I have Singapore readers in mind when I wrote this post as it is about a traditional Teochew dish very hard to find in Singapore nowadays and another dish that is no longer sold in Singapore.
These dishes are traditional suah heer kiam chye curry and pork blood curd which are available in Teochew porridge stalls in Malaysia.
Ah Kaw Teochew porridge stall in PKH kopitiam in Kluang is like any other Teochew porridge stall except that Ah Kaw does a good rendition of both these traditional Teochew comfort food. Not surprisingly, Ah Kaw has Singaporean customers who know their food and their way around Kluang.
Traditional suah heer kiam chye is made with shark meat cooked with preserved cabbages and curry spices. This dish is a traditional comfort food eaten with porridge at home in many Teochew families. This dish is now rare in Singapore food centres as almost all the senior hawkers have retired.
Another reason why suah heer kiam chye curry is hard to find in Singapore and Malaysia (though less so) is the tedious preparation. Here, Ah Kaw was busy removing the abrasive skin and scales. Shark scales are sharp and hard like gritty sand.
At Ah Kaw, the suah heer was fresh and had none of that fishy smell associated with suah heer meat. Ah Kaw cooked the suah heer till it was tender and let all the spicy flavours penetrate the meat fibres. In Singapore, stingray is usually used instead of suah heer but the texture of the two fish are very different.
The other traditional comfort dish that is no longer sold in Singapore but is available here at Ah Kaw's is pork blood curd cooked with stalks of leeks and spring onions.
This dish is especially sought after by the baby boomers now in their 50s and 60s, who missed the traditional comfort food they grew up with.
Ah Kaw's Teochew porridge stall also serves all the usual range of accompanying side dishes.
If you happen to be in Kluang and need that traditional home cooked comfort food fix, Ah Kaw could fix that craving in very satisfying fashion.
Restaurant name: Ah Kaw 亚九Teochew Porridge (Stall in PKH kopitam 老巴刹)
Address: Junction of Jalan Teoh Siew Khor and Jalan Sultan
Hours: 8:00am to 1:00pm (Closed on Tuesday)