Marry me…

In the past, when somebody wanted to get married, he would have to send a representative – usually someone older, an uncle or an aunt, to visit the prospective in-laws and discuss the dowry and all the related matters.

Among other things, the parents of the bride-to-be would request for the number of packets of the engagement sweets or khong t’ng that they wanted. Each packet comprised a peanut cake (made from crushed peanuts) and a piece of whole peanuts in caramel – both wrapped in red (kite) paper and there would a card inside to officially announce the engagement of the couple.

Apart from that, they would request for the number of pikuls (or t’nar, these being the standard forms of measurement of the day) of lay peang that they would like to have…

Foochow lay peang 1

The lay peang would come in varying sizes – the largest as big as a plate and the smallest, probably the diameter of a mug. The pieces would be laid out one on top of the other from the biggest up to the smallest in the shape of a conical pyramid. Unlike the engagement sweets which would be distributed to any friend or acquaintance, these pieces of lay peang would be reserved exclusively for the most respected in the family. However, do not be too thrilled or happy if you are accorded the highest honour and given the biggest piece because that would mean that for the wedding, you would have to present the bride with the biggest gold chain, thankfully not necessarily equivalent to the weight of the lay peang in gold. LOL!!!

Today, these traditional practices have more or less died out, I think and more often than not, a couple would just announce on Facebook that they are engaged and their parents do not even know! Sigh!!!

Nevertheless, these lay peang are still available in some shops around Sibu and people would buy them to  eat for pleasure more than anything else. My cousin, Stella, in Melbourne, loves them and everytime, she comes back to this part of the world, I would buy here a few pieces to satiate her craving.

I used to go to Tiang Chuon (GPS: 2.288201,111.827924), an old school shop along Market Road…next to Hua Ing General Store to buy. I don’t know if those were any good because I never bothered to try them myself as I was not really a fan of the sweet and sticky stuff. The other day, however, I bought these at a shop near the Civic Centre (Dewan Suarah) here, GPS: 2.310858,111.831443, a couple of doors away from Grace Cafe, at RM1.70 a piece…

Foochow lay peang 2

…and when I tried a bit, to my delight, I found that they were actually very nice and not too sweet either…and no prize for guessing who ate them all up in the end. LOL!!! Now I know where to get them should Stella happen to come by this way again.

I also bought these chu nu miang, the sweeter and softer cousin of the Sibu kompia, from there (4 for RM1.00)…

Plain chu nu miang

…and these with sesame seeds (3 for RM1.00) as well from the same place…

Sesame chu nu miang

…but personally, I think there are nicer ones elsewhere.

Should I be going back there again, it would just be for the lay peang, that’s for sure. Anybody wants some?

Author: suituapui

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

34 thoughts on “Marry me…”

  1. Looks yummy, very good to go with tea, but not sure if it’s for me, cuz I dun really fancy sweet stuff. I’m more to the savoury kind. Hmmm…

    Me too – that was why I was never a fan, too sweet…but these were really good, kurang manis.

  2. I should have done my wedding according to all the required chinese traditions and rituals but then again, back then you thought those were old fashion, now thinking of it, sigh

    I think I did follow some of the practices…and I feel itis good to observe someof the less demanding or troublesome ones to preserve our identityand culture. 🙂

  3. ooohh…so the lay peang is like this in Sibu… ours here is different.. hey, STP, I wanna try the sticky sweet ones.. they look so special… can send some over ah? hahaha… gosh, and the others are sold for 1rm for 3 or 4 cheap??? Over here, no more 1rm for 3 or 4 pieces except for the malay kuehs..
    Hey, can sample these before we make our next move??? hehehehee….

    Hey! You’re supposed to give to me, so you have tosend me the Ipoh ones to try – since you say it is different. Hehehehehe!!! 😀

  4. Oh yes! Leypiang very yummy!…..Nowadays with the gold prices so inflated, I think it is cheaper to buy our own leypiang than to be presented one ! LOL! I think all these traditional customs are slowly phasing out….and also the younger generation probably do not understand or appreciate the significance of all these, guess it is us older generation who are more sentimental abt these things, esp. the ‘older’ we get,probably when we were younger we also don’t appreciate all these customs…..Sometimes also ‘pening kepala’ if following all these ‘traddy’ customs down to a ‘T”!..Nowadays young people are very independent and seems very capable to plan everything themselves, good also lah for the parents, no need to stress…haha!

    I would still stick to some just to preserve our identity and culture – the pening kepala ones, no need lah. Not so keen on lay peang…but I do like theidea of distributing the engagement sweets to announce one’s engagement. Trouble is nobody’s making khong th’ng anymore these days – the Sg Merah one, they say not nice already. 😦

  5. I remember those wedding goodies, except I didn’t like them. Still not crazy about them. But I’ll get some for my mother when I get back. They do look good.

    You must try these – they may change your mind. I never liked ever since small – that’s why I never bothered to buy and eat…but these, I liked!

  6. Hmmm!…Foochow goodies kah? What?… the lay peang looks quite tempting and damn good. Want to “mum mum”.

    BTW, the chu nu miang and the one with sesame seed, any fillings inside or kosong? Guess it is best to have them with a cup of hot hot “kopi-O kow kow”….yum!…yum!…

    Nope, kosing! They do have those with filing too but I did not buy. I usually eat with butter and peanut butter… Yum!

  7. I like those traditional phia but not too much.

    I did not even like these…but having eaten the ones from this particular shop, I think I will go back soon to get some more. Nice!

