Two more!…

The other day, I went back to the Chinese pancake or ban chang kuih (慢煎粿)/apam balik stall in the next lane round the corner from my house because there were two more things I had yet to try.

The guy was very busy making those pancakes – he said that some guy placed an order for 20 and he told him to come and get them at around 3 but he was there already at 2.30 and was waiting in the car. Well, it did not matter one bit to me as I did not intend to buy any. I am of the opinion that at 80 sen a piece, no meat, margarine not butter and just a bit of crushed peanut in the pancake, it is kind of pricey.

On my previous visit, I was intrigued by the sight of the black ang ku kuih (red tortoise cake), 70 sen a piece…

…and I did say then that I would buy those the next time around to try. I had seen yellow/orange (sweet potato/pumpkin) and purple (yam) ones before but not these black ones (even though they looked kind of green in the photograph). I went and googled and I saw something about such black ones being made using black sesame but my missus said they used some kind of grass for the purpose.

Perhaps it is what they use to make the black grass jelly (仙草/xiān cǎo), I wouldn’t know but I was quite positive that I could detect a hint of something herbal as I was eating it…

Inside, it was pretty much the same as all the rest, the same mung bean filling…

Another thing that I wanted to try was this deep-fried kompia stuffed with meat filling (80 sen a piece)…

…but they turned out to be quite disappointing. They felt like they were not fried enough…

…so they were kind of rubbery, not nice and crusty like the expensive but so much nicer ones here…or those here that used to be 90 sen a piece, dunno now plus I did not think the filling was all that great – everyone agreed that it was a little too salty.

Of course, I had to buy their chai peah (5 for RM2.00)…

Of all the things sold at this stall, this is our favourite but for reasons unknown, it was not salty at all that day. Perhaps the people making forgot to add the salt but it was perfectly all right – we ate them with my missus’ own-made chili dip and yes, it was so good!!! I suppose I shall keep on going back to the stall for this, not so much for the rest of the stuff they have to offer there.

Incidentally, if I am not wrong, it’s the Dongzhi or Winter Solstice Festival today so do enjoy your tang yuan (汤圆) – tang Soup is soup and yuan Yuan is round and that implies reunion, full satisfaction. In the old days, the poor farmers couldn’t afford meat so they had these balls instead. Eating them during this auspicious festival is a required custom. All the children are told that people can add one year to their age after eating tang yuan.

We are not fond of the ones, usually colourful, in sweet syrup – we prefer those coated with crushed peanut and sugar…

…and yes, we will make these, without fail, every year to preserve the tradition, the customary practice – our heritage.

To all of you celebrating, a very Happy Dongzhi or Winter Solstice Festival – do enjoy eating your tang yuan!

Author: suituapui

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

12 thoughts on “Two more!…”

    1. That makes sense! I know DH and his bro order a slew of Texas Hots when they go and I mean A LOT lol

      These Chinese pancakes are best eaten piping hot. Once cold, they turn rubbery/chewy – I would not want to buy so many to keep. Maybe the guy was buying for his office staff, a piece each. That would be all right.

  1. I am not into tang yuan in sweet syrup. I make savoury tang yuan, ever heard of? Hakka people eat savoury tang yuan. Is it a Foochow thing to make dry tang yuan? It looks looks like muah chee. I have the same tang yuan last Sunday (early tang yuan celebration for us as this year tang yuan falls on a weekday) make by my Foochow DIL… 😊😊. I love it and guess I am getting more into Foochow tradition.

    I did hear people saying that the balls coated with crushed peanut and sugar is the Foochow style. We prefer that to the colourful ones in sweet syrup. Now they have mung bean powder in place of peanut but I prefer peanut, more fragrant.

  2. Happy Winter Solstice!! Now I know the other way of enjoying tang yuan. Dry version. 😁

    Thanks to that BIG Foochow influence in your family! LOL!!!

  3. Happy Winter Solstice to you and all at home! I thought it was tomorrow as it usually falls on 22nd December but my partner told me that this year it is a day earlier. My aunt in NZ was taken by surprise when I sent her a greeting as she also thought it was tomorrow. LOL!

    Some websites say tomorrow, 22nd so I had to cut and paste that last part that I actually wrote for tomorrow’s post.
    Having said that, when I was teaching Geography, the Winter Solstice was 21st December, fixed…but that one is the ang moh practice, Chinese not the same, I guess. LOL!!!
    Happy Winter Solstice to you and all loved ones! Eaten your balls yet?

  4. Happy solstice to you and family. I too prefer the dry version, rolled with crushed peanuts and sugar. I didn’t make this year because only 2 of us and we can’t eat much.

    Thanks. Hope yours was great too. There are only three of us in the house but I made them, anyway, to observe the tradition and to preserve our heritage. Gave some to my sis, of course. You have the dry version there too? They say that is Foochow.

  5. So what’s inside the tang yuan? Those green black kuihs (?) remind me of mochi

    Nothing, just glutinous rice balls rolled in crushed peanut and sugar. Post on the ones I made coming soon. Do stick around.
    The skin of the green/black ang ku (red tortoise) cakes should be the same as mochi, made using the same glutinous rice flour so it is also chewy and sticky.

  6. We have the same filling in our ang ku kuih here too.
    But I don’t think we have the black ones.
    Personally, I prefer ang tao kuih (red peach cake) with glutinuous rice and kacang inside.

  7. So many varieties defitnitely there will be something disappointing once in a while but as long as you have more good buys compared to the bad ones I think it is still good.

    Just one very good one, better than most of the rest in town, will keep me going back for more!
    Well, for one thing, it’s right in the next lane from my house, so very near! The convenience wins hands down!

  8. I have never tried eating the dry version of tang yuan…it feels weird without the soup.

    Does it? Have you eaten onde onde aka kuih Melaka? That is the same glutinous rice balls coloured green with gula Melaka inside without the soup. It sure doesn’t seem weird to you, I am very sure!!!
    This peanut-coated dry tang yuan is said to be the Foochow version and it is gaining popularity all over, if you care to take a look at the other comments. Just because there are no Foochows where you are and you have never seen it before, you call it “weird” That is so disrespectful and insulting!!!
    There are tang yuan with filling too…red bean paste and so on, dry or soup, whichever way you prefer, just in case you do not know.

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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