Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Performance bonus - a bane, or truly a bonus?

Emotions ran high in the office today.

The on-line salary system crashed in the morning. At least 90% of my co-workers were trying to log on to check if they had got what was on the minds of many of us - performance bonus (PB).

I'll tell you why this is important. It's an indication of where you rank among your peers in the office. It's a recognition from your boss for a job well done. More importantly, it's a pre-indication of what's to follow very shortly - the annual promotion exercise. So you can see, many of us were anxious to find out how much PB we got, or nothing at all.

The performance bonus was implemented years ago to reward employees who had proven themselves in their work. It serves to give a "pat" on the shoulders of these employees and to encourage them to continue their good job. It also aims to encourage the under-performer to work hard. I was never told of the proper guide-lines for the PB and how it is awarded; but here's my interpretation:

1. You get a performance bonus equivalent to one month's salary if you have performed more than 100% of your job scope.

2. You get half a month's equivalent if you perform what is just expected of you. Meaning, you gave only 100%, nothing more, nothing less.

3. You get 3/4 if your work is satisfactory.

4. You get zero if you under-perform.

How's that for motivation? I used to believe in the PB system, until recently. You see, the system works just fine, if every employee were to keep the amount they get strictly private and confidential. However, human as we are, many of us can't help comparing, and many ended up disgruntled and unhappy. You can imagine how the scenario is like:

Employee A: What? That bugger got 100%??!!! What did he do? Everyday read newspaper, walk here walk there, still can get 100% ahh? Screwed up management....
Employee B: Yalor.. NB.... I only get half month. Did all the dirty work, still like that. This system sucks. From now on, I'll contribute only 50%. And no more OT!!

Ironic, isn't it? See how a system that was put in place to encourage employees to perform better could also backfire, and gives rise to disgruntled employees and much ill feeling in the office. So, I'm not exactly sure if dishing out PB is a good thing.

No, in case you're wondering, I'm not one of the disgruntled employees. I'm happy for what I got, so happy that I offered to buy Victor lunch which he declined politely. Good thing he did, or he has to buy me lunch too. LOL.

Category: Office

Monday, March 27, 2006

The other signs of old age

We can tell the signs of old age when we see one - forgetfulness, slow in reflexes, failing eye-sights and hearings, and some would add grumpiness (as in; a "grumpy old man") and long-windedness (as in; you're more "loh soh" then my grandma").

But there are other obnoxious signs of old age which I've experienced personally. You know you've reached a certain age (ok, the right phrase is "growing old") when you're faced with the following:

1. You find your son towering over you, and each time you reprimand him for his wrongdoing, you have to get him to sit down.

2. You start getting frequent emails from the HR department, announcing the retirement of fellow colleagues - a sign that you and your co-workers have slowly, but surely become part of the aging-workforce.

3. You are green with envy when you see housing estates, but yours, embarking on the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP). And when your estate finally get the LUP, your euphoria lasted all but 5 minutes for it suddenly dawns on you that the LUP is really conceptualized to prepare us Singaporeans for a population that is fast aging.

4. You get wedding invitations from your colleagues. Problem is, it's NOT the wedding of your colleagues; but that of their sons and daughters. (Chai, thanks for the invitation. And for making me and many of your colleagues realise how "old" we have become): ))

I know I've just penned a post on "Growing Old Gracefully". No, I've no hung up when it comes to growing old. And though I can be quite "vain", I'm certainly not afraid of aging (for goodness sake, I'm just 41++!!). But really, come to think of it, a lifetime is really short, even if one were to life till 70. It's been said that aging is inevitable; but growing old is optional. I'm still trying to figure out what "optional" means. To adopt a more "adventurous" and "fun" outlook in life? How does one roller-blade at 60? Or bangee-jump? Do we really have an option? And how so? When all signs are telling and reminding us how "old" we've become?

Category: Musings

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Driving habits of Singaporeans that really piss peeve me off

What's with drivers who cut lanes, refuse to signal their intention and behave like hooligans on the roads?

I was listening to news radio 93.8 when listeners were asked to call in to rate Singaporean drivers on road courtesy. Nine out of 10 callers said that we Singaporean make bad drivers. I agree 110%!

