you come to Sibu, you bring ya…and then I can post and give my verdict! Hahahahaha!!!

  14. Try to buy the yeast from the Chap Hoi Tiam..they won’t know what you want unless you say..” Chiew Pia”(alcohol biscuit) is beer barley water now….su kak ei kong la.

    Yalor…as long as the comments keep coming! 30 already! More! More! Hahahahaha!!!

  15. To you guys with flu get well soon….take it seriously please. . . .. nobody knows what the heck is going on.except for i heard Malaysia has a vaccine for swine flu over the radio this morning. #$%@ them.

    What station would that be? And they haven’t even got one for HFM – 1997, already 12 years!!!

    1. And yet we don’t import pork from Mexico…

      Me…because of hot weather, sleep with aircon full blast…direct wind some more!!! Old already…not so tahan liao! LOL!!!

  16. Never tasted tapai before! Btw, are you serious about inviting me to stay in your home with free food and lodgings? Will you be my free tour guide as well? : )

    No problem…can throw in free taxi service from airport return some more. So when do you plan to come? I won’t be around mid-May weekend…but other than that, no other plans. This weekend? Friday’s a public holiday. Sibu not much to tour, mostly touring the food places! Hehehehehe!!!! Or you come for the Gawai Dayak Festival 1st June weekend….??? Let me know earlier and I can arrange a bloggers’ get-together with the ones here!

    1. Sound like a free slave… OOOPPPSSS!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!! *run far far before things start turning around*

      Hehehehehehe!!! Jeles! U wanna come and stay also can…anytime! Too bad ur house is in Sibu! LOL!!!

      1. Might be back for Gawai. But my house and your house so near only. No need lah. We go mam mam instead. Hehehehe!!!

        Goodie… Anybody else coming around that time? We can have one big get-together then! My daughter should be home by then.

    2. Oh thanks for your invitation! But it won’t be so soon. Cos I just came back from KK and will be going to China in August. A bit too much traveling for me. Not only that, got tons of work to do! Probably after I come back from China, will arrange with you again. I don’t mind the food tours! Haha! Thanks again for your kind invitation! : )

      Just one long weekend enough. Check the calendar…and then book the cheap airline – can get really cheap fares if you book well in advance. I may get to see you in KL?

  17. Oh Soon Hock’s, I’ve eaten there before, didn’t knew their mee pok would look so delicious, will need to give it a try real soon, probably this Sunday morning, hehe~

    Getting tired of ang chiew mee sua in chicken soup eh? Hahahahahahaha!!!

    1. Oh man you have no idea… just by looking or smelling it already made me sick.. LOL!

      LOL!! Consider yourself lucky! You’re not the one eating it…and your poor wife has to eat only that for 30 days…and you’re partly to blame! Hehehehehehe!!!! πŸ˜‰

  18. Looking through…hmmm, never eaten tapai before. Looks like I also got to learn about tapai also if not my blog useless already! πŸ˜†

    Why? Because of all your posts on Japanese wine?

    1. Well, you’re right in a way. I can’t be talking the same thing all day you know. πŸ˜›

      It’s really up to you. After all, it’s your blog, so you can post on whatever you want… There will be people who will be interested, and those who aren’t can just go elsewhere. Who cares about them?

  19. Hmm…
    I guess I’m one of the rare Iban who doesn’t like to eat tapai. Jadi tuak already no problem but just can’t eat tapai. Bau nasi ‘barik’ (spoilt rice?) Haha..
    One friend of mine once said “Apa punya Iban ni tidak makan tapai o”..LOL
    Yes, tapai is the first stage of making tuak. Mix glutinous rice with ragi and leave in covered container for around 2-4 days (?) to get tapai (my mum call it nasi manis).. add water and sugar and leave for 1-2 weeks, voila, will get tuak..hehe

    Oh? So it is tuak in the early stage…and my mum’s Indon maid was telling me that we should keep for a while until “air keluar”…now wouldn’t that be tuak then and something people of her faith shouldn’t be consuming? LOL!!!

    1. Ya, if it turns a bit watery then it becomes tapai already… Ha, that one I can’t answer (not of that faith ba) but it’s not tuak until we add water and sugar…Hehe

      Good Lord! That must be pure alcohol then! Langkau? Hahahahahaha!!!!

  20. Tapai, although not my favourite but i still eat it. Occasionally i will buy it from pasar malam πŸ™‚

    Now I’m impressed! I would think that most Chinese wouldn’t know about it (like Yan), much less want to eat it. I’m not crazy about it either and would much sooner opt for other things, if there is a choice.

  21. Why don’t you try the “tapai” at “Kampung Nyabur Kopitiam”……just opposite RTM Sibu.

    Yes, I’ve seen that coffee shop…but I’ve yet to go and try. Thanks for the info…

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: