Only a few days left until Mid Autumn Festival, I hurried over to Sze Thye Cake Shop this morning to buy traditional Teochew la piah (flaky lard pastries 潮州朥饼) for my extended family.
Sze Thye Cake Shop sells traditional Teochew pastries and snacks. Owner Mr Koh Sun Liang (age 69) has been making traditional Teochew pastries since he was 12 years old. He did not have any formal training in baking. He picked up the skill by watching the Shantou pastry chefs who was working with his father.
Mr Koh recalled that whenever he went nearer to the Shantou chefs to get a better view of their dough mixing, he would receive hard knocks on his head. After years of observing those chefs secretly, he was able to master the skills of making traditional Teochew pastries. He makes some changes along the way and improved on the recipes.
The elders in my family love his big orh tao sar la piah (red bean paste flaky pastry). For the Mid Autumn Festival, he offers a durian paste version.
His la piah only lasts for two weeks as he does not put preservatives in them. But when his la piah comes to my family, it does not last more than 5 days. hahaha....
See how thin his flaky pastry skin is!!
Only available for the Mid Autumn Festival - Sze Thye's signature traditional shuang peng la piah (flaky pastry with sweet and savoury filling 潮州双拼朥饼).
The filling is a combination of sweet red bean paste and a savoury one consisting of pork fat, winter melon candy, sesame seeds, tangerine peels and melon seeds.
Yahhh! Pork fat! Bits of crunchy, oily lard. yum yum.....
This is so heavenly! It is the favourite of many elderly Teochews.
For those who eeeeh and ewwww... at the pork fats, it is only available once a year during Mid Autumn Festival! He does not make it on any other days even if you want to order 100 boxes!
Another seasonal item not to be missed during Mid Autumn celebrations is his la gor (steamed glutinous rice flour cakes). He has steamed original la gor, black sesame la gor and durian la gor. I always buy the black sesame one. pang!
Mr Koh brushes a layer of fragrant sesame oil before handing it to me. It can be kept outside for up to 3 days. After that, keep it in the fridge. To reheat, brush with sesame oil before steaming to get the soft texture again.
It was a quiet morning and heavy downpour when I arrived at Mr Koh's shop. We had a long chat while I waited for the rain to stop. Was glad that more people stopped by his shop for authentic Teochew pastries and snacks.
Saw young mothers brought their children to buy Teochew snacks. One mother let her two kids pick their snacks and encouraged them to ask Grandpa Koh what the Teochew names of the snacks are and what ingredients are in them. One piglet mooncake with bean paste filling only costs 50 cents here *o*
And grown up children came, bringing their elderly parent(s) to select their favourite Teochew pastries and snacks. Awwww......
Mr Koh is opened 364 days a year as he does not know what to do if he takes the day off. He opens his shop at 9 am and closes at 7 pm. Every pastry and snack in his shop is handmade by him. He works alone. He has been invited to participate in food fairs but he turns them down as he has no one to help in his baking. He has no one to pass his skill to .... so visit him and buy his handmade goodies whenever you crave for some authentic Teochew pastries and snacks.
He bakes mooncakes for 3 weeks before the Mid Autumn celebrations. He has stopped baking them today and does not have many boxes of traditional Teochew la piah left.
Shop address : Block 2 Beach Rd 01-4795 Singapore 190002
再过几天就是中秋节了, 为了长辈们, 我快快赶下去六十多年老字号 - 四泰饼家 - 买潮州朥饼。我每年都很支持他，今年也不列外。为了弘扬潮州文化, 年近七旬的许大哥仍坚持以传统手工的做法制作潮州糕点美食; 糕点的材料、搭配都十分讲究。
非买不可! 逐渐失传的传统中秋食品 - 潮州朥糕 - 中秋节前每天新鲜出炉。用猪油掺和糯米粉、白砂糖蒸出来的潮州传统朥糕, 肥而不腻。朥糕共有几种口味可选, 有原味的, 有榴梿口味的和黑芝麻的。