Call it what you want…

Back to that narrow alley where I bought the rechargeable fan/light that day, if you are walking from Market Road to the Sibu Central Market (Channel Road), the first turning to the left in that back lane would take you to these popular kompia shops in town, this one and this one. But if you turn right instead, you will come to a little shop on your right a short distance away selling ma ngee (horse’s ears)…

Ma ngee

People have given all sorts of names to this Foochow delicacy – in English, I call them scrotums! In Hokkien, that would be lampha kueh and many call them that…or worse, gu lampha (bull’s scrotum)! When I shared a photograph of these on Facebook, my Malay and Iban friends commented and it seems that they call them pelir kambing (goat’s testicles).

Well, call it what you want, the sad fact is that it is very difficult to get any these days that are like what they were originally, the truly authentic ones. You may find some here and there and it is not so bad that they’ve shrunk to a very miserable puny size but the texture is all wrong even though the taste may still be there. Some do not even taste the same and come across like doughnuts with that same dense texture. Ma ngee would have lots of air spaces/holes inside…

Ma ngee - inside

…and would be a little hard and crusty on the outside.

The two on the left in the above photograph were from the aforementioned shop in that narrow alley and yes, they would be quite like the ones we enjoyed so much those years when we were much younger…but they’re much smaller now – maybe just one-third or half of the old size and they’re 50 sen each! There used to be another very popular shop making these – back to back with that kompia shop at the other end of the alley but according to the lady here, that one has closed shop for good – they are not making them, anymore. It is really sad that many are forced to wind up their business as the young ones these days are not interested in carrying on the trade.

The smaller one on the right in the photograph is one of those that my missus buys quite frequently from a stall in front of a shop round the corner in my neighbourhood. They are 40 sen each and this is one of those that would have the taste but the texture is not quite the same.

Well, some of you may know something similar that you call butterfly fritters but believe you me, they’re similar, no doubt but no, they’re not exactly the same. We do have those here too…

WeCare ma ngee

…at this bakery. Goodness gracious me! These are so popular that they will only put them out for sale at 1.30 p.m. and by 2.00 p.m., they would all be sold out. They used to cost RM1.00 each but I hear the price has gone up to RM1.10 or RM1.20, I’m not too sure as I have not gone to buy for quite a while now. I certainly have no intention of joining in that mad scramble! Honestly, since they are selling so well, I wonder why they can’t make a bit more and make them available throughout the day. Yes, they are very very nice – BIG and nice but if it is the authentic ma ngee you’re looking for, this is not it! However, this is better for those who do not have very strong teeth or none at all though as they are not as hard on the outside.

It is the same with yew char koi or yeu thiao, as some of you would call it (crullers)…

Yew char koi

It is so hard to find any like those in the past these days and yes, there are many Malay stalls sprouting out here, there and everywhere like mushrooms after the rain and yes, as a few people have told me, some are very nice and some would even give you curry gravy to dip them in and eat…but no, they’re nothing like the real thing.

I also got these from that shop in the narrow alley, also 50 sen each, and yes, the texture is just right…

yew char koi - inside

…but they’re a lot shorter now, maybe only two-thirds of the length we used to get in the past.

Incidentally, I bought RM2.00 of each, totalling RM4.00 but I paid RM5.00 instead – five of those new RM1 notes that are so slippery and not so easy to handle and count and if you’re not careful, you may end up paying more. Thankfully, the nice lady is very honest and she told me that I had paid too much and returned me RM1.00. It sure is comforting to know that at this present day and age, there are some very decent and honest people around…still.

Moving on from these local delights, I did mention in a previous post that my niece was home for the recent long weekend and she did bring us a lot of stuff as usual. One would be these made-in-Singapore sausages…

Singapore-made sausages

…and just like the ones I bought recently, they sure make it look like it’s some imported stuff as well, don’t you think?

My daughter grilled some for breakfast…

Singapore-made sausages and egg

…when she was home last weekend and she cooked one extra for me to try.

The texture was almost like those luncheon meat-like local-made ones…

Luncheon meat-like texture

…that we can find in abundance in the supermarkets in town but they really tasted a whole lot nicer and were absolutely yummy! All things considered, I think those very expensive Malaysian-made ones that I bought were very much nicer but thank you all the same to my niece. Your thoughtfulness in always bringing back something for us everytime you come home is truly very much appreciated.

