Dianpianngu is a Foochow delicacy…
…the favourite of many going all the way back to my teenage days when I used to loiter around the town at night on weekends and at around 8.00 p.m. before going home, we would drop by here for a bowl. If I remember correctly, it was only 20 cents a bowl then.
Dian refers to the wok/kuali, or t’nia in Hokkien and pian means to turn into something or to change while ngu is the gooey stuff made from the powder/flour obtained by grinding rice grains. They made those white sheets…
…in the dish by spreading the ngu thinly in the dian to cook it.
Despite the fact that many come from far and wide to eat it, it is not really my favourite. The last time I had it was in 2017 when I heard that the son of the guy at the original place in town had opened a shop/branch so I simply had to go there and try. It was decent, good enough, I thought but no, it did not get me going back for more.
So what made me stop by here…
…for a bowl that morning, you may ask? The one here is the cousin or something of the aforementioned guy at the original shop – you can actually see the resemblance when you see him!
I did mention in my previous posts that these days, I am staying away from red meats so that more or less rules out everything as most everything would have meat in them, even in a bowl of dianpianngu. However, when I ordered a bowl that morning…
…I told the guy that I did not want any meat in it so I guess it was all right for me to eat that.
Other than that, I am also staying away from noodles as I should avoid too much of anything made from processed wheat flour and since this dianpianngu is not made from that and is derived from grinding rice into powder/flour, it is one of the few things around that I can eat and enjoy with a clear conscience.
It is now RM5.50 a bowl…
…and what I liked best about it was the very sweet and refreshing clear soup with a very light hint of ikan bilis (dried anchovies) stock. I sure loved that! The dianpianngu was well-made and I was fine with the black fungus but I did not think much of the fish balls – it was quite obvious that they were not made from mackerel (bay kar/tenggiri) so they were rather bland, quite tasteless.
I did not like the meng ngee either, the dried cuttlefish. I could hardly taste it, not sweet at all which did not come as a surprise as it is so very expensive these days. Just one small piece, the size of your palm, of the ones imported from China will cost over RM10.00 and even though it looks rather dirty and is covered with white spots (say phoo), it will bring the taste of whatever soup you are cooking to a whole new level, so very fragrant, so very sweet, absolutely delicious. If I am not mistaken, these not nice ones are from the Philippines – I did buy some from the Filipino market in Kota Kinabalu once so of course, I never bought any ever again!
On the whole, I did enjoy what most of the other customers at the coffee shop…
*the dianpianngu stall is the chu char (cook & fry) one, right at the back of the shop*
…and I had that morning and I guess I should be grateful that though they may be few and far between, there are things that I can eat…still.
GRACE CAFE (2.310551, 111.830952) is located among the shops in the Dewan Suarah area, a stone’s throw away from the wet market( 2.310376, 111.830804) there.
10 thoughts on “Nothing left for me…”
Dianpiangngu, one of my favourite Foochow delicacy. I have very nice one at one of the coffeshop near my place. Foochow couple from Sibu moving to Kuching many many ago ago. So far, theirs is my favourite. The last time I had was RM6/bowl but now I won’t be surprised if the price has increased. As long as they don’t scrimp off the ingredients and size don’t shrink, it is OK for me. Now you trigger me again. Gonna make my way there soon…😊😊
I did hear of a very good one in Kuching, some say better than the ones in Sibu but I cannot remember exactly where now. Hardly ever ate but now, no choice! Not many things left that I can eat.
Oh yes, I remember eating this dianpiangngu when I was a kid in Sitiawan. It was all home made by my aunt. I think she used pork belly slices and I can’t remember what else she used because it was such a long time ago. She used a giant wok for cooking this for her whole family.
Yes, a giant wok is needed to make those white rice sheets from scratch. I had to order a bowl without meat, no choice.
Grace Cafe is my younger uncle. Younger brother of the original shop.
You did tell me before but I could not remember but one can tell so very easily as they look so identical…and both are so very thin and tall, just like your twins. Height runs in your family, I guess. You are also so very tall. LOL!!!
I enjoy the Dian Mian Wu served at Sin Poh Poh at Padungan and at Good Taste Cafe at Hui Sing (aka Big Coconut). Both served by Foochow ladies with home made excellent fish paste made from mackerel. I usually ask for the special at rm8 a bowl. Really nice. Another good one’s at Sing Garden at Hui Sing too.
I think my Foochow friend, home from the US, was telling me about one at Hui Sing. Nicer than the one in Sibu, he said! He went and ate it at some coastal Foochow province in China, can’t get any more original/authentic than that – said it was the staple of the fishing folks there.
Arthur, it’s Edgar Ong, I’m logged in as Borneo Film Locations on this app!
Hi, Edgar! Welcome to suituapui.wordpress.com!!!
We don’t have this in my little kampung.
It does resemble our mee hoon kway though.
Traditionally, we only have ikan bilis, mani cai and an egg.
These days, fish balls, pork mince, sliced meat, etc are also included to make the whole meal more substantial.
I like extra ikan bills for extra umami.
I think elsewhere, this dish is also known as pan mee. It’s basically the same, they just change dough shape into flat noodles.
Pan mee and dianpianngu are WORLDS apart!!!
The noodles in pan mee are not made in that same way as those white sheets in dianpianngu.
Who says they are basically the same and elsewhere it is called pan mee!!! Don’t simply say!!!
My friend ate it when he want back to a coastal Foochow province in China,
he said it is the staple of the fishing folks there, hence all the fish balls and the dried anchovies stock.
Meat in any form is not a predominant ingredient!!!
You can read more about it here:
Gee, prices certainly have changed, haven’t they?
They keep going up! I can imagine a lot of people struggling to make ends meet. Times are hard!