Just yesterday, I was making a right U-turn, signal on, when the car behind me tried to overtake me as he intended to turn right into the carpark. I saw his car in my side mirror, and he didn't even bother to signal his intention. I halted my car mid-way as I turned and waved him on. Perhaps it was the flabbergasted look on my face, the middle-aged driver stepped out of his car and raised his voice at me: "Who is in the wrong? Who is in the wrong?" Hello? I had my right signal on, and you were behind me. Unless he's totally blind to the fact that I was about to turn right. It did not matter that I was making a right U-turn. I was still turning right anyway. So who has the right of way? I've no wish to get into a tussle with the man, considering that my two kids were in the car with me. We could argue until the cow came home, and that man would still insist that "I'm in the wrong."

Years ago, when I first obtained my driving license, a bus, loaded with factory workers, pushed me into the road shoulder in the PIE. And all because I overtook it. First of all, the lorry had no business whatsoever in the middle lane. And secondly, it was speeding. Having pushed me into the shoulder, the bus driver stopped his bus, wanting to confront me and probably spoiling for a fight. I slowed down my car, and was thinking whether I should stop my car as well. Thankfully, I had the sense to drive on, or I would have woken up the next day (if I'm still in one piece, that is), and found myself splashed across the ST with the news: "Road-rage: Compact car owner, pushed into road shoulder, assaulted bully burly bus driver". My friend told me always to standby a baton, an umbrella, anything, as a weapon in the car. I'm not sure if this advice is sound.

Why are Singaporean drivers behaving like thugs on the road? Stress in our lives? Impatience? Or simply to show off the flashy fast car? Indeed, the ST has reported that cases of road-rage have gone up in recent years. It's true that driving in Singapore can be very stressful. We have the following drivers to thank for:

1. Drivers, especially those driving big cars, simply choose not to signal their intentions when they want to switch lanes. What's wrong with these drivers? Whatever's the signal function of the car for? Just because they drive big cars, they think they are the kings of the road? It's been said that men who drive big cars are trying to compensate their inadequacy in the bedroom. Just ask Victor. LOL.

2. Drivers who refuse to give way to drivers who signal their intention. More often than not, the former would speed up, rather than slow down, to prevent the latter from filtering into the lane. Maybe that's the reason why drivers in para 1 don't signal in the first place. It's like: If I signal, I'll never be able to filter in. If I don't signal, the driver behind me gives way to me. How ironic.

3. Drivers who hog the road, especially those who drive on the extreme right lane of the expressways. These drivers take their own sweet time, travelling at 70-80 km/h, as if they are sightseeing on the road. No amount of flashing or tooting could get them to change lane.

4. Drivers who tailgate to "push" you out of their lane. Such drivers are lonely people. They have not been kissed for years and if they do, they've probably been kissing themselves with the mirror. So they couldn't wait to "kiss" your car.

5. Lorries, trucks and vans driving above the speed limit, occupying lanes other than the extreme left lane. These big vehicles have been getting rather bold these days, especially after their speed limit was increased from 60km/h to 70/km. Where are the "white mice" when you need them?

I'm usually a safe and careful driver. Victor can vouch for me. On the occasions that I'm not, I put the blame squarely on the above drivers. And I realise something - it makes me feel good when I give way to fellow drivers, especially when the drivers reciprocate with a wave of a hand to say "thank you". I caught a car-decal on a passing vehicle once with this initials "F.I.D.O". Know what that means? No, it's not the name of a doggy. It actually stands for "Forget It and Drive On". Now, that's a sound advice every driver should heed.

Category: Musings

Friday, March 24, 2006

Growing old gracefully ...

Growing old gracefully .... How many of us can do that? Not unless you're Sean Connery or the late Katharine Hepburn. More often than not, our bodies are crippled with all sort of debilitating illnesses that either leave us dead if we are lucky, or bed-ridden if we are not so lucky.

I was at Lee Ah Mooi's nursing home at Thomson today with the Slim Lady and her brother. Our mission - to check out the home for the admission of my father-in-law who has become invalid for various medical conditions - stroke, diabetics and hypertension. See? My father-in-law is not so lucky, if I may say so.

