Thursday, September 11, 2008

Story About Tauhu Sumbat

Every year come Ramadhan, streets in certain sections of townships all over Malaysia are crammed with food stalls, vehicles, smoke, and endless trail of people buying and selling foodstuff which are arguably, normally not easily found in other months. It does however, seem ironic that in the month where Muslims are under obligation to practice restrain, that is the time where delicacies of varying sorts are found in abundance. Hmm...quite like little devils rearing their ugly heads, one might think. But then, all the devils are under chains and thus, the temptations that are there, are goaded by our very own nafs. This is most especially true when one consider that most of the food offered are mainly fattening and in many cases, high in cholestrol. However, if there is one which can be said to be healthy, then it must be the humble tauhu sumbat as in the picture below.

Picture taken from airtanganliza blogspot here.
Her preparation of it though, differs slightly from cakapaje.

Mmmph. The picture above looks inviting enough to me. What, with sliced turnip, cucumber and beansprouts, stuffed into the tauhu and immersed in a sauce that must have been mixed with vinegar, grinded chili, and a sprinkle of sugar added, then chilled in the fridge to let the tauhu soak in the sauce, why, I can eat 4 or 5 of it in a single sitting. That is off course, as a side dish.

A tauhu sumbat to me, has to look bulging fat just like a pita bread kebab, and not like those normally sold at the stalls which looks like an undernourished tauhu laced with a sauce that is not only pale but thin as well. The very look of a good tauhu sumbat has to be tempting enough for one to have eat it as a main dish. This, can be especially true if one is a vegie lover like that cakapaje bloke is. Then again, he's also a meat lover and just about anything halal that can be loved. But that, is another story.

Anyway, the tauhu sumbat we know off now, has not always been this way. It has, over time, evolved from who-knows-when-or-what. Back sometime in the mid of last century and in certain parts of Johor, tauhu sumbat had only the cucumber and beansprouts stuffed into it, and was eaten not with the sauce we see today, but with the ever lovable kicap. Over time, who knows who, how, or why, some people experimented with different kinds of sauce. Thus the sauce we see today is the labour of some unsung food heroes who, for the sake of wanting to eat something different and nicer, went against the norm of the day.

Now, since we are on the subject of tauhu sumbat, or rather the word 'sumbat', it reminds me of the balik kampung rush which is expected to take place in about 3 weeks from now.

Each year, Muslims and non-Muslims take the opportunity of the Eid to either return to their hometown, or take a break from their daily schedules. The same thing also happens with the Chinese New Year Celebration. While many would drive or fly, most would take the express buses, eventhough many do own vehicles. They do it simply to avoid the traffic congestion on the highways, namely the North-South Highways which at times can stretch kilometers long. Several past travels to Melaka during this time, the snarls actually can stretch from Pedas, N9, right to the toll gates of Alor Gajah, Melaka. And the return trip would normally see a slow procession all the way to Seremban and sometimes, right up to Nilai Interchange. Perhaps, the highway authorites and concessionaire learned their business from the old mini-buses operators that used to ply the roads of KL: "Masuk! Masuk lagi!". In other words, they sumbat as many business in to the brim. People like you and I, we are just business to them. And the gomen, the supposedly authority of the land, looks the other way or plain do not know the trials the people have to put up with in wanting to spend Raya with their loved ones. Then again, how could they - the gomen - know, when they are chauffered around complete with police escorts upfront who clears the road for the gomen's car.

Each year too, the news would air stories about how commuters are cheated when the ticket they bought are found to be worthless as the bus, and the company selling the tickets are just non-existent! After about 2 decades, the gomen still seem helpless to put a stop to such connivery. To make matter worse, scoundrels would surely add the petrol surchage which the gomen have allowed the operators to charge the public, in lieu of the increment in ticket price they seek. Whether by the name of surcharge or increment, its still the public who have to fork out the extra ringgit. And what was it that the gomen and FOMCA are encouraging the public to use...Public what? And we have not even begin with the condition and safety of the buses, nor the deplorable conditions of the stations, where many time than not, the public are made to inhale the fumes coming out of the exhaust pipes of the buses. A case in point here would be Pudu Raya. But oops, I better stop now before I sumbat many more things which can either be related or not. Furthermore, the topic is about tauhu sumbat.

Say, did I tell you about a variant of the tauhu sumbat? No? Well, its called Tauhu Bakar.

