(Wedding photo: one of the earliest weddings in Pulau Kerto - this photo was taken outside one of the Hua Hong Ice Factory residential homes. This is my parents' wedding photo taken in 1948)
If one has to summarize in one sentence about our Foochow elders, then it should be "They were wonderful people who could create a living out of nature."
I remember my father going out one morning while we were living at the Hua Hong Ice Factory on the Kerto Island (1949-1955) and coming home with a whole bunch of wild mushrooms. He called them Chicken Meat Mushroom. Then he and my mum went to clean up the mushrooms, and cooked a beautiful pot of wild mushroom , and the big Foochow mee hoon , which is called Hoon Ngang. The taste was definitely chicken.
I can never forget the taste nor the happiness of eating the free and pure white mushrooms. Even though later in life we have so many kinds of commercially and freshly grown mushrooms, that meal was unforgetable. I continue to look for chicken mushroom throughout my life.
Although my memory is fading,I am sure my father and his Foochow and Iban employees seriously could find chicken mushrooms in the woods of Pulau Kerto.
Not long ago I tried to search in the internet for Chicken Mushroom and I found a very rich source of information. There is indeed an American version of the chicken mushroom. Below is one example.
Recipe for the Chicken Mushroom Hoon Ngang
wild mushrooms ( 2 - 3 ringgit worth?)well washed
2 big onions, well chopped
salt to taste
2 Tbp sesame oil
lots of white ground pepper
half packet of thick rice vermecelli (Hoon Ngang) Boiled and softened
one pot of water
foochow red wine
some chicken stock powder
1. Fry the chopped onions in the hot sesame oil
2. stir fry quickly the shredded wild mushrooms
3. add enough water to make soup.
4. add salt and pepper and chicken stock powder
5. When ready, pour soup into bowls of the softened hoon ngang. Let stand for a while.
6. Serve with Foochow red wine.
Perhaps one day, some entrepreneurs will be growing chicken mushrooms in Sarawak or even find it in Kerto!!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Memoir by I Am Sarawakiana at 8:19 PM