The sight at the home is pretty depressing. The able-bodied old folks were seen sitting around the compound of the nursing home quietly, looking listless and kinda bored. The invalid folks, some requiring tube-feeding like me father-in-law, were all in a room, confined to their respective bed, some lying down staring into the ceiling, others lying on their side on their bed, watching the TV.

We were met by a bare-chested man of 60 in his office. I suppose he must be the caretaker of the home, or the "manager". He was business-like in the way he explained the various charges to us, never mind that he was without a shirt or a singlet. There was only one vacancy left in the nursing home. The man told us that Singapore is in shortage of nursing homes. It wouldn't be enough even if the government were to build another 10 nursing homes, he added.

What he said hold much truth. Our workforce is aging, the problem made worse by declining birth rate. Though our life expectancy has gone up, we aren't exactly as healthy as people in the days of yore, like our grandparents. We may live longer, but our bodies can also be inflicted by various life-style diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and strokes that require lifetime medication. Eat healthy and exercise regularly? It's always easier said than done, isn't it?

I know I should never harbour such thoughts. But how fulfilling can my life be if I were to be admitted to a nursing home? What quality of life? How would I feel, watching my muscles and sanity wasting away as I live through the last of my days, under the mercy of care-givers at the nursing home? Is it not better to just let go?

Category: Musings

Popiah feast at Evan's Chris'

I've We've had enough of waiting. How long is a man supposed to wait, before he starts tearing his hair out in frustration? How soon can the man be served his food, before he perishes in hunger?

Whatever happened to the popiah feast my blogosphere friend Evan was supposed to organise? I can understand Evan's concern in hesitating to meet Victor and Chun See, despite Victor's offer to get the popiah skin on his account. After all, mummy always warns little girls about the danger of meeting strangers in the Internet. Is Evan worried that Victor or Chun See might turn out to be wolves in sheep clothing? Hey Evan, I'm certainly no wolf, ok? And I'll come to your rescue.

I guess Evan was just being cautious. She wouldn't want to end up like Lil Red Ridding Hood, I'm sure. ROTFL.

Thankfully, I don't have to depend on Lil Red Ridding Hood for my craving of popiah. The Slim Lady has been on a 1-week leave, and today, she said she wanted to try out my mum's popiah recipe.

She bought the ingredients yesterday and did much of the chopping and cutting of the veggies. It took her about 3.5 hours just to get all the veggie ready. It's really a lot of hard work.

I too took a day off from work today, just to spend time with the Slim Lady and to help her prepare the popiah. But it turned out that I was the one who actually did all the cooking (and most of the eating as well). It's really quite tedious - preparing the different veggie, cooking them separately, and having to mix them up in a big wok in the end. But we had great fun cooking the popiah together, husband and wife. All the hard work in preparing the popiah is worth it.

Having cooked the dish myself, I also appreciate my mum's popiah even more. When she prepares the popiah during CNY, she always get up at the crack of dawn at 5 am to prepare all the ingredients herself. I've no idea how tiring this is, just the tossing of the veggie! I'm still quite amazed at how she could accomplish that herself all alone.

So, what's the verdict of our first attempt at cooking this special dish? The popiah veggie tasted a little sweet, quite unlike those prepared by my mum. We thought perhaps we've added more carrot then we should. But my mum told us that the sweetness was actually from the turnip. Here're some photos of the yummilicious popiah...

The cut veggie also didn't look as "refined" as my mum's. I told the Slim Lady that it was probably because of the old grating board which has been with us for years. Time to change a new one, and maybe the next time round, the veggie would be refined as sugar. I know what Victor is probably thinking when he reads this: "hmmmm.. here's a workman blaming his tools but himself ...."

All things considered, I rated the popiah 8 out of ten. Though the veggie is a wee bit sweet to my liking, once it's wrapped up in the popiah skin with the sweet dark sauce, the chilli and the peanuts, it tastes almost as scrumptious as the popiah prepared by my mum. In fact, my Dad said our popiah tasted better! (I'm inclined to believe that Dad has lost his taste bud... considering he's getting on in years...) LOL.

So Evan, what you waiting for? When can I see photos of your popiah in your blog.... Hee!

Category: Food

Sunday, March 12, 2006

My fascination with the Chinese Horoscopes and Fengshui

When I read Sumiko Tan's personal column on how her life was dictated by her superstitions in fengshui and the Chinese Horoscope, I couldn't help but notice some parallels in her belief and mine.

