For you for me…

I was looking for a shop in Padungan, Kuching that used to look really old and dark with a counter in front with all the stuff for sale and a man, not very young, who was always shirtless or wearing a pagoda singlet. My parents loved the phong peah from that shop in particular and my mum enjoyed their kee chang (alkaline glutinous rice dumpling) so I wanted to buy some to take home for them.

Then, I found it!!!…

Sin Hian Chia, Kuching

It looked completely different from what I was familiar with in those long gone days. In fact, I hear it is now a pit stop for tourists visiting Kuching – the buses would stop here for them to buy what they want to take home…

Sin Hian Chia

When I was there, I saw a guy and some family members of his, probably from Singapore – they bought so much that the helper had to go next door to ask for a carton box for them to use to carry the things so I had to wait quite a bit for them to be done before I could pay for my purchases.

I would not have known that THIS was the shop if not for these…

Kee chang & ang tao chang

– the kee chang and the ang tao chang (red bean dumplings) except that I was quite put off upon seeing that they now use those nylon strings instead of thread to tie them. I am not too sure as to how safe it is to boil the dumplings tied with those strings…but nonetheless, I decided that I would make an exception this one time since we cannot get any nice ones in Sibu and I bought some to take back home for my mum.

I did ask the lady in order to confirm that this was the right shop and when she heard my description, she exclaimed, “Aiyor!!! Lu kui chap nee to bor lai liao?” (How many decades have you not come here?) Once I was sure I was at the right place, I bought the phong peah

Phong peah

…for my parents and I also bought these tubs of lek tao kor

Lek tao kor

…which was very good but more expensive and not as nice as the ones in Sibu that we bought for Chinese New Year – these were a bit sweeter but on the whole, I thought they were good enough, not bad at all. After all, beggars can’t be choosers – this traditional delight is very hard to come by these days, especially the really good authentic ones.

There were people who bought things me for as well when I was in Kuching and that included Nicholas’ aunt, my cousin, who flew over all the way from Brisbane, Australia to attend the wedding. She gave me a very nice XXXL t-shirt which fitted me like a glove and these…

Tim Tam strawberry champagne flavour

…which were very nice with the distinct strawberry fragrance plus a little bit of liquor taste.

With the Dumpling Festival just round the corner, I went with one of my cousins in search of nyonya changs to buy and take home but unfortunately, the Green Road old lady selling my favourite was nowhere to be seen. Maybe it was because it was a public holiday that day or she had not resumed business since the Gawai Festival…or she had taken the time off during the 2-week school holidays…or she had a whole lot of orders and she was too busy at home making those dumplings.

In the end, my cousin stopped by here to buy some of theirs for me to try. No, theirs were not nyonya but the big ones with the sweet or nee (yam paste)…

Or nee

…tasted a little like it.

My! My! There was so much meat inside…

Lots of meat

…and it’s all lean. Actually, I do like a bit of fat in my Chinese dumplings…and I do love salted egg…

Salted egg

…in them.

The small ones just had the meat and a whole lot of peanuts…

Peanuts

…in them. I heard somewhere that these dumplings with peanuts are the Hakka version. Anybody in the know can confirm this? For one thing, I do know for a fact that there were a lot of Hakkas in Kuching before the Foochows invaded the city. Hehehehehe!!!!

Another cousin got me these special homemade ones…

Homemade

…with lots of meat and chestnuts…

Meat & chestnuts

…and salted egg too…

Salted egg

…and I liked how they were tied with thread…

Thread

…not those plastic nylon strings.

Yes, they were all very nice and yes, I sure had a lot of changs this year to enjoy over the Dumpling Festival season but my favourite would still be the nyonya ones…and thanks to my friend, Richard, I did get to enjoy those this year and I had a few stashed up, saving them for the actual day.

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Author: suituapui

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

12 thoughts on “For you for me…”

  1. Lean meat in changs? I would love them! The Cantonese style ones I bought here all have a big piece of fatty pork in them. I have never eaten yam paste changs. Should be tasty I imagine.

    You went into each and every one of them shops to look for kee chang in order to find the shop you are looking for? Good that you managed to find the shop and it is great that their business is so good. Your parents should be pleased with the oldies goodies you bought for them from Kuching.

    The phong peah was disappointing, not quite like the ones before. My mum, as always, loved the kee chang – finished all of those and now she has gone on to the red bean ones. Glad that she enjoys them.

