Food is a language of culture and history, and it is one that many love to speak well. Because of this, there are many dishes that are also pieces of culinary traditions, passed down and best enjoyed with family.
Here are five Hokkien dishes that many Chinoys have spent their childhood eating:
Usually shaped like small pyramids, these glutinous rice dumplings are traditionally eaten on Dragon Boat Festival Day to celebrate the life of Qu Yuan, China’s first poet. The dish is stuffed with pork belly, Chinese sausage, salted duck eggs, and a blend of herbs and spices that make for a truly, mouthwatering and savory experience!
Literally meaning “salty rice” in Hokkien, this glutinous rice casserole is definitely a favorite among Filipino-Chinese families! Kiampong is a dish that packs a rich mouthful of umami goodness, generally making use of pork, Chinese sausages, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and more. It is also popularly topped with shallots and roasted peanuts for added depth of flavor and texture.
No, we’re not talking about the deep-fried starchy snack sold by vendors on the street! Authentic kikiam is a scrumptious blend of five-spiced pork, shrimp, onions, garlic, and more — all wrapped together with a thin soybean wrapper, which is then pan-fried to a delicate and satisfying crisp.
Especially popular during the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia, this Hokkien dish is aptly known as the “oyster omelette.” Just like its name, o-a-tsian consists of small oysters cooked in an egg batter, thickened with potato starch. The result is both a crispy and gooey savory snack that practically everyone loves!
Sibut Soup is a darkly colored medicinal chicken soup that generally includes four types of traditional Chinese herbs: Dang Gui (Angelica Root), Chuang Xiong (Ligusticum Striatum), Shu Di (Rehmannia Glutinosa), and Dang Shen (Codonopsis Root). The dish is best served with black chicken, which, in combination with herbal benefits, is said to provide diners with a nutritious boost to their immune system.