Yours and mine…

Well, you have your siew mai…and I have my sio bee

Sibu sio bee 1

…but actually, I think they’re one and the same thing except that they’re in different Chinese dialects – the former is in Cantonese and the latter is in Hokkien. We did not use to have siew mai before there was dim sum here so all this while, right from my childhood days, we would have our own version of it which we call sio bee.

We certainly were a very deprived lot then, so very different from the kids today! How we craved for them and usually, it would be among the last few dishes at a Chinese dinner so everytime our mums were invited to one, we would sit by the doorway waiting for them to come home. More often than not, everybody would be too full by then so there would be a lot of the sio bee left over and our mums would use the  pink-coloured paper serviette to wrap a few to take home for the children. Imagine our delight at being able to get hold of one, savouring it like it was something that had dropped down from heaven, never mind that it was already badly stained by the pink colour that had come off the paper.

I had these here when my West Malaysian blogger-friends and their families were in town…

Sibu sio bee 2

…and I went back there again the other night to buy some for the people doing the renovation works at my house. I thought they were quite nice and besides, at only 50 sen each, they’re the cheapest in town.

In siew mai, the filling is made up of meat and prawns, beaten well till firm but the texture of our sio bee is very different. The good ones will have minced meat and shredded turnip (mangkuang/sengkuang) and whatever else in the right proportions, wrapped in the skin with chopped carrot on top…

Sibu sio bee 3

– if I’m not mistaken, when I was young, they used salted egg yolk for the orange topping but for obvious reasons, they do not have that anymore.

These days, it is not easy to find some really good ones…but these, though not the best, are good enough. Just ask smallkucing

smallkucing & Sibu sio bee
*smallkucing’s photo*

I think he had three at one go…or was it Claire‘s son that had so many? Well, at 50 sen each, I certainly see no cause for complaint. What do you think?