Let the sunshine in…

It has been raining a great deal here in Sarawak and some areas have been flooded rather badly including the Selangau district where my girl’s school is located. Thankfully, hers has been spared and most parts of Sibu as well except for some sections mainly due to the poor drainage in the vicinity and the horrendously heavy downpours that we have been getting lately.

Hopefully, this excessively wet weather will not drag on till Chinese New Year as there are many things to be done and we do need a lot of sunshine if we were to sun and air the carpets prior to laying them out, for instance, or dry the keropok (prawn crackers)…

Drying
*Photo taken using mobile phone camera*

Thankfully, the sun came out the other day and I quickly put out the ones that I got from my Trengganu friends right away. My girl loves these dark ones from the East Coast of Peninsula Malaysia and I had already fried one of the two packets they gave me, the one from Kelantan – this second one is from Trengganu.

To fry them, one would need to heat up the wok till it is really hot and then fill it with cooking oil, just the amount needed, and wait till it is hot enough. If it is not hot enough, when you drop in the keropok, it will not expand and rise to the occasion and turn nice and crispy. I’ve been told that with sufficient drying in the sun, it will turn out even better.

Anyway, a lot in the pack were broken so I saved the whole ones and those that were bigger for Chinese New Year and fried the smaller bits and pieces…

Trengganu keropok

…to try. Personally, I find these Trengganu ones very good too – I loved the nice fragrance and taste of the fish and that is the quality we would look for in keropok that would differentiate the men from the boys, so to speak. Some are all flour with loads of salt and msg and hardly any fish or prawn or sotong (squid) flavour – those aren’t good and not worth putting out for guests to enjoy. One thing that I noticed was that they were sliced a lot more thinly than the usual and I actually liked that as well.

I wonder if you all do this at your end. Here, for our Chinese New Year open houses, other than the cakes and cookies and the bak kua, cashew nuts and all kinds of nuts and kuaci (melon seeds) and everything else plus our best own-cooked dishes, should we be thus inclined, we would have keropok as well in one huge cream crackers tin or Tupperware along with the must-have to go with it – the acar timun (cucumber pickle)…

Keropok & acar

My mother-in-law used to make very nice acar and every year, without fail, she would give us one BIG Nescafe bottle, maybe two but she is old now and she doesn’t make it anymore. Last year, I saw on Facebook that my ex-student’s mum was making for sale so I told him I would like to buy a bottle…

Hong's mum's acar

…but when he came home for the festival (from Penang), he delivered it to my house and would not receive payment for it. Such a sweet boy!

Yes, his mum’s acar was really good, just like my mother-in-law’s, so I asked him if I could buy two bottles this year and yes, he said he had informed his mum and she would be reserving two for me. He would send them over to my house, he said, and he had paid his mum for them – the two would be gifts from him to me. Awwwwww!!!!! Some of my boys are so very thoughtful and nice, really.

I have a lot of packets of keropok in the house, actually. This one came from my cousin in Bintulu, homemade…

From Bintulu 1

..and these were from my brother-in-law, also in Bintulu and also homemade…

From Bintulu 2

…and this packet of the Mukah ones was given to us by my sister-in-law when she was home sometime ago from Kuching…

Mukah keropok

…probably the same ones that they would usually serve at this restaurant here

Mukah keropok, served

I wonder if my ex-student’s mum would like one of these…or maybe, I would go out and buy some nice cakes or cookies to give to them….in line with our adat or custom. When people give us something, we would need to balas or give something in return. In Hokkien, we call it lay sor (manners) – never mind, big or small as long as something is given to reciprocate. Of course, it need not be right away, though it would be good if it could be so. One may choose to balas at some later time as and when the opportunity arises.

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Author: suituapui

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

23 thoughts on “Let the sunshine in…”

  1. Yes, some of the houses we visit during CNY do have these in tins for guests to eat. But I have never eaten them with acar. Your ex-student is so nice and thoughtful to give the acar to you as a gift.

    Yes, some of them are really nice, so very sweet…but only some, I’m afraid – not that many, unfortunately. 😦

  2. Lay sor or as some would say, uh Lao uh kee (got come got go). Are those homemade Bintulu ones for sale anywhere in Sibu? How do they compare to the Enyi ones? I got some of those in Sungei Merah.

    Unfortunately, no…and they’re not always available. Can’t just go and buy, anytime. Of course, you get a lot more of the fish or prawn flavour, not as light and crispy as it has less flour…and not as much salt and msg. No promises, but if we have any left, I’ll reserve it for you. Good till 2016, it seems. 😉

  3. Wow, various types of keropok from different places. For me, acar & keropok is a must during CNY. Some keropok expand so big when fried but I prefer those smaller sizes keropok which is easy to handle. Nice gift from your ex-students.

