CNY 2016: Day Five 年初五

I’m feeling bloody pleased with myself for being able to maintain my [a post a day] schedule all through my Chinese New Year break. It has not been easy, let me tell you. In fact, it has never been easy for me to write blog posts at home in KL, and it is even more so during CNY. Here, let me show you my workstation whenever I’m back home in KL.

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Yeah, my work table is the coffee table, and my work chair is the sofa (couch). My laptop is level with my ass when I am seated on the sofa. This is a somewhat uncomfortable setup. In fact, this is terrible ergonomics. If a workstation in the factory I’m working in is set up like this, we would have to stop the line until we fix the problem.

But this is actually a minor problem. Here, let me show you another angle to reveal bigger problems.

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How the heck do you expect me to be able to focus on what I am writing with interesting TV documentaries constantly on show, and an unlimited supply of CNY snacks within easy reach? I think this is a case of Lazy Man turns into Super Multitasking Man after drinking some CNY potion that has an effective period of 1 week. I can feel the effect wearing off now

Speaking of CNY snacks, I think someone told me that I should write a blog post about it. Goodness… Lazy Man is slowly taking over from Super Multitasking Man, so I’m not really feeling like doing a lot of researching with Google at the moment. Maybe I should just write about two that are within my immediate reach and are my all time favorite.

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蜜蜂窦 Bee Hive

Well, okay… Bee Hive is actually the wrong name, but it is the name most Malaysians (or maybe it is just me) uses to describe this snack, because it is a direct translation from the Cantonese name of this snack. The ones I have here is actually poorly made ones so they are rather deformed, but a properly made Bee Hive snack actually resemble a honeycomb. Home of the honey, not the bees.

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Kuih Kapit

I don’t even know if this is a Chinese snack or not. It is probably originally a Malay snack (hence the name). But ever since who-knows-when, this is THE Chinese New Year snack. But you probably won’t hear very many Malaysian Chinese people pronouncing this snack correctly as kuih kapit. I suspect this is due to the snack being introduced to the early Chinese migrants to Malaysia who could not pronounce Malay properly. So, if you hear people say kueh kapet, kueh kapek, or in my grandma’s case kueh tapet, they mean the same thing. They mean this snack.

[For years, I really thought this snack is called kueh tapet, thanks to my grandma. Then I went to college and realized no one knew what I was talking about. Tsk! I suppose I should’ve known better about my grandma’s grossly inaccurate pronunciation of Malay words. Her pronunciation for daging (meat) is langin and she frequently confused the hell out of all the new Indonesian maids (back when we were still able to afford hiring a maid).]

The reason I love these two snacks more than the others is because they are incredibly delicious, and even more incredibly difficult to make. Both these snacks can only be made a few pieces per many minutes, but are usually gobbled up by the tens within seconds. With the Bee Hive, you basically dip the batter to a honeycomb shaped mold, and then deep fry the batter until crispy. The Kuih Kapit is worse, you need to pour the batter into a special round shaped mold, cook it over charcoal fire, and then once the batter is cooked, you need to quickly remove the sheet from the mold and fold it while it is still hot.

Most of the kids of my generation would not prefer to toil with these terribly tedious and difficult tasks. The generation of kids after me, even more so. So they are getting rarer as the years go by…

Also, both these snacks share similar recipe for the batter, and it involves flour and eggs and sugar and some other stuff. Which is why my mom hates that I love these snacks so much. But as much as she hates it, there will always still be a near unlimited supply of them within easy reach throughout CNY. 😀 😀 😀

And I’m done talking about CNY snacks. Maybe next year I will do a better job of introducing more snacks that we have during CNY. Hopefully I will remember to do it by then. 🙄


By the time you are reading this, I should probably be either already on the road, or already safely back in Penang. This also means that this will be my last [CNY 2016] series of posts. I’m doing a scheduled post today because I will be having a dinner shortly after I am expect to arrive in Penang, and I will probably be barely coherent to write anything by the time I get back from dinner.

28 Comments

  1. Aiyo, how to concentrate with all those goodies right in front of you? I know I can’t 😀 I know those Bee Hive cookies as Kueh Ros. In fact I have a mould in my house but no, I’m not going to attempt it ever 😀

  2. Kueh Kapit should be a Chinese origin as I have seen them in various crispy shapes in China and Taiwan. They sell them by tons in Thailand during the CNY seasons. The Kueh Kapit or Love Letters used to have Chinese words on it during the olden days.

    I have not even updated my blog!! Big clap and pat for your determination.

    • Kuih Kapit only comes in one shape. The various shapes are other things and not kuih kapit. And Love Letters are Love Letters, they are NOT kuih kapit. If you mean the Chinese style egg rolls, they are called egg rolls, nobody calls them kuih kapit. 🙄

      • I saw them in triangles and not egg rolls. I was not born yesterday lah. LOL Anyway, I won;t argue over this matter but just my opinion as I just thought it was a very popular Chinese delicacy since the Peranakan days.

