A long time ago…

These have been around since a long time ago. During my younger days they used to sell them at a stall at the front of the now-demolished Sibu (wet) market. Today, that same old lady is still selling them at her stall, now at the Sibu Central Market. I understand that her daughter-in-law also has a stall close by but she makes her own and they say that hers are not as nice.

You can have a choice of the vegetable type…

Sibu chai pao 1

…which my cousin, Gerrie, in Kuching loves a lot. Everytime I go to Kuching, whenever possible, she would ask me to bring along a few for her to enjoy.

These vegetable steamed buns are different from others that we may find here, there and everywhere in that they contain finely-chopped long beans and  whatever else…

Sibu chai pao 2

Usually there would be thinly sliced cabbage, carrots and perhaps salted vegetables but not these.

I don’t know how much they cost when I was young – probably 10 sen…but at one time, I think they were 30 or 35 sen each but for RM1.00 you can get four. Now, they are selling for 50 sen each.

I quite like the meat ones too…

Sibu bak pao 1

…but I find that the filling is getting less and less these days…

Sibu bak pao 2

…and I am pretty sure there was a bit of egg inside before but not anymore.

I must say that I was quite shocked the other day when I bought these as they are now RM1.20 for one. At that price, I think I might as well go and buy the char siew pao from the dim sum places in town which, if I’m not mistaken, will not cost more than RM2.00 each. Whatever it is, RM1.20 each is, in my opinion, a bit too steep for those and I do not think it is really worth it.

Should I happen to pass by the stall again, I think I will just stick to the more affordable vegetable paos…

Author: suituapui

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

33 thoughts on “A long time ago…”

    1. Actually, over here in KL, there’s no more Rm1.20 pao…the minimum is Rm1.50 liao la… Sobs… everything mahal now… even those teh o ais. SOBS! Can you believe it? Rm1.80 for teh o ais kurang gula! Q$#!@#$@#%#$

      Oh? Then we must count our blessings! I thought it was expensive and I would never buy the meat pao ever again… 🙂

  1. Yes, I remember my mom used to buy these paos when I was young. I really like them, whether vegetable or meat ones. They were so delicious….mmm. Wow…that’s expensive now. I think it was 10 pieces of vegetable paos for a ringgit and 6 for the meat paos with eggs. Arthur, time to make our own and sell 😀 My aunty there once told me a kg of flour can make 20 big ones. Her paos are really delicious but she doesn’t make for sale. Gosh..I think I will dream of paos tonight…haha

    LOL!!! The vegetable ones were10 sen each and I did not like them so much at the time – preferred the more expensive meat ones. 6 for RM1, can’t remember that…but I do remember buying them at 30 sen each but 4 for RM1.

  2. Morning! You and Cleff are sure early birds!

    Yup, here also costs about RM1+ for vege pau! The other day I made this kind of pau(of course texture wasn’t as smooth as yours) with my mother in law, after we calculated the costs, it’s actually around 20 cents each only, you can imagine how much they earn…… blood sucking expensive!

    Have a great weekend ya!

    True! Very very true! And they may own houses and several pieces of land…and yet they jump at any opportunity to raise the prices. All daylight robbers!!!

      1. Muahahahaha!=D

        LOL!!! After all this while, we should be familiar with her habit already – if she does not comment early, she would be back later in the evening. No prize for guessing what she’s doing in the meantime…

  3. ooooh yums!!! My favourite!! Thank you for making me salivate!

    LOL!!! I knew this would lure you here to post a comment! 😉

  4. now mana ada rm1.20 punya cerita already. Minimum RM1-50. If go Dim Sum place will be worse. Else have to sendiri make pau like Wai Kitt (http://hellowaikitt.blogspot.com/2010/11/char-siu-bao.html?). Looks like I have to go “bodek” her for Pau already hahaha

    I would love to learn if it is not a lot of work. I hear if you use a bread maker you can make the dough- all automatic, just throw everything in. But I wouldn’t want to buy – in the end, get stuck with a white elephant. I’m sooooo lazy! 😦


  5. A long, long time ago…
    I can still remember
    How that music used to make me smile…

    We were singing,
    bye-bye, miss “Vegetable Pow”
    Drove my chevy to the levee,
    But the levee was dry….~;).

    American pie? Oh dear! LOL!!!

  6. Oops sorry just thought to place a link of the ‘Vegetable Pow’ but not the whole YouTube and cant find the ‘delete’ button..

    You can find Vegetable Wars…or is it Store Wars? Very interesting clip – something about saving the environment.

  7. Where is this lady in the Central Market? Upstairs with the food stalls? The paos look really good.

    Nope, downstairs…nearest to the tofu-taugeh stalls…with a pillar between her stall and those. No worries, I can buy for you when you’re here. 😉

  8. veg pau, here they add turnips. Long time didn’t make pau liao, maybe will do the next few days!

    Haiya! Too bad you do not live in Sibu, otherwise sure I will be getting some. Ya…I think some use mangkuang…or what you call sengkuang…like in po piah.

  9. Pau!..X3..love the humble char siew pau from Orkhidwood…like the skin texture…smooth and soft but 1 thing that irritates me is that it will stick to your teeth!..hehehe…

    Fook Hoi big pau is great too!…the brown sauce and chilli sauce blends well with the pau and har kau.

    Pau is getting x’pensive and the filling is less now. One may have to sink the teeth deep into the pau then only can see the fillings. Hate those types of pau.