See, I'm also fascinated by the Chinese horoscopes and fengshui. Someone please tell me if this is against the Christian faith.

Though I'm fascinated, I'm not obsessed. I've never engaged the service of Geomancer into my home to make my home or its occupants lucky. That would have been too drastic. But I'm thirsty for books on fengshui and the Chinese horoscopes and have in fact bought a couple by the famous fengshui author Lilian Too.

When my office shifted to its new location two years ago, I consulted Lilian's book on the direction my new cubicle should face, armed with a compass. There was more I consulted. Should my desk be facing the pillar? Where should my rubbish bin be? Within sight? I love greenery, should I keep cactus on my desk? And what about dry flowers? In case you're wondering, the answers to the all above is NO. Most of my colleagues saw what I did, they borrowed my book and my compass, and followed suit. It made me realise that, like it or not, many of us are superstitious. And can you blame us? Nobody wants bad luck to befall us.

When 2006 beckoned, I purchased Lilian's latest book on “2006 Fengshui and Luck Outlook” for the Chinese zodiac sign of the Dragon, the year in which I was born. I also bought one for the Slim Lady, on the zodiac sign of the Horse. The book was in Chinese and I have a fair bit of difficulty trying to understand all the chapters due to my limited command of the Chinese language. But I somehow managed and what I've read so far is cold comfort.

According to the book, 2006 spells nothing but trouble for those born in the year of the Dragon. The Dragon's crime? It has fan tai sui (犯太岁). I don't really know what's 太岁 , but I guess it means offending an entity of sort.

The more I read the book, the more paranoid I become. But I couldn't put it down, for it's like taking a peek into the future - my future, on my career and family life. This is beginning to sound very un-Christian-like, I know. The bible did warn us against dabbling into the unknown...

The book says because Dragons have 犯太岁, those born in the year of the Dragon will be down on their luck. They will suffer in health and wealth. They will lose some of their close friends, get backstabbed by colleagues who are consumed by jealousy over the Dragons’ brilliance and competence. And horror of horrors, Dragons will be accident-prone in some months in 2006. It mentioned the month of February in the Lunar Calendar, May and the 2nd half of the year!

And believe it or not, last Friday, driving home and waiting at a junction for the traffic to clear, my car slide backward and "kissed" the car behind me. That kiss was simply a "peck on the cheek" but it was enough to leave some deep scratch marks on the bumper of my car. My NEW car! Coincidence?

The book also said I'd be troubled by an inter-departmental reshuffle in the office. Indeed, a reshuffle is soon to take place according to my office management. What I heard today through the grapevine confirms my worse fear. Coincidence again?

I know how easy it is to lose our head and become all irrational and paranoid when it comes to fengshui and the horoscope. It sometimes bothers on the silly. The Slim Lady doesn't have it better. The book on Horse says that she's likely to be robbed of her money this year. Now she’s afraid to carry cash and taking the lift alone. I regretted buying her the book :(( and have to tell her not to believe everything that's written in there. Or not to believe anything at all.

When I related the “kissing” incident accident to Victor, he asked me why did I go and make the prediction from the horoscope come through? He obviously thinks the book is crap. I want to believe the book is crap, too.

Category: Musings

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Laugh (and the world laughs with you)

We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy
- Psalm 126:2

Laughter, as the doctors will tell us, is the best medicine. And I'm sure God, our creator, would want our life filled with Laughter and Joy. Sometimes life is hard. And it can be very cruel. But if we take life with a pinch of salts and remember that we are but living in a transient world, it somehow makes our living more bearable.

Some of the following have been extracted from a nifty little book called "God Is In The Small Stuff (and it all matters). God sure has his sense of humour :))

1. If you doubt that God has a sense of humour, look in the mirror.
2. Our five senses are incomplete without the sixth - sense of humour.
3. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with others.
4. The best jokes are painless and profaneless.
5. If you can laugh at yourself, you are guaranteed a lifetime of chuckling.
6. If someone tells you a joke you've already heard, let him finish and laugh anyway.
7. Humour works best when it brings joy to others.
8. Be happy and smile always - it takes more muscles to frown than to smile.


