Skip to comments.Lure of the Wok Brings Family Together in Ancestral Village
Posted on 06/19/2013 10:39:13 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Lawrence Lim has never taken part in any dragon boat race, but when the annual dragon boat festival arrives, the storekeeper remembers the medium-sized iron wok in his village kitchen along Sg Sekeli in Sarikei.
This will be a time, like any major Chinese festival, when siblings of the Lim family return to their elderly parents village about 20 km from Sarikei, and gather round the wok, taking turns to cook and feast together.
It is this iron wok that holds a special meaning in our family. The wok is as old as I am. I grew up with it.
I remember my late grandmother steaming traditional kuih and cooking for our family then.
The man in his 40s said the old iron wok till today had served four generations of their family.
There are about 50 grandchildren and great grandchildren, and each time we go back to cook, our parents will be the happiest persons. He said their biggest gathering would be during the Chinese New Year, when there could be 50 of them staying under one roof a village family house of one living room and three bedrooms. He said the family had grown so big that some grandchildren would be camping in the houses compound.
Lim said they returned during the Gawai holidays two weeks ago, and this time, made rice dumplings together.
He said their method of preparation was handed down by their grandmother to their mother, and now they were passing on the skill to their own children.
Their ingredients included glutinous rice, meat, mushrooms and others.
The ingredients are stir-fried before being wrapped in bamboo or pandan leaves to be boiled in the wok for two hours.
He said the flavour and aroma were not found elsewhere, as wrapped with family love and warmth, the dumplings taste was authentic and traditional. The Lim family is from the Hokkien clan.
My father said my grandfather arrived from China before the Foochow settlers.
My father, one of the youngest sons in the family, was born in Sibu and is in his 80s now.
He said his grandfather had first settled in Sibu before moving to Kanowit, and finally settling in the Sarikei village.
We used to do that **** here with plow discs.
Interesting....I have a wok that is about 40 years old and my kids do not gather around and wonder.
However, if I say I am making home made sauce and fresh pasta, they are there before I finish the sentence.
Painstakingly learning to cook Chinese, as there are no decent restaurants here in Kona. Hard to believe in Hawaii, but true, so I have been learning to cook it on my own.
According to the wife, it is often as good as restarant, sometimes, not so much.
The cooking part is fun, the preparation of ingredients is the pits, all that chopping and dicing is murder on aging hands.
If you have electricity, try looking for a used food processor on Ebay or craigslist. Using the processor will save your hands.
Same here, except it’s a sweet ham and collard greens and cornbread.