    Just one of them, others – no sound. The keropok, from my friends from Trengganu that day, my cousin, my SIL and my BIL. If expand too big, may be just self-raising flour. It all boils down to the taste and the texture.

  4. See it makes me craves for it, later will go and get a packet, hehe…

    Any over there, no fight lah…if compared to these homemade ones. Want some? Hehehehehe!!!!

  5. I havent dried my keropok. The dark brown type. I actually prefer those white with red lining crackers. Hehe.

    The weather looks good today so maybe I will dry my keropok under the sun.

    Only the ones here, I think – the white with red lining. Once they see, they know it’s Sarawak keropok, Mukah usually. Good weather for some three days or so now – pray it will stay this way.

  6. Love keropok.. Prawn, fish, crab, everything.. And oooo lekor too.. Addicted to lekor.. I don’t eat it with acar, only with cili sauce.. Good idea to eat with acar, nice 🙂

    Yes, nice with chili sauce too. Best would be the Thai one, I feel. These dark ones from the peninsula would be something like lekor, the taste, but not so thick and hard.

  7. Prawn cracker with acar, nice and very addictive!

    My brother make acar this year too, secret recipe from his in law. Due to man power and the bad weather he didn’t manage to do a lot, I thought want to reserve two for you.

    Yes, so hard to dry the cucumber. But three-four days now, no rain. Very hot…and I’m not complaining. Had enough of it – so cold I could feel it in my bones. 😦

  8. my mom and aunts would love these crackers … they often munch on various keropok non-stop, heheh 😀 ooo, it hasn’t been wet in kl … the weather has been punishingly hot here!

    Same here for the last three days. Hope the weather holds, still got lots to do.

  9. I remember the dark keropok from Kelantan. They are my favourite. Haven’t had them in years, though.

    I get them quite regularly from friends. My daughter loves these more than the usual ones.

  10. Actually, I haven’t really noticed. My generation, when we visit friends’ houses, the main event is gambling. The usual biscuits and pastries are definitely there, but I don’t remember anything special. For sure there would be no cooked dish, we always have our main meals in a restaurant or something. It is good luck for the host (and bad luck for us) when gambling if we have our meals in his house! 😀

    It seems the rain has focused its wrath in Borneo now. I hardly see a drop of rain for the past 3 weeks or so. Right now I would be glad to see some rain here..

    Hot and dry for three days. Rained yesterday, raining this morning. Hope it stops…getting very tired of all that rain already.

    Oh??? Good luck for the host? Hmmmm…must take out come playing cards then. 😀 Ya, I heard that CNY ain’t all the fun over at your side, mostly a private family affair and perhaps a handful of very close friends – no open houses, no visiting….just have some edible stuff by the side, whole day at the mahjong table.

  11. Oh yes, our Terengganu keropok is best hee..hee… If your dry it in the sun, the keropok puffs up even more when your fry it. It is great eaten with rojak and kerabu too.

    Once this pack is finished, no more liao lor… You have my mailing address? Hehehehehe!!!!

  12. So many packets you have!! This year I am not frying any… Just go to people’s hoise and eat will do….hahaaaaa… Will be a quiet affair this time cos of my mother demise… But we siblings will get together for a reunion dinner no less about that…

    Oh? Usually it is ok after 100 days, no? If still during the mourning period, not allowed to visit people’s houses also. But we’re ok…not really following these old beliefs and practices. More important what’s in our hearts than what we do outside.

  13. Wah, so many types of keropok from different places! Yes, I usually see some keropok in people’s houses during cny, normally prawn crackers. But here normally just eat like that, no chilli, no acar. One day must try eating with acar..must be addictive!

    Sure brings the taste to a whole new level, very much nicer.

  14. What a coincidence… My wifey also bought 1 pack of that keropok with those red lines. Yes, it’s time to fry those keropok and served it during CNY. Prawn keropok is a must! Never try it acar-acar … though I dip some empeng in belacan before.

    Emping, you mean? Not into chips, like those ngaku – the favourite of many. My girl loves those.

  15. The dark ones look almost like fish crackers. Never had keropok with acar timun before. Prawn crackers are my most favourite thing to eat for CNY. I always buy from the same vendor every year. Mine looks like one fat fettuccini (1-inch width) noodle (in a long strand) and needs to be broken down to smaller pieces before frying (maybe I’ll put it up in my blog later).

    Oh? Never seen any like that before.

  16. I like the darker ones too. But now dont think it’s a good time to buy coz just finish flooding. Not sure whether the keropok kena flood water or not….

    Oh? If already packed in sealed plastic, should be ok. Maybe went swimming and came back. Muahahahahaha!!!!

  17. Last time when I give something out, I got partly hope for something back, but now I don’t care what’s for return, that’s not important anymore!! =]

    Yes, exactly. No need to expect anything in return – for every act of generosity…and charity especially, the blessings will be a hundredfold. Nothing can beat that.

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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