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"Ding Bian Hu"

My first 18 years were spent in Bintulu, Sarawak (aka East Malaysia), Malaysia. Then, when I was 19, I came over to Petaling Jaya, Selangor (in West Malaysia) to further my studies.

There are a few East Malaysian dishes that I loved. One of them is "Ding Bian Hu". I don’t really know what these words mean.

"Ding Bian Hu" is a typical Foochow delicacy (non-halal) made from rice starch solution cooked in a seafood-flavored broth. Its cooking process is tardy. Read "True Flavors of Foochow Cuisine" to find out more about Foochow cuisine. I have tried "Ding Bian Hu" in Sibu, the native town of Sarawakian Foochows.

("Ding Bian Hu")

Preparation of "Ding Bian Hu"
1. Pour 2 big ladles of pre-prepared meat-bone soup into a heated giant wok.
2. While the soup is heating up, apply oil to the side of the wok.
3. Then, apply a ladle of rice starch solution as a thin layer on the side of the wok.
4. In a few minutes, the rice starch solution is cooked and the flimsy-looking pieces are removed into the soup in the centre of the wok.
5. This step is repeated a few times.
6. Add squid and/or fresh cuttlefish, black fungus, dried golden needles (a kind of Chinese vegetable), fish balls, pork and liver slices, chopped spring onion, fish sauce, and salt to taste.
7. The broth is left to simmer for another 3-5 minutes.
8. Finally, pepper and vinegar are added before serving.

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