Foochow Gong Pia

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Even if this is not something easily spotted in KL hawker stalls, this pastry is no stranger to the foochow community, esp. those in Sitiawan, Perak or Sarawak towns of Sibu and Sarikei. Known as the Foochow Gong Pia (福州光餅), it’s one of my favourite hometown snacks.

According to legend, the name originates from the chinese military hero Qi Jiguang who had these disc-shaped cakes roughly the size of a palm strung together so that they can be conveniently carried by the soldiers during times of battle. Hence these gong pias have a indent in the middle, which also helps to cook quicker.

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The original Sarawakian gong pias are like mini bagels, dusted with some sesame seeds. Bit savoury, it’s also a little tough to chew but easily softened when stuffed with minced meat fillings. The best way to eat them is to toast them so that it has a slightly crispy edge to the outside, yet warm inside.

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The flatter ones with a smooth surface is the sweetish version. Most of these come with fillings such as red bean paste (红豆沙) and buttermilk (牛油). The dough itself already tastes slightly sweet and is really soft and fluffy, which is quite the variation from the original.

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I had quite a bad craving for these yummy buns hence asked my friend to bring some back from Sitiawan and was a little surprised on how different from the ones I am used to. Bigger and rounder, these gong pias are added with onions and pork lard before being baked in the hot charcoal clay oven. The outer skin is crunchy and a bit harder than the ones I’m used to. But the smell and aroma of the onions and lard has totally infused into the dough.

Sarawakians and Sitiawanese alike, bring me some the next time you balik kampung!

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4. Mindless Musings

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4 Comments »

  1. MeiyeN said

    i didn’t know that these sweet treats are foochow gong pia! i love them.. yummy!

    epicuriousgirl says: do they have these here in KL?

  2. yummm..didnt know got so much history behind a simple looking biscuit..

    epicuriousgirl says: hehe. but most food has a story behind them ler, esp. of the origins.

  3. wah so delicious pia!

    epicuriousgirl says: totally.

  4. teckiee said

    my parents ta pau back a bag load of these recently from Setiawan.. I love the pork ones!

    epicuriousgirl says: pure lardy goodness 😛

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