Friday, July 23, 2010

Intriguing Teochew delicacies at Borneo Cultural festival

SIBU: Does this list of food ring a bell — the ‘kuih’ of rice-within-rice, crystal ‘pau’ and rice dumpling (‘chang’) of contrasting tastes?If it doesn’t, you have until Sunday to taste them at the Teochew cultural food stall at the Borneo Cultural Festival.

The food affair there is an experience that will not disappoint.

After all, you only get to taste these delicacies only once a year at this festival. They are not easy to come by even in other parts of the country, especially the Teochew ‘chang’ of contrasting tastes.

Called the double-taste dumpling in Chinese (Shuang ping zhong zhi), the ‘chang’ has both the salty and sweet tastes within. Head of the clan’s women section, Tay Lee Joo explained, “We have the salty braised meat with mushroom at one side of the filling and the sweetened yam paste at the other.

“So, it is really a challenging taste of half salty and half sweet. To imagine it seems odd but it will be a surprise when one tastes it.”

Chairman of Sibu Teochew Association Chua Hiong Kee regarded the ‘chang’ of the two-tastes as one that spelt out the basis of Teochew food.

“A lot of our dishes are either sweet or salty. For example, we eat sweetened mee sua but on the other hand, the Teochews are good in braising ducks, pork, intestines, etc, which are the salty side of our food.”

Tay said they sold nearly 400 ‘changs’ nightly, mostly the dumplings of two-tastes. She said business was so surprisingly good that their ‘changs’ would sell out before 9pm on some nights.

The clan head said even when they were carrying in the dumpling from their car at 6pm, early birds were already grabbing them.

On why public members can only taste the Teochew food at their stall once a year, Tay said, “You do not find them in town because they are not made commercially. We only make them for our own consumption.”

Continue reading at: Intriguing Teochew delicacies at Borneo Cultural festival

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