In the meantime, my sister-in-law in Kuching came home to spend sometime with the mum here and she remembered what she had seen on Facebook – the very nice butter cake that my ex-student, Xavier, gave to me not too long ago and she went and got me that…

Mita, Kuching cheese butter cake

…as well. Thank you so much, Hoon – that was so very sweet of you indeed but you shouldn’t have troubled yourself, really. Of course, I kept it till the weekend when Melissa came back and we really enjoyed it a lot! I also cut a portion of it for her to take back to her school to enjoy in the course of the week.

Hey! It’s Friday again!!! Gee! I can hardly feel time creeping past so quickly. Have a lovely weekend ahead, folks! Cheers!

Author: suituapui

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

23 thoughts on “Call it what you want…”

  1. We call that “beh kah”, used to like it a lot but not now, you know lah, so fat no ppl want 😦

    OUCH!!! Aiyor…now what did Claire say about you, tall, fair and handsome or something? Overseas grad, now got MBA some more…just dangle that and all the girls will come running, never mind fat or thin! Hehehehehehe!!!!

    But seriously, it ‘s not without…but within that matters…and anyway, dieting used to be for the ladies only – this cannot eat, that cannot eat. So young – go and hit the gym…and these days, lots of ladies do that too. Build some muscles plus it’s good for health as well.

  2. Ah, so Foochow has this food item called horse ears. I know there are those called ma keok (horse hoof) that looks like this:

    http://muntalksfood.blogspot.com/2014/04/lai-lai-desserts.html

    but of course does not taste the same as your horse ears. I am weaning myself away from eating deep fried food so no horse whatever for me. 😦

    So nice of your relatives to bring you such tasty food. That’s why you don’t even bother to abstain from anything – what for right? Life is short, just eat and be merry. 🙂

    The exterior looks similar, can’t really tell by just looking at photographs.
    Yup, deep fried food – best when hot…but may bring about unwarranted consequences. Once, we were running a course for teachers at a hotel here in Sibu…and I went to the shop and bought some to let those from the other towns try – one from Kuching ate and ate and ate…so very nice, hot from the wok. The next morning, the officer called me and asked if I could take over her slots – she had lost her voice. Tsk! Tsk!

    Ya, people always love to feed me. I guess they know that’s what I would enjoy most. It’s fine to enjoy once in a while, not all the time…and it’s ok since I don’t go out and buy much on my own.

  3. Nice! I love all these food but cannot take too much cos it’s too oily. Its best to eat the ma keok and yau chau kwai with some flavour porridge.

    Yes, yeu char koi with porridge or bak kut teh…or stuffed with meat and deep fried – all nice…but nope, ma ngee/keok is only eaten on its own here…for tea.

  4. Oohh you call it horse ears? Here I usually call it horse legs – mah keok.. Looks something like those ears, but longer, and kinda separated in the middle with a small hole, with some buttery milk/butter sugar crumbles in between.. Nice..

    Horse’s hoofs. I’ve seen them in KL – that lane from Jalan Bukit Bintang to Jalan Alor. There was a stall there, dunno if it’s still there, selling these and a whole lot of deep-fried stuff, hot from the wok – facing side of KFC. Not sure if they’re the same or not as I did not buy to try. Not really crazy about deep fried stuff – that’s why I prefer curry puffs baked, not fried.

  5. I not really sure what that snack called but I do now. Haha. It does shaped like one but please! Cant it has a decent name for a delicious snack? Tasted this before in Kuching. I dont know where my parents bought it.

    But I love yew tiaw. Can eat like that or in porridge or kueh chap. 🙂

    Happy weekend! Melissa will be back and food hunting begins.

    Yes, yew char koi’s good in kueh chap too. That’s right – my girl will be back by this afternoon – not sure what we’ll be having this weekend, will have to wait and see what she fancies.

    The bakery here has a branch in Kuching too and I did hear once that they made these there for sale – not sure if your parents got them from there or not. Indeed, what a name! My father would scold us whenever he heard us calling them by that name and would insist that we called them properly – ma ngee…and not lampha koi! 😀

  6. I love the horse ears too! Forgot what we called it back in KL, but I didn’t know it’s a Foo Chow delicacy! Yes you do need strong teeth to eat those… hehe

    Oh? They’re hard too, the ones in KL? I thought those there – they’re called butterfly fritters – are all right, not so hard and crusty, more like donut. If I’m not mistaken, there was a yeu thiao stall at Pavilion and they had these too – dunno if it’s still there and like the one between Bukit Bintang and Jalan Alor, I did not buy any to try.