Category: Musings

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The power of motivation

I don't know whether to cry or to laugh.

Junior brought home his report card today. Mummy has promised him a Notebook if he scored Band 1 for his Maths, English and Chinese in his CA 1 exam. I still think my wife is it is insane to have promised the child the sun and the moon.

Alas, Junior got two Band 1 and a Band 2. So, there'll be no laptop. But I told him mummy and daddy are proud of his result and happy that he's tried his best, and announced that we'd reward him with something other than the notebook. He said ok, but there's no doubt the look of disappointment on his face.

But I was pleasantly surprised to hear Junior say, "I'll try harder for my SA 1 exam to get the notebook."

I hope we're not inculcating in him the evil of consumerism and materialism. No, I don't think we are. What I see instead is the power of motivation. Maybe the Slim Lady knew something that I don't. She did something to motivate the child. And self-motivation, as we know, is the key to many successes in life.

We parents always tell our kids that at this juncture in their lives, their main job is to study hard in their studies. If they do so, and prove it in their results, they can have all the things they want, and by "all the things", we meant:

1. The freedom to play the Playstation, on-line games and computer games for as long as they want on weekends;
2. The freedom to be a couch-potato for as long as they want over the weekends; and
3. Being pampered with any toys or gadget not more than $50.

But the notebook offer took me totally by surprise. Now I know why we men don't get it. It's because they women never bother to discuss it. Sigh.

Category: Family

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The passions of Singaporeans

Ask me about Singaporeans' passions, and I could name you FOUR.

4-D and Toto; and
More eating

Yes, we Singaporeans simply love to eat. Many eat to live, but many more like me, live to eat. We eat wherever we go and whenever time permits, in between shopping, work and even in the wee hours of the morning when we should be sound asleep. To say Singapore is a food paradise is an understatement. And is it any wonder that most of us are out of shape, with many men carrying pouches paunches of all sizes? In my company's annual medical screening last year, more than 60% of the employees were found to have high cholesterol. But does it make any difference to any of us? I doubt so. Food, the doctors failed to understand, is our passion.

Ahh... shopping. Don't we just love blowing our money away? Retail therapy is not only good for our souls, it's also good for our economy. The exchange of money helps to generate income for various sectors in our economy. How nice to think that we're doing a "charitable" act when we shop, shop and shop! It doesn't matter that I have THREE MP3 players in my possession. I'm thinking of getting Creative's Zen Vision which allows me to watch movies (IPOD be damned). And my wife, God help me, has promised Junior, who is in P2, a laptop (yeah, you read it right, a NOTEBOOK) if he scores Band 1 in all his subjects in the current CA1 exam. My wife This is insane. No, I'm not trying to justify my wife's extravagance (ok, so I just bought a car; but it's really more out of necessity than anything else), but Singaporeans really do shop till we "drop". Let's not keep too much money in our POUCH, I could almost hear Victor dispensing his sound advice, and let's live today like there's no tomorrow. LOL

When it comes to 4-D and TOTO, my sentiment is that as long as one doesn't go over board, buying 4-D is also some kinda charity. Singapore Pools is known to have done its part in donating money to various charity bodies. But there's no denying that this is a form of gambling, albeit a legalised one. Truth be told, I'm not really into buying 4-D or TOTO, mainly because my luck has never been good in them. The last time I won any money was last year, after having spent money for several weeks on a number I can't even remember. And struck I did, to the amount of $65000. I thought lady luck is starting to smile on me, until I realised that amount was just enough to cover what I've spent "invested" over several weeks. Still, you can't deny that I've won. Hee.

Since I took delivery of my car, I've been told by well-meaning friends that it's unforgivable not to buy my car number. Some people say buying 4-D is fine, as long as it does not become an obsession. We're buying a hope. If we don't buy, there's no hope (所谓买个希望,没买就没希望). But I know of relatives and friends who easily spend hundreds of dollars each week on 4-D. My aunt is one of them. She buys a lot and she wins a lot, but she also owes a lot of money to many people, including some loan sharks. My uncle "bailed" her out a few times. But her children, all grown-up, refuse to talk to her. The end result? A broken family. Therein lies the danger of gambling.

