Wrap…

The expression It’s a wrap means something’s finished or completed, over and done and has nothing to do with wrapping anything, presents…or for that matter, zhang/chang (dumplings) but yes, the festival aka The Dragon Boat Festival (端午節) or the Double Fifth Festival as it falls on the the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese Lunar Calendar though most will just refer to it as the Zhang Festival or the ciak zhang (eat dumplings) festival, fell on Thursday last week, the 25th of June, this year.

Come this time every year, everyone will be busy wrapping their own zhangs and going round asking whether everyone else is doing the same and they will declare that theirs is second to none. I do not know how to do it, wrap those dumplings and my missus insists she does not do it very well and will not bother – her late mum was the one doing it before and of course, the daughter would insist the mum’s zhangs were the best.   That is why we are left with no choice – we just have to go out and buy.

I was at the food and fruit shop near my house a couple of days before the festival and the place was flooded with zhangs. I did buy theirs to try before but no, they did not sweep me off my feet. I also bought some from the shop at the end of that same block and even though theirs were nicer, I did not feel they were so good that I would be going back there to grab some more.

The lady boss kept persuading me to buy these (RM3.50 each)…

From Swee Hung

She said that the lady would only make it once a year for sale and hers would not be available on normal days.

Yes, it was very nice with a lot of meat, bits of shitake mushroom and peanuts inside…

From Swee Hung, inside

…but my missus does not like zhangs with peanuts so she didn’t like it much.

In the meantime, I also stopped by the mini market among the Delta Mall area of shops and the lady said that the ones she was selling (RM4.00 each)…

From Puas Hati Mini Market

…were very good, not as good as the ones she used to sell before but that lady was unwell and not able to make any this year.

True to her word, it…

From Puas Hati Mini Market, unwrapped

…was very nice. I thought it was a little bit pricey but there was a lot of meat inside (unlike the RM2.50-3.00 ones that I bought elsewhere before) plus some shitake mushroom as well and if you were lucky, you would get a slice of pork fat too…

From Puas Hati Mini Market, filling

Personally, I did feel that the overall taste was nicer than that of the aforementioned one. Yum yummm!!! LOL!!!

My missus prefers these Chinese Hokkien (some people say they’re Hakka’s) like the ones she ate growing up but not me. I grew up enjoying the nyonya version that my mum used to make without fail every year.  Unfortunately, we cannot buy those nyonya ones here in Sibu, only in Kuching but every year, without fail, my good friend/ex-colleague, Richard would make his own and he would never fail to give me some…

Richard's nyonya changs

…to enjoy, thank you so so much, Richard! You’re the best!

Really, it is so very thoughtful and sweet of him to remember me year in, year out. His are always perfect outside…

Richard's nyonya chang, wrapped

…and inside…

Richard's nyonya chang, unwrapped

…and the taste…

Richard's nyonya chang, inside

…is simply out of this world.

Previously, I would always give a few to my mum – she loved these nyonya zhangs too but since she had passed on, I gave them to my sister and she loved them. In her own words, “Richard’s nyonya zhang is truly very very good!” and that was from someone who has had enjoyed the Kuching ones…and even the ones from Katong in Singapore!

Well, now that we’ve eaten all the zhangs we desired and it’s over and done till next year, we can say quite appropriately, “It’s a wrap!”

SWEE HUNG (2.316161, 111.840441) is located along Jalan Ruby, in the block of shops on the right – next to a hair salon at the extreme end…and on the other end, to the left is the Kim Won Chinese Medical Store and Mini-supermarket. Kim Tak Co. and Ak Kau Cafe are located in the other block on the left while  PUAS HATI MINI MARKET (2.311748, 111.845507) is located at No. 12 at the corner of Lorong Taman Seduan 8 to the right of the block where Soon Hock & Chopsticks are located.

Author: suituapui

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

7 thoughts on “Wrap…”

  1. Oh, do your late mother used to make nyonya Changs. Where did she learn it from? So nice of Richard to give you nice and tasty nyonya Changs every year. You can learn from Richard how to make nyonya Chang and then next year, you can make your very own nyonya Changs. I won’t be learning from my mother because I am so very lazy.

    My missus did learn from my mum but she insists the ones sh wraps look awful and she complains that she cannot keep her arms up too long, old age…and she prefers making the ones like those her mum used to make.

    My mum and her sisters learnt from Auntie Ah Hiok, Richard’s aunt – so well-known for her cookies – come Christmas & Chinese New Year, lots of people would buy from her. I remember cycling to her house to collect my mum’s orders. My mum’s sisters-in-law and my aunts’ daughters-in-law all learnt from them and they know how to make their own.

    1. So will you be learning how to make Changs soon? I can understand why your wife doesn’t make cos it really takes a lot of work.

      Not me, thank you very much. I can feast on the nyonya ones whenever I hop over to Kuching or if there is someone coming over, I can ask them to buy for me. Actually I can wrap too…but mine is worse than my missus’. Hers not too bad actually but if she can’t get it perfect, she will never make again. That is why she has stopped baking cakes – she seemed to have a problem with our (new) ovens and the cakes did not turn out as nice as the ones she made before.

  2. All the bak changs looks good. I am one that is zero at wrapping bak chang. I am fine with those bak chang with meat, shitake mushroom and peanuts but not with salted egg yolk or orh nee.

    I love the nyonya ones with or nee, a touch of sweetness and the Hokkien ones with salted egg. But one salted egg added, the chang costs so much more so I am quite happy without it.

  3. Nyum! Nyum! Frankly I would rather buy than attempt my own. It is a lot of work and hassle. I helped my auntie once and that’s it. LOL!

    Me too! I do not mind paying more if they are really good, value for money. It most certainly is such hard work, a lot to do and…especially when you have all the straws dangling from a broomstick and you will have to raise your arms up high to tie the dumplings one by one.

  4. My favourite ones are the one with salted duck eggs.

    Those would be the Chinese ones – I love that too but it is a lot more expensive. Salted eggs aren’t that costly.

  5. I love that the literal translation of the festival is “eat dumplings.”

    That’s all we do…usually but these days, some people will find any excuse to celebrate and have a feast!

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. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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