    I’ve never tried Orkidwood’s but I love the ones at Xiao Pao Wang – the otherend of Padungan, fire station side. Don’t like Fook Hai – the skin yellow in colour…and the meat seketul…and when you bite into it, the whole lump will drop out. Don’t like the sio bee & har kau too…but many people love them so much. Must go and eat when in Kuching and will cart boxes back to Sibu. Not me, no…thank you. LOL!!! 😀

  10. very expensive lah, but here lagi expensive, small kaya pau cost rm1.5. tsk3, those thing wont get cheaper la, oh well, its tedious work ma, let them earn a bit lor. hehe

    You are very kind and understanding… Sure nobody will go out of business with customers like you. Muahahahahaha!!!!

  11. I prefer char siew pau to vegetables pau anytime.. maybe i m not a vege person but a meaty one.. hahaha.. my girl follows me, she can wallop 2 char siew pau in one go! 🙂

    I’m a meat person too…and this is the only vegetable pao that I do not mind eating. All the rest, I would just give them a miss… 😉 Never mind, you girl is so slim – she can eat all she wants! LOL!! 😀

  12. OMG! My grandmother used to take me to get my morning pau when I was 5 (!!!so long ago) when she does her morning ‘marketing’. When I go back I always asked my aunt in Sibu to get these for me but she never seems to be able to get the correct ones. Now I know- thanks STP. I try re-creating the chai pau here but never seems to get it just so, you know…either faulty memory or ingredient not right.

    Trade secret – I’m sure they will not give you a clue. LOL!!! Never mind! Just let me know the next time you’re coming back to Sibu and I can get them for you. My cousin in Kuching once asked her brother and another cousin who were in town to get for her…and despite my explicit directions, they bought the wrong ones. She was so disappointed. Obviously they picked the wrong pillar! LOL!!! 😀

  13. Aiyo! Haven’t made ‘pau’for a long time. I have a breadmachine and not sure if still working, maybe time to take it out to make pau. Here the char sieu pau is very nice but the ones i miss are the chai pau and tai pau. Used to buy from the same stall too long long ago, I remembered all my bro have to do is toot his horns, and the ‘ah mu will be ready with the paus,all the paus very nice even the tau sar ones. So the ‘ah mu’ still around? Wow! But no longer opp. Palace theatre, but Central market? Don’t even know where now!

    Hey! I just commented on your status in Facebook! Now I know what has suddenly inspired you to look for your pao recipe…and your breadmaker. LOL!!! Don’t worry – when you come back, I will buy for you! No problem, still affordable! 😉

  14. In Melaka got a couple who jual vege pau with angkuak(sengkuang)filling and kacang tumbuk filling…very delicious.Too bad no fresh yam bean in NZ or else I will make them myself.You are right,it is quite easy to make pau yourself…buat banyak and freeze some.When mo makan,you just resteam them balik and they will be as fresh as new.A bit of work but worth the effort.Too bad you live so far away or else I can make some for you…ahaks!!

    Work! Hahahaha!!! The word does not exist in my vocabulary. Never mind, I’ll just go and buy, still not too expensive…and that way, there’s no danger of me eating too much. Hehehehehehe!!!

  15. So far, I like to eat Apui pau,the one selling at jalan Lanang & the siomay also good. But for vege pau, I still can’t any with the best ingredients…I hate those with long bean /french beans, I prefer those ingredient with sengkuang. It taste better.

    Dunno any Apui pao – where along Lanang Road? That is a very very long road! If you like that type of veg pao, a good one is the stall at the front part of the Sibu Central Market, the other side of the newspaper stall which is in front of the Malay kuih stall. Last time RM2 for 7, dunno now… Gerrie does not like this type, can get everywhere…not the one I mentioned in the post – that one only Sibu has and only at that stall is nice.

  16. I cannot eat vegetable. I am allergic to them. LOL 😀

    Huh? And you do not eat beef and whatever else. Gee! What else is left? I would be bored stiff having to eat the same thing every day…

  17. I only like the kaya pau. A long time ago my late grandad used to drive all the way to Tanjung Malim (those days using old roads) just to buy pau from there. They were big in size and really yummy and cheap. Nowadays the pau(s) everywhere are like half the size of what it used to be, not as yummy and way too expensive!

    I agree 100% with your last statement. 😦

  18. not a fan of vegetable paus. I still love the char siew paus due to the robust taste of meat!

    I don’t mind bak pao (meat pao)…even kay pao (chicken) as long as there’s a lot of meat inside and I would love an egg too. Yum!

  19. Alamak!! I miss the vege bao (mui choy) that Mamarazzi used to buy for me….Hint*Hint*Mamarazzi, when you going there again ar?…LOL!!!

    Nice kah? I wonder where she buys them… 😉

  20. Wow! There are siopao (siew pao) that has vegetables inside? The only ones that I encountered here in the Philippines are siopao that have meat inside. Siopao with vegetable fillings are not popular here.

    They’re called chai pao, chai meaning vegetables. They’re cheaper, of course…and are quite nice too. Personally, I prefer meat, of course…but have to pay more. 😦

    1. Oh! That is called chai pao? So that is why there is no vegetable siopao because siopao is a “pao” that has meat fillings.

      Maybe when I go to Chinatown, I will ask them for a chai pao.

      I wonder if they make that there. In the end, they may give you vegetarian pao. Also vegetables, I guess. LOL!!!

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