Coming back…

One very popular dish here at the noodle shops and stalls would be the fried bihun (rice vermicelli) with canned clams in soy sauce

AmoFood canned clams in soya saucea

I remember my mum cooking that in my growing up years using those made-in-China Amoy Canning product and though I enjoyed it, it wasn’t anything that you would find me craving for. Eventually, I noticed that it was taken over by this Singapore AmoFood group and was no longer made in China and one fine day, they stopped coming – it was not available anymore.

I searched everywhere, high and low, until a lady at a grocery store told me not to bother as they had stopped production and she asked me to use this

Sunstar clams in soy sauce

…instead and insisted that it was exactly the same. Much to my delight, it was! However, our troubles did not end there. The instant we saw any on the shelves at any shop, we had to grab many cans quickly as once the stock was finished, there would not be any forthcoming for months!!!

The price kept going up too!!! Initially, it was RM3.80 and then it went up to RM4.00 something and the other day, I picked up a few cans at a shop near my house…


…to add to those that I still had in my pantry and it was RM5.00!!! Whoever said that what goes up must come down sure had it all wrong!

In the meantime, I saw some excitement among my Kuching cousins on Facebook. One of them spotted the original AmoFood canned clams in soya sauce there – obviously, it has come back and is now available so of course, everybody wanted a few cans. This time around, it is made in Malaysia, NOT in Singapore anymore. I asked and found out that it was RM6.95 at the Kuching branch of that Sibu supermarket – a friend tells me it is RM6.50 a can here, slightly cheaper. However, in the light of the current COVID-19 situation (and that sure looks like another case of something going up and never coming down), I did not bother to go and check it out. After all, I still have a few cans of the Sunstar ones in the pantry.

Well, it was Ash Wednesday the other day, a day of fasting and abstinence…

Lent, fasting & abstinence

….and I decided I would fry some bihun with a can of those clams and leave it there for anyone who would want to eat, just a bit for the 2 small meatless collations before the 1 regular meatless meal, come evening time.

I went to the back of my garden to harvest my cangkok manis

Cangkok manis leaves

I sure am glad that it is growing really well now and of course, I had to tear the leaves into small bits…

Cangkok manis, shredded & torn

…to bring out the sweetness and to make chewing them easier.

I dropped some bihun into boiling water to soften and chopped some garlic…

Bihun, garlic and chili

…for use. I also sliced one fresh chili (this batch is not spicy at all, good only for colour) and I fried an omelette and sliced that thinly too so that I would be able to use them for garnishing prior to serving the bihun.

I opened the can of clams and poured the sauce all over the bihun

Bihun, sauce added

…mixing it altogether thoroughly so I would not have to do that while frying as this nicer and finer Thai one may pecah-peach or break up into very small bits when fried a bit too long. I also added a bit of dark soy sauce to give it a bit of colour so it would not look too pale.

Once everything was ready, I fried the garlic in oil till golden brown, threw in the cangkok manis to cook, followed by the clams and the bihun. I broke two eggs into the wok, scrambled them well and added them to the noodles and once done, I dished everything out and served…

Fried bihun with canned clams & soy sauce & cangkok manis

…garnished with the aforementioned sliced chili and omelette.

Well, self praise is no praise but I thought that was pretty good. The crowd at the stalls selling this in town here is testament to the fact that this is good and you can give it a try if you have never cooked it before.