But there's no explanation on this thing called LUCK. Some people simply have all the luck, especially those with "ruddy" hands like Chun See. Others, like me, has to slog hard as an ox in the office to accumulate my "wealth". But I know God is always fair. Whatever is yours, will be yours.

And the thing people do to get lucky. My colleague, MJM, advised me to place an orange each in the four corners of my car the day I collected the car. And it has to be done BEFORE anyone, including the sales agent sit on my car. The last time he did so with his new car, he struck thousands of dollars in the 4-D. Victor followed his advice when he got his Scenic. I'm not sure if he's been lucky. If he has, he's certainly keeping mum. But I know Victor, he'll throw a feast if he's struck any money at all. Such is his generosity. So maybe the oranges didn't work for him? Maybe it's just all hot air? Or maybe lady luck is still waiting for the right time to strike?

Did I do as told? Placing the oranges in my car? This borders on the superstition really; but it doesn't harm anybody in any way. So why not?

Category: Musings

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Circle of Life

Soon Beng was laid to rest on Monday. The day before, I was at my sister-in-law's, celebrating baby Joven's 1-month-old. And today, BAGUS and OKD threw a celebration for Victor, who will soon turn 50 this coming Monday.

The circle of life - Birth, Life and Death. I guess God had it all planned out. Maybe God thinks this world is just too small to accommodate all. Someone just have to go, to make way for the new. Makes me wonder if heaven is crowded? Maybe angels float around often, or they are always on God's missions. So we don't need much space in the house of God? And God always has room for all his children.

Gee... I don't know what got into me. I was going to blog about Vic's birthday celebration. But this past week has been quite a ride. It's been both sad and happy. Sad because we've lost a friend and colleague. And happy because of baby Joven's "coming of age", Vic's birthday and me collecting my brand new car, of course!

Let's come back to Vic's birthday. That man crossed the half-century mark, and any man who's crossed that mark deserves my respect. So, there'll be no snide remarks about Victor in this post. I half expected Vic to break into the Hawaii-five-O theme song, but he never did. Busy eating, I guess. Oops sorry, I take that back!

For a man his age, I must say Victor still looks pretty good. He is quite unlike most men his age who usually spot a "spare tyre". Some much younger men, like me, already has a pouch!

He's still slim, tall (shrinkage will come much later in life, Victor), and his pimple dimples remain intact, his face defying the force of gravity. It must be his good genes. And if everyone has genes like Victor's, the plastic surgeons will be out of business in no time. There'll be no end to Wuffles Wu's ruff. I'm also quite upset that my attempt to fatten Victor to make me look slimmer failed miserably, for Victor is never a big eater, nor a junk eater.

We had lunch at a little restaurant at Pasir Panjang. The restaurant is called Manhill, though it certainly does not sit on top of a hill, and it certainly not only welcomes men, but women as well. The dishes it serves are not something to shout about. But I love the noodle we ordered specifically for Victor. It's a Chinese tradition to serve noodle on one's birthday. It symbolises longevity. And it means Victor can look forward to the other half-century mark. LOL.

We even bought him a cake bean-paste bun that resembled the face of a man. Alas, it had room for only 1 candle. We sang Victor the birthday song and made him blush like a red tomato.

Call me a sentimental fool, but I've always treasured the company of friends more then the variety of food on the dining table. And as we age, we could do well to remember this saying, "Count our age with friends but not with years".

Happy Birthday, Victor.

Category: Personal

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Roll up your sleeves and let's roll the POPIAH!

This post is dedicated to Evan, whose Kitchen Ramblings leave many of us salivating...

Mum's the world's greatest cook. This is a sentiment shared by many people of their mothers. Except for my kids, who think yours truly a better cook then their mum, the Slim Lady. If that's the irrevocable truth, and I think it is, I have my mum to thank for.

See, like most people, me too think my mum is the world's best cook. She's thought me how to whip out a mean bowl of laksa, a plate of glutinous rice, and my favorite kim kueh mee or pumpkin noodle. When it comes to cooking, my mum is the sort who subscribes to the theory of "agaration" (an acronym of Malay and English words meaning Estimation). There's no hard and fast rules on the ingredients or amount of seasoning used. Everything is based on estimation, and anything goes.

