Penang [檳城] • 30 NOVEMBER 2014
Going strong: Siew Chuan said his grand uncle started the lor bak business 70 years ago.
Penang Lok Bak is one of those dishes which had intrigued me for the longest time. Loh bak is made with marinated pork in Chinese five-spice powder and then rolled up with bean curd skin. Do you like it?
Pieces of chicken or pork and minced turnip are seasoned in ngor yong hoon (five-spice powder) and other ingredients, then wrapped in soft beancurd skin and deep-fried. It is typically served with toothpicks which you use to dip the sliced rolls into the two sauces which accompanies it: a starchy dark sauce thickened with tapioca or corn flour, and a spicy red chilli to give it a kick. It’s full flavoured and tasty.
I love fritters made with small prawns. The batter held the prawns together and was deep fried till crunchy. Best eaten with the homemade chili sauce and thick starchy sauce provided.
Lor bak (or lobak) is traditionally accompanied by crispy prawn fritters and fried tau kua (firm bean curd), although nowadays many other ingredients are offered with it: frankfurters and Taiwanese sausages, black century eggs and battered fish amongst others, together with a few slices of cucumber.
It’s available in many kopitiams (coffee shops), and some lor bak stalls have become institutions in Penang, having been making and selling this perennial delight for decades. Others are well into their second or third generation, and a few are so well known that they are often asked to take their culinary skills to Penang food fairs all over Malaysia and Asia.
Ho Ping Coffee Shop
Penang Road/Jalan Kampung Malabar
Closed : Every Alternate Thursday