        The skin of the foreign kueh kapit are thick and very brownish. Don’t forget that China also created the Fortune cookies from the same flour mix and it has become popular in US with messages inside. The Americans would get them after their meals in Chinese restaurants.

        • You thought the fortune cookie was created in China? OMG… well I guess I can’t blame you, since a lot of restaurants even in China are giving this thing away. Fortune cookie is a Japanese creation that became popular in the US as a Chinese snack hahaha! 😀

  3. Yes, I call the first one bee hive too. Your grandma’s pronunciation of “tapet” sounds like she’s “saluting someone”.

    Next time, get one of those travel/foldable laptop tables you can put over your legs while seated at the sofa! ;D I have one of those when I intend to blog and watch Astro at the same time on the sofa.

    • Hahaha, I’m glad to claim you as another “victim” of confusion by my grandma’s “incredible” pronunciations. 😀

      If I put the laptop on my lap, even with those foldable laptop tables, it will draw my mom’s displeasure. She thinks laptop placed close to my kuku will risk making it, er… you know… 🙄

  4. RG, you have completed your mission by writing every day in CNY. Kudos, unlike me, I just want to start my first post of CNY, and lazy woman like me wants to compress them into one. Please stay tuned and remember to drop by and say Gong Xi Fa Cai to me, but no angpow mali ya!

    • Don’t be like me, I’m just a hopeless addict! 🙄

      Tsk, now still CNY, and since I am still single, I have to behave like kids behave during CNY. No angpow no talk! 😀 😀

  5. I don’t know how you can type on your laptop while sitting on the sofa unless you are all bend over your laptop. Sometimes I place my laptop on the coffee table and type on it but I sit on the floor. Why don’t you just sit on the floor?

    It has been a long time since I last ate bee hives and kueh kapet. Guess you are safely back in Penang now.

    • Because I’m too fat, and sitting on the floor for a long period of time makes my thighs sore 🙁 .. Unless if it is a pok kiao session then different story 🙄 …

      Yeah, I’m back in Penang now. Wanna lim teh? 😉

        • We made the same travel plans, but for me it is not to avoid jam. I hardly worry about the jam when coming back during CNY hahaha!

  6. Is Kuih Kapit what I got? Man, they were sooooo good. I gobbled them up before CNY even started. I watched the video of how to make it and it does seem like very hard work :(. I should be very appreciative of whoever made them! I don’t think they have these in Beijing…. or at least my family doesn’t have these at home.

    • Yeah! That’s what you got! I gave you a good tin, from a good source in Penang. The ones you see in my picture is from a not so good tin (similar in taste, but ugly shaped because the person who made them used not-so-good molds I suspect).

      I’m not sure if you can find these in Beijing, but I won’t be surprised if you can’t. I don’t think this kuih kapit is a native Chinese snack. It is a Malay snack, but it does share similar batter that makes Love Letter rolls. I suspect it is a Malay adaptation of one of them European colonists’ snacks, and then became a local CNY snack.

      Maybe I should find out for sure and maybe I can sell them on Taobao next year! 🙄

  7. Is that a 13″ or 16″ laptop? Curious. It looks portable for travel 🙄

    Never a huge fan of the beehive snack. But the kuih kapek, most certainly yes. They are so thin, so light and so easy to eat the whole jug in ten minutes 😐

    Another CNY snack I like is har beng. My grandma used to make a lot of them by hand in the lead up to the new year, and she would keep them in airtight, jumbo sized metal tin cans lined with newspaper that used to hold Khong Guan biscuits 🙄

    • It’s in between. A 14″ standard laptop. I could’ve gotten a 16″ Mobile Workstation, but I had it previously and it was a heavy muthaf**ka for me to lug around, especially when I need to attend meetings in different buildings of the factory plant.

      I’m a huge fan of the beehive, and I’m a huuuuggggeeeee fan of the kuih kapek! 😀

      Ahha! Your grandma was old school too. Nowadays you can hardly find har beng in those Khong Guan tins. They are usually stored in giant plastic bags now. Slightly less enjoyable of an experience if you ask me 🙄 ..

      • It looks small enough to lug around. In 2014 I bought a Toshiba ultrabook and it doesn’t have a flat base. Going back to HP when I am ready for a new laptop :/

        Grandma always made sure my family had at least two cans of those during CNY back in the day. I felt that a lot of har beng could be fit into Khong Guan tins (loved the biscuits too), and they kept the flavour nice and tight with those lids which you need a metal spoon to pop open 🙄

        • If a few years back, I would recommend against HP, because they really have terrible after sales service, and their replacement parts are crazy expensive. But I think they improved lately, and their laptops are really better. 🙄

          Those tins are the only ones that are airtight, important for keeping those har beng nice and crispy! 😀

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