Sunday, February 18, 2018

My Heritage

I was thinking of what to start blogging on since I've completed my Vietnam trip blog. But since it's a Sunday when I am blogging this, to start another series would take so much time. I don't want to start something that I can't finish (like my Travel India and Travel Italy series....). So I thought I'll just do individual entries until the next free weekend. So today I'm gonna do one on my heritage, and everything that is associated with my race. I'll start of with actual photos of my ancestors! Yes, that is my actual great grand parent (if not mistaken). I am from a peranakan lineage. Peranakan can be found mainly in Penang, Malacca and Singapore. But some are also found in Indonesia. 

My dad is from Penang although we have relatives in Malacca, and my Mum is from Malacca, although she is actually adopted. So that part of my family is a mystery. And being peranakan, our lives mainly revolved around food. Our food is mainly spicy, sour, raw. I got myself the above two cook book and these are the only two books that mean something special to me. I can't really cook everything inside, but I will try some from time to time. One thing about peranakan and penang cooking is, it is so damn troublesome with so many variety of ingredient!

One thing we love is our sambal belacan, a paste of dried shrimp paste mixed with chilli, lime and frankly, I don't know what. I only know how to eat this. I don't really need to make my own yet. Living in Singapore for the past 20 years have made me a very tolerant eater. Mainly I eat at home, lol. When I go back to Penang, I usually ask my mum to get a few tub of sambal for me from the market. If you freeze them, they can last a year at least. Just defrost and eat them one tub at a time, keeping them in the fridge when not eating. To activate them, squeeze some lime on them. Taste best with creamy hokkien noodles, or kiam chye buey, or ju hu char. And now I am hungry.....

We also love our colourful and sinful kueh-kueh, which is basically snacks. Above is kueh bengka I got from a shop in Joo Chiat. It cost like SGD5 or so and is damn expensive, but it is the best one I can find in Singapore. One slice will elevate your sugar blood level off the chart, and make you high. The brown one is made of brown sugar and is super "lemak". The yellow one is the normal one, and my aunty's in law made the best I've ever eaten. 

There are so many varieties of kueh you can find in peranakan shops. I also love those glutinous rice type, whether it's the white one with pandan jelly, or the blue one with kaya. I also love anything with  kaya. I guess if you can't find real peranakan kueh, your  next best bet if the malay stall. They sometimes sell similar tasting type of kueh too!

Above are Ang Ku Kueh, which literally translate to Turtle Cakes, cause they are shape like Turtles. Turtle is auspicious to the chinese cause they live a long life. The most popular ones are red and with mug bean filling. The other two above I think are with peanut and sesame fillings. If I go to a buffet and they have nyonya kueh, I can't help but to get one even though they are actually quite cheap as compared to western pastry...

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