Younger days…

On Friday last week, I dropped by our neighbourhood shop in the next lane in the hope of buying some more of the very nice nasi lemak bungkus that I got from there not too long ago. Unfortunately, there was none available but I did manage to get hold of a pack of meat-free sushi and we could have that for our breakfast.

I went over again on Sunday morning and yes, this time around, they had the nasi lemak bungkus (RM2.00 a pack)…

…so I bought 3 packs for the 3 of us. Yes, it was consistently good, as nice as the previous time I bought it.

I also saw these…

…that morning, going for only RM2.00 a pack. This is called yew chang koi or fried shallots cake, something that we loved and enjoyed a lot in our younger days.

In my post the other day, I mentioned how way back then, when we went to the movies at the Lido Cinema here, we loved going to the stall by the side of the building to buy the sotong bakar, squid grilled over a barbecue fire and clobbered till completely mashed and we would enjoy it dipped in the seller’s own-made chili sauce.

This yew chang koi was another thing that we would love to buy and enjoy either before or after a movie in those long gone days. They steamed it in those little enamel-coated metal bowls and using a bamboo spatula, they would cut lines in the soft cake for something like those tic-tac-toe squares after which they would sprinkle fried shallots and pour some sweet chio cheng (light soy sauce) over it…

I remember it was so cheap at the time, probably 10 sen a bowl and to us, it tasted so so so good.

This was not available for a long time – no one was making it and gradually, it reappeared. Some failed to make the grade, nothing like the real thing and personally, I felt that the best would be the one at a stall in the pasar malam (night market)

…but of course, with the pandemic, I am not sure whether they are still selling it there or not and of course, you will not expect to see me there since it has been declared a high-risk hot spot, best avoided!

This one was good as far as the texture of the cake was concerned (it is actually something like chee cheong fun except that it is not paper thin) and the sauce was great too…

…but I had the feeling that they just used the factory-made fried shallots sold at the supermarkets. Thankfully, it was not smelly – some have this unpleasant smell that puts me off right away but I did not think it was all that fragrant.

My friend, Rose in Kuching, blogged about how one can make one’s own at home. It seemed that her hubby, a true-blue Foochow from central Sarawak, was craving for it and since they could not get it there, they had to make their own. You can hop over to her blog and have a look at her post on this and try making it if you so desire.

The one I bought was good enough for my missus, she enjoyed it too but it did not tickle my girl’s fancy. According to her, she would much sooner go for some chee cheong fun

…instead but that is something that is not easy to come by here in this Foochow town – I think that is Cantonese.

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.

Author: suituapui

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

10 thoughts on “Younger days…”

  1. At first glance I thought it was chee cheong fun which I like. I have never tasted or seen this yew chang koi selling anywhere over here. I for one never buy this factory-made fried shallots too, not fragrance at all. Used to do my own in small batches.

    1. Yes, best to make our own, not difficult. Not too bad if not fragrant – some have this horrible smell that puts me off. I’ve encountered those at some Malay shops and stalls. Better not to put actually.

      I guess this yew chang koi is a Foochow thing, don’t think you will find it in Kuching. More likely to find chee cheong fun – that’s Cantonese.

  2. Your nasi lemak bungkus has a piece of omelette. Sometimes, we can find nasi lemak with a small piece of omelette instead of a small wedge of hard boiled egg. Yew chang koi can be found in Penang, not very common in Ipoh but some places do have. I too do not like factory made shallots.

    1. True, very true! Sad that the old folks die or retire…and the young ones can’t seem to get it right. Dunno whether they lack the passion or what! We can’t get any of our traditional kacang tumbuk in Sibu anymore – there is a good one in Miri, that I know…and the best laksa sambal in Kuching went into the drain when the children (overseas graduates) took over!

  3. We don’t have yew chang koi in Johore either.
    It looks like our tsui kuih (water rice cake) that we have it with chai po (preserved radish).
    It’s a Teochew dish, very popular in Johore (and in Singapore too).

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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