  7. yay, the horse ears post at last! so cool, they do look reminiscent of the ‘ham cheem peng’ that i remember from my childhood … and anyway, i’ve always been a fan of yau char kuey, no matter how greasy it is, so i do like the food in this post 😀

    I guess it’s ok for you, you’re young. 😉 LOL!!! Our ham chim beng here is flat with a swirl of five spice powder, looking like a snail or like a cinnamon roll that I had accidentally sat on. Muahahahahaha!!!! They’re deep-fried though, not baked like those rolls. My missus loves those – best ones from Kuching. We do find some around here…but they’re very very small and thin, so miserable looking and of course, ours are not as nice.

  8. I’d like to try some of those butterfly fritters.

    I think they have these in KL…but I wouldn’t think they’re the same as ours here. Lots of things, not just these – they may have elsewhere in the country and other countries too but more often than not, they’re not the same. Not necessarily not as nice, maybe even nicer but just not the same.

  9. I love the crullers and butterfly fritters from I love yoo. They have a franchise in Daesco. Trying to practice some restrain though, a moment on the lips and forever on the hips, so they say.. 😜

    Oh? I hardly go there and even when I did, I never had anything much, don’t seem to have anything I fancy. Will go and check it out one of these days.

  10. Lol… what a name! at first i thought they were chicken wings! then when i look closer… oh lain. Like cha koi. 🙂 Never came across it here in Kuching tho. or when i go Sibu.

    Not easy to find these days…and of all the places, I saw them in Kanowit that day! Very very small though – too small to entice me to buy and try.

  11. I love butter cake and not every time I successfully baking one.! Looking delicious from the photo!

    Happy weekend.

    This one’s really good – none as good here, close but quite far from it.

  12. It’s a little like the “ma keok” (direct translation: horse leg) we have in KL…I love these fried stuff dunked in kopi-o! And those sausages…with luncheon meat texture will surely sit well with me coz I adore luncheon meat 😉

    Me too!!! Have you tried PORKIES? 85% meat, made in Denmark…and only around RM7 something here. VERY nice. You can actually see chunks of meat in it. My friend just blogged about it yesterday:
    http://kuchingnite.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-way-i-like.html
    Yes, many love yeu thiao dunked in coffee – I love it best with condensed milk or kaya. Yummmmm!!!! 😀

    P.S. Thanks for dropping by and for commenting. Do come again.

  13. At first I thought those things in the first pic were chicken wings. Then I discovered that they are actually pastries with a rather racy name ha..ha.. 😀

    Chicken wings? Gee! You need new glasses? Hehehehehe!!!!!

  14. Over here in IPOH, the first picture is called Horse Leg… 🙂 and I prefer those than the yau char kwai anytime… sweeter and fragrant cos of the sesame seeds…

    When I was small, no sesame seeds, just sugar stuck to it. Only quite recently, they added sesame seeds.

  15. laughing out loud at your first paragraph. HAHAHAH!
    It’s like having food porn lesson, with visual aid, after the lesson, you can eat the ‘lampa’ ! HAHAHAHHAHA… I CANNOT ACCEPT.

    btw, I didn’t see any selling here. Gimme back my hamchinpeng or yau char guay~

    Muahahahaha!!! Horrible hor! Btw, ham chim beng & yew char koi also have their own connotations…but the names are fine. Eyewwww!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  16. People have given all sorts of names to this Foochow delicacy – in English, I call them scrotums!

    Oh my, that has me in tears!

    LOL!!! You’re so tickled by that, eh? Sure looks like that, doesn’t it? 😀

  17. Ma ngee, yes we called ma keok here. When I crave for ma ngee, I will buy ma keok and dip it in coffee and eat, yum.

    The small lane? Is it next to the old Ta Kiong place? I remember when I am young, my grandma always bring me there for soya bean and bought kuih. And I still remember next to that soya bean place, it was a “pet” stall.

    Are the ones there like the traditional ones here? Full of holes inside or dense like donuts?

    That’s right…that’s the lane all right. Now that you mentioned it, maybe I am always too early, so I don’t see the people selling pets by the side of the lane anymore, – usually had lovely puppies in cages, I remember seeing those. Dunno about any soya bean place there.

  18. Yeah, it’s very hard to find nowadays!

    My dad calls them horse’s ears when I was a kid so that’s what I continued calling them. They used to be a lot at the Rejang Park wet market in the old days when the wet market was still behind the park and I remember they kill a lot of chickens there too – all gone now, those stalls.

    The market’s still there with a couple of stalls selling those local homemade cakes and stuff, more or less like the one in front of the shop in our neighbourhood (the one on the other side of Kim Tak) – not sure if they have these or not but if they do, they would probably like the ones my missus would buy sometimes.

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.

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