    It’s not just yam paste, but meat chang…with a bit of yam paste or what we call or nee. They have that in nyonya chang too – more expensive by RM1.00 in Kuching, if I remember correctly. RM4.50 while the regular ones are RM3.50 only. Oooo…I love the ones with a bit of fat – all lean is like something is missing, not quite there.

  2. I love salted eggs too and when I make those Zongzi I make sure I add extra on mine, also have you tried them on steamed buns, if not you should they are amazing

    You mean the lau sar pao, the salted egg custard buns? I love those, best would be the ones where the filling would ooze out like molten lava. A recent craze here is that same salted egg filling in croissants.

  3. I know this shop. Old and famous shop selling kuihs and traditional snacks. Its bee phang (rice cracker) very nice.

    Those chang with groundnuts are my favourite!! Hakka chang.

    My favourite will always be the nyonya ones. So sad that I could not get to buy any this trip.

    Yes, I did see the bee phang there but we can get good ones in Sibu, made in Kuching, so I did not buy any.

  4. Hey good morning! Sin hian chia is on my fam must-do list when we are in town! My favourite from their store is bi pang (rice cracker). Yeah they have renovated and spruced up the shop so it’s much more comfortable while shopping there nowadays.

    Sometimes, some things are lost in translation – I still prefer it the old school way, it had a lot more character…like the old buildings VS the modern structures. I did not buy the bee phang as we can get pretty good ones in Sibu…plus only my missus enjoys it, I’m just so so with those snacks.

  5. Nowadays, those dumpling sold here, not much meat inside, see that your’s has lots of meat inside…

    There too? Here, the taste is still there, still very nice…but no sign of any meat or for that matter, anything at all – just the glutinous rice.

  6. Didn’t know Kuching has all these biscuits and snacks but we still can find plenty of these here in Penang

    We all came from the same roots, didn’t we? Given the diversity between dialects and the regional differences, we may have more or less the same things.

  7. Oh, I know that shop but I seldom buy from here. I always buy from Chin Hian Chia. Heard that both are brothers related. Dumplings with peanuts are definitely Hakka versions. I love peanuts and I am all for this Hakka ones.My late MIL used to make this type. Love it heaps.

    Two votes for the Hakka chang – I’d stick to my nyonya ones, nothing will ever change that. My missus likes the type her mum used to make, I think that is the Hokkien chang – a few slices of fatty pork, mushroom and chestnut and the glutinous rice is fried and mixed with the sauce of the stew. I quite like those too but can’t find good ones here anymore, love the ones with salted egg inside even more.

  8. Haven’t had kee chang for years. Never seen them here.

    Can’t find them in Sibu too, dunno what dialect that is. This one here is very good – I bought once from elsewhere in Kuching, the alkaline was so strong that it reeked of urine so I threw them all away, didn’t bother to bring them home.

  9. Wow..you have such a generous spread of changs! Sure you could finish them all? I like the ones with lots of beans, especially the yellow beans.. and do they have these or nee changs as well? That would be fabulous.. I only get to try Or Nee in JB… Could not get these selling in Ipoh…

    Well, they’re all gone now. Don’t mind if I don’t get to eat anymore till next year, overdose. Hehehehe!!!! I vaguely remember those with yellow beans, don’t think I’ve tried those. I’ve had Cantonese pillow chang though, like lor mai kai. Used to cost RM5.00 each a long time ago, I’m sure they’re at least RM10 now, so expensive. They have the ones with or nee in Kuching…even sio pao with or nee, they have there, can’t remember any here.

  10. this year made more than 80 changs…all gone in a jiffy. I like more fat in my chang.

    You sure have an advantage over the rest of us, you can make your own so you can add anything you want, make them exactly the way you like them.

  11. “….very nice XXXL t-shirt which fitted me like a glove…” muahahahaha! Wow, nice changs. Me too prefer meat with some fats and of course the salted egg yolk.

    What? What? Some XXXL may be too small…and some are too big, depending on the brand. This one was just right. In KL, I have to go to a shop at Pertama to get clothes my size, can’t get any anywhere else. Hmmmm….so now you know my size, eh? Wink! Wink!!! 😀 😀 😀

    Gee!!! We do share a lot in common, don’t we? Now I’m wondering what other similarities we have, our shape and size perhaps? Hehehehehe!!!!

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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