Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Peppery Young Mango Salad

In those days Foochows grew/reared almost everything in their house compound. Most families would have only one wage earner and the mother and grandmother, if it was an extended family would be very resourceful in gardening, animal rearing and even rearing of hens for eggs.

We had two mango trees ,one lime tree , several pineapple plants and three papaya trees at our house in 21 Brooke Drive, Sibu. My grandfather bought this piece of land from Abang Koh, the Ketua Kampong of Kampong Nyabour. It was only 28 points. This piece of land was later developed to make way for a two lot shop house, Bangunan Takang, (named after my father). When my mother grew too old to manage the five storied building, she sold it to the Tings who then converted it to Orchid Hotel, behind which is the huge Ngui Kee Departmental Store.

On that piece of land, we also had a pigeon house, a rabbit house, some chicken coops and a wood shed. When we first move there in 1955, we had a semi detached outhouse at the back corner of the land for at that time in Sibu it was still not mandatory to have flush toilets. The night soil man continued to visit us in the early morning to clear the outhouse until I believe right into the early 60's.

Our main house was an eight room double storied wooden building with a huge kitchen area at the back. As it was a common feature then, we had a downstairs living room and an upstairs living room. We had a nice front door and two back doors. One back door open right into the garage. Although our house was not fenced in like most houses today, we felt very secure then. The 50's and early 60's had very few cases of public nuisance and crimes. I believe my father had a very flimsy gate fixed only in 1963. And our fence was just a hedge of bamboo! Not many people believed in using barbed wires then. Barbed wires were only for prisons.

In 1966,at the back of our garage we instaslled our new flush toilet, something that my mother was very proud of. This was important to us because we would not go out to the outhouse at night anymore due to to the threatening presence and activities led by the Underground Communist Organisation during the Emergency period (1958-1972).

So having a flush toilet, inside the house, was a real security to all of us girls.

Any way, during those days of Emergency and curfew times, my mother was very creative and when two of my aunts came back from overseas to show us new cuisine my parents were delighted. As we had plenty of mangoes and papayas, we did not have to risk going out to the market and even better than that, we did not have to spend much money.

Here I would to share one recipe with you.

Spicy Mango Salad

l small unripe papaya, peeled , seeded and shredded
l unripe mango,peeled and shredded
l large Bombay onions, finely sliced
5 small red onions, chopped,chopped finely
4 pips garlic, chopped finely
a bundle of lettuce

1 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp sesame seeds (toasted in a dry frying pan)
2 Tbsp fried pounded dried prawns
1 Tbsp pounded fresh chillies
1 Tbsp fish gravy
1 Tbsp pounded black pepper

2 packets of peanut crunchies or (kwong tong in Foochow)- pounded


1. Combine fruits and vegetabloes in a bowl. Pour dressing over and toss.
2. Prepare a flat dish and place a layer of lettuce on it. Pour the salad on top.
2. Before serving, spinkle topping over the salad.

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