    1. If not too sweet, I can have more than 2. I think kong phia is the best.

      Kompia… I’m o.k. with everything. LOL!!! This may not be too sweet but I don’t think one should finish two, not even one in one sitting. I would cut into little slices and eat bit by bit…

      1. I see. That one is call enjoy… finish in one go… will make you feel that is enough, no more next time.

        Cannot lah. So sweet…and at my age, I have to be more careful.

      2. Forget about your age. Like my father he cannot take too sweet because of his diabetes.

        Everything in moderation…and hopefully, all will be ok…

  8. these olden pastries will definitely be extincy one day if no one wants to learn how to make it!

    Sad, real sad…and here I see the Malays selling things like pao, zhang and even kompia and kampua noodles at their stalls – they’re learning to make all the things that the young Chinese are no longer bothered to learn. They have special courses, I hear.

  9. Ohhh……so those are lay peangs!! I like them.

    Ok…KIV, must buy if I ever go to Kuching… 🙂

  10. okay here i am to comment…hehehe…sorry ah…been rather busy…even own blog comment also tarak reply .

    I still preferred the red and yellow wedding biscuit. Love the Tong Kee Brand. But getting to expensive. Now the yellow ones are like rm3/pc and the red ones are RM2 a piece.

    Never seen those before.Had to google to see the photos – seems they are called kah lui ping. Cantonese traditional practice or what? Look like mooncakes to me… Hmmm…I comment so many times in your blog baru see you here once. Tsk! Tsk! Want to mogok liao! See your comment, then I will click the link to go to yours and comment – as they say, you scratch my back, I scratch yours. Hehehehehe!!!!

    1. what la…u go check see my comment kena masuk spam box or not ah… 😦

      No lah. Any spam, I will be informed. Just that after many many other comments, finally I get one meow-meow one….so at least, it feels like a long long time baru one comment.

      1. That side dont have kah lui peah? Yes, it’s like mooncakes. Most bakery made it too sweet. I like the Tong Kee ones as they are less sweet. Okay, noted. If I have the chance will get some for you to try.

        Nope! Never see nor heard of it before. Must be Cantonese… Not many here, mostly Foochows.

  11. Lol! I saw your picture, and shouted out to my partner, “I want to eat that lay peang!!” Then she shouted back at me, when we get married you’ll have lots of that, so don’t be noisy! Haha.

    You know lay peang? Penang Hokkien people also have that? Hey…the groom is supposed to give to the in-laws, not the bride giving the groom to eat…or are you thinking of something else? @.@ LOL!!!

    1. Penang hokkien have these as well according to Janice my wife. Lol, don’t always think senget bro. 😛

      What? What? @.@ *innocent look on face… Muahahahaha!!!!! So they do… Then hopefully, you’ll get to eat… Nom! Nom! Nom! Hehehehehe!!!!

      1. testing my new gravatar profile

        Your profile photo, you mean? Wow! You change it so often – also that face what? Muahahahahahaha!!!!

  12. …and that is why I LOVE your posts, Arthur! 😀

    I love the anecdotes that goes behind it. I didn’t know that was standard practise for dowry giving back in the day.

    The good ol days eh, I don’t think lay peang would get one very far these days. Heh!

    Glad you like what you see – keep coming back for more. Yes, the good ol’ days indeed. Soon will come the day when there will not be anybody making lay peang anymore – an age-old tradition lost…

  13. different groups of people will have different types of lay peng as well as the traditions.. hehe, i’ve not done this before so i wouldn’t know much lah.. haha!!

    I guess so. That’s the beauty of the Chinese culture – so many dialects, each with its own traditions and all so interesting. Sad that they are all dying out slowly but surely…

  14. you are very true, modern people now try to simplify things.. we don’t really get the invitation card too, unless you replied your FB message confirming you will be attending, else the bride and groom will just save the money to send you the card.. 🙂

    As long as they do send eventually and not just invite via Facebook. Traditionally, if you want to invite but you do not want them to give ang pao e.g. close relatives, younger ones…you just eyong chui kio (use mouth to call = verbal invitation). So, the rule of the thumb is no summons (red invitation card), no ang pao…

  15. Lay peang! Wow!! Had been ages i never had that. Like more than 20 years??? When i married i don’t think got lay peang? It is super simple on those traditional things, since my hub is cantonese.

    Chu nu piang, it got sweet taste, i still prefer kompia more.

    As a kid, I prefer chu nu miang…but these days, ok with both. Hah!! You can try the lay peang when you’re back here.

  16. Wow. So that is the tradition of the past.

    I fully agree with you. Many of our traditions have died out and some of those traditions are good. I believe that the tradition that you have outlined here in your post is a way for two families to know each other. Unlike today, couples suddenly announce their wedding without even telling their parents. In the past, I think that act is unthinkable.

    True. How can they do it without the parents’ blessings? No respect at all for the elders… At least, inform them about their intention and share the happiness.

  17. I like all the peahs… crunchy and cripsy at the outside and ooey gooey sweet inside, that’s what I after!

    Me too…a little but savoury, a little bit sweet. 🙂

  18. Lay peang at KL is different.. ours is pink and yellow in color with lotus paste or red bean filling. Many a times, it’s not even eaten at all. Sibu ones look way much better 😀

    This is Foochow lay peang. I think KL ones are Cantonese. I think what Cantonese people call longevity noodles are also different from ours – here, we eat mee sua for longevity.

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

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