22 comments:

Monster Mom said...

Hmm.. tak sabar nak sumbat mulut ngan nasi lemak nih....

Selamat bersumbat!!!

cakapaje said...

Salam MM,

Nasi Lemak? Alamak...ni ada jap lagi I terlebih makan. Apa taknya...nasi lemak dan tauhu sumbat! :)

Zabs said...

Salam Shah,
One of my favorite tu. Tapi sehingga sekarang belum berjumpa lagi untuk bulan puasa ni..

Better in Time said...

salam...moi sudah tukar nama kerana harassment...

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

shah,

tauhu bakar is more of my cuppa. been having that for supper (not sahur) for the past few nights. the thing about me, as i told pak zab, my buka would be nasi 1-2 plates, 3 jenis lauk and my juadah berbuka completes. the best part about restraining yourself from goint to pasar ramadan is that you tend to eat less. but as i said, teh tarik session lepas tu, terpaksa order tahu sumbat...

Kata Tak Nak said...

Why not they sumbat the tauhu with beef, chicken, prawns, squids, mushroom, shredded turnips, shredded pineapples, shredded cucumber, broccoli and a few other things. Then you could eat it as the main course.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Pak Zabs,

Waduh! Lazimnya, tauhu sumbat boleh didapati dengan senang. Mungkin tahun ini kawasan peniaga Pak Zabs bertukar selera kut. Apapun pada saya, ianya lebih sedap dibuat sendiri :)

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Tehsin,

Lor...awat gitu sekali. But no prob, I'll do the necessary changes.

cakapaje said...

Salam kerpie,

Bro, time to go easy on the nasi. Just close your eyes and pretend you are eating nasi...as if that's possible, lol!

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

Bloody good idea, you have there. Unfortunately, I don't there's a tauhu big enough made yet :)

alinaabdullah said...

salam encik shah. tugas tetap adik lelaki saya pada bulan puasa ialah pergi ke pasar ramadhan dan beli juadah kuih serta air. jadinya. tentu dia wajib pilih karipap sebab karipap pilihan sukaramai kebanyakan ahli keluarga. jumaat, sabtu dan ahad, rumah emak jadi tempat perkumpulan keluarga. ramai. jadi untuk menambah bilangan kuih selain daripada karipap, saya dan emak akan buat sama ada buah melaka atau tauhu sumbat. jadinya. sekarang ini saya boleh buat tauhu sumbat dan buah melaka dalam bebarapa minit sahaja. haha. selamat berbuka encik shah.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Alina,

Wah! Kalau begitu, boleh lah satu hari nanti saya berkunjung ke rumah emak Alina untuk menjamah buah melaka dan tauhu sumbat Alina. Hmm...tentu sedap rasanya. Alina dan keluarga orang Melaka ke?

Ydiana said...

Salam Shah

Tauhu sumbat with sos cili kacang, or tauhu bakar with sos kicap kacang...mmmm yummy! :)

However, the Bas sumbat story is never ending, year in, year out. The gomen id just not interested enough to solve the problem. :(

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam ydiana,

Hehe...you're the tauhu sumbat kind of lady I like :)

As for the bas sumbat, yes, it does sadly seem that the gomen is not interested. Perhaps, its because their cronies cannot make money out of the rakyat there.

Elviza said...

Sheesh! I have to read about this on Saturday afternoon of a fasting month.

Off to buy loads of them at Taman Tun this evening.

Sedapnya... *dreamy eyes*

alinaabdullah said...

tidak. bukan orang melaka. asalnya kelantan. tapi jangan tanya saya tentang pekan-pekan di kelantan. :)

cakapaje said...

Salam Elviza,

Lol! That, was the idea ;)

cakapaje said...

Alina,

Oooh! Cek Mek Molek, rupanya :) Kalau camtu, leh le gi rumah Alina selalu untuk makan ayam percik ori dan kueh akok. Hehe...tu pun kalau emak Alina tak simpan senapang gajah atau pedang samurai lah ;)

alinaabdullah said...

haha. boleh insyaAllah. subang jaya pun dekat aje kan. mak saya tak simpan pedang samurai. tapi ada simpan rotan untuk cucu2nya yang degil. :)

cakapaje said...

Alina,

Alamak! Emak Alina simpan rotan...takut juga saya tu! Tapi takpa, kerana ayam percik ori, saya sanggup merentas lautan dalam :)

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