This was something that I used to eat quite regularly when I was small…
…except that what we had then were bigger – more than twice the size and they did not come in paper cups like this one and I would expect that they were probably a lot cheaper. I buy these at a stall outside one of the shops near my house at 3 for RM1.00.
They are very nice – soft, light and fluffy as they should be, just slightly sweet and with a special smell or taste that is uniquely their own. I love re-steaming them before eating so that they would be a little bit warm…and then, I would apply a blob of butter, Golden Churn no less, and watch it melt as the fragrance fills the room and sometimes, I would add some peanut butter as well. Yum! Yum! Awesome! LOL!!!
But like many things that I ate and enjoyed when I was small, I actually do not know what they are called. So I googled to find out and if I’m not mistaken, they are known as “Fatt Koh” or “Huat Kueh“. Well, “huat” means to rise…as in the case of yeast in bread, we would have to leave the dough aside to let it rise or “huat” and since yeast and Eno is used in the making, that would probably explain the name.
“Huat” or “Huat chai” may also mean to prosper as in the case when somebody asks you, “Wah! Tua huat liao kah?” (Prospering a lot already, is it?) but do be alert to the connotation or idiomatic meaning as in my case, if anyone should ask me that, he or she would merely be insinuating that I am growing fatter and fatter – expanding like rising bread dough. Tsk! Tsk!!
I came across this interesting piece of information in this blog – the blogger says that Fatt Koh is a must for the Chinese during prayers. ‘Fatt’ means prosperity and every 1st and 15th of Chinese calendar, she will have prayers at the altar so everytime she needs to go to the market to buy at least 20 Fatt Kohs. According to her, it is something similar to cupcakes but of course, on top of it, the Fatt Koh is smiling ( cracked ).
Interesting! I did not know that before but then coming from a Christian family background, I guess there are many of such practices that I am not familiar with.
Then there is this other blog that calls it apam wa ko koay. Yes, I think I’ve heard that name before. Is it one and the same thing – huat koh koi pronounced a little bit differently or in another Chinese dialect? I believe that is the case…and I noticed that other than pure white, they do come in different colours these days – if you check out those blogs that I’ve linked, there are pink and green ones now as well. They also have those colours at the stall where I bought mine that day but I think I prefer mine white…