Sunday, August 13, 2006

Food - Sarikei Kam Pua

Sarikei kam pua 2005: Black version (source: Blogger Chen)

To eat or not to eat kam pua, that is the question as you step into any kopi tiam (coffee shop) in Sarikei. Kam pua (
干盤面 "dry plate noodle". Some call it 干拌面 dry toss noodle which is more appropriate) is a Foochow delicacy that has become the iconic dish of Sarikei and Sibu. Nowadays it costs RM$1.80 to RM$3.00 ("special"). In the early 70's, it was RM$1. 

Noodles are soaked in hot water till they are cooked and then dipped briefly in cold water to prevent the strands from sticking to each other. They are then drained in a strainer and mixed in plate of lard, dark soya sauce, spring onions, fried shallots and MSG. Char Siew (pork) slices are used as garnish. You can also order kam pua mo nic (without meat), puak lak (mixed with chilli sauce) or mee pok (flat noodle). A bowl of clear pork soup with MSG is served with it. Skip the soup as the kam pua is sinful enough.

Sarikei kam pua 2005: White version (source: Blogger Chen)

There's the white version with no soya sauce. Which is better? Well, just like what Michael Jackson screeched, it really does not matter whether it's black or white as long as it's kam pua. Apparently the white version is the original version (can anyone confirm?).

Sarikei kam pua 2006: Dried noodle (mee pok version). Mix it at home with oil, soya sauce, sesame oil and fried onions. Add fish sauce for extra flavour.

Good news for those living outside of Sarikei: besides pineapples, dried shrimps (hay bee), preserved jellyfish, Sarawak durians, etc that you brought back from Sarikei after each trip, you can buy dried version of kam pua (normal or flat version) now! It has been around since 2005, I think. The taste will not be as good as the kopitiam's but it's close enough to satisfy those cravings. Now if you will excuse me, I'm off to the kitchen to cook up a storm with the ingredients I have assembled in the photo.



Check out the Sarikei food review of blogger, Kong Kay. It includes duck rice, curry chicken and soursop and dragonfruit smoothie!


Chen said...

This is something that we will never give it a miss each time we balik kampung.
Can we say that we grow up eating kam pua? :D
kam pua is basically served in every "non halal" kopitiam in Sarikei ;)
I still remember the plain kam pua (without meat) in the past costed 70 cents per plate.

swift drops said...

I need to comment on my favourate Kam Pua stall which was the one at No.12 Repok Rd (TongKiow) that was in the 70's. Other stall might comes and go but this stall served a whole generation and the most original Kam Pua that could probably be the best for a lot of Sarikeian. To me this is the "Mother" of all Kam Pau stall in Sarikei.

Daniel Yiek said...

Kam pua without meat = 50sen and with meat = RM$1 during my time which was a few years ahead of u.

Swift drops,
Ha!!! I remember Tong Kiow shop's kam pua in the Cantonese Association block of shophouse before it was burnt down. I grew up with it! Later generations are more familiar with Ngee Hin 24-hour kopitiam below the original materinity ward at the traffic junction. And the kopitiam below Peking Studio.

Other readers,
Which kopitiam has the best kam pua now? Pray tell.

swift drops said...

I am sorry to make a mistake, it is not Tong Keow. The stall I mentioned is at No.12 Repok Rd which could be "HaiBin"?? The 1st shop on the roll where Cantonese Association was. Operated by one Mr.Loh, actually it was my dad's favourate so you could imagine how long that had been.

fred said...

My favourite ( this moment) is the one near to the HongKong Photo studio, opposite where Standard Chartered was(the one which seem to be older and shaddy) forgot the name. They served RM1.80 kam pua... A regular place... All the kampua in SArikei is the best lah...

tell you what lah.. even the worse kam pua in Sarikei taste better if to compare the one we have here in KK. Price wise that is.. ;)

Hidup Kam Pua!!!

jw said...

hi fred, this shop is called QingShang if I still remember correctly.

In my time, kam mua mo nic costs RM0.60 and RM1.00 with cha siew one.

Tong Kiow? Sound familiar, is it the shop at the corner at the same location as TongYang now (the shop selling fish, meat one?)

Daniel Yiek said...

Swift drops & JW,
Tong Kiow is the middle kopitiam below Cantonese Assoction. I can not remember the name of the 1st kopitiam nearest to the 1st roundabout (now blocked). Both have great kampua too but I bought more from the 1st shop (now the fish stop). My schoolmate's dad was the kampua master chef.

Ai Yoh! KK mana ada kampua baik. Balik S'kei more often lah. It's the noodle that makes the difference.

BTW, I saw a kolo mee stall in Johore and he said he flies kolo mee from Kuching once a week via AirAsia. It's the mee that counts.

Daniel Yiek said...

Swift drops:
It suddenly struck me and my mind could see the shop name after I read your comment again. The 1st shop is "Hai Bin" ("Sea Guest" in Mandarin, I think)!! It has a Malay food section & drinks section as well.

swift drops said...

Yes you got it right Daniel, the mother of all kampua stall was there,..while the current kampua stall holder were sucking milk this Mr.Loh's kampua stall at Hai Bin coffee shop had dished out a full generation of the most original kampua mee.
HaiBin used to house one of the earlist hair saloon too, behind the coffee shop (current grandmums went) and right behind the shop was a barber where I paid 50 cents for a hair cut.

fred said...

I will be in sarikei for all my holidays... In KK for my study only... :(

I want someone to come from Sarikei take all the stuff needed and make us Sarikei Kampua here in KK. But I heard theres a shop selling kuching kolok mee. The mee was handmade by the proprieter who is from kuching....

swift drops said...

Kuching Kolo Mee is agressively expending with several outlets in Singapore. I first spotted the 1st outlet in China Town and that was about half a year ago and since I have spotted another 3 additional outlets. Can you guess how much is the simplest and cheapest KoloMee they serve? Is equivalent to 9 plates I use to get in Sarikei, is S$3.80 or RM8.75

Sim Y said...

I have tried the Kolo Mee in China Town, Singapore. Very disappointing and expensive. It is done by Mainland Chinese too. To be fair, please try it yourself, I am sure you will not disagree with me too much. Nothing beats the original from Kuching. Same for Sarikei kampua.

bongkersz said...

here in pj also got a stall selling sarawak kampua. (ming tien food stall) - they advertise it as 'sarawak mee'. the taste... :( :( :( :( cannot even come close to the real one. wondering the guy really from sarawak or just tumpang glamour. i miss my childhood, saving RM0.70 a week to buy kampua :P :P hahahaha!

S. Hung said...

I like to read the food section and thinking of Sarikei's kampua mee. The coffee shop near my father's hardware trading shop is the best - at least I recalled many moons already cos' I have'nt been back for quite a while already.

Daniel Yiek said...

Bongkersz & Hung,
Bon Appetit!

ront said...

the white variety is also done with soy suace...light soy sauce.

love said...

wow.. yammie..... see picture, really make hungry. Not only that, makes me really wanna go home now. Eat kam pua is a 'must'(beside other thing to do or eat and always in the list) for me when i'm home there. the smell & taste will make u wanna eat another plate. but beside dry, i'm also like the kampua soup (chin nom mein). Ha ha. Order 1, mixed up with black vinegar (u zhu) & pepper powder.

love said...

when mine time, i'll always eat at Lok Thian Cafe. At Industrial Estate. The Taukey that call 'JI PUN KIA'. now moved to 123 Cafe behind New Market. at the moment prefer to eat at Kim San Cafe for the Tu Kua Suop. *recomended*

ben said...

for me,the best kampua is actually the one made by the guy u took in tat picture at the payang puri block...!!...i wanna go home!

edulink said...

Sarikei and sibu kampua are still the best..................I mean KAMPUA not the KOLOK MEE. "aroma's different...with mee boiled in Pig's teeth soup...: )

Related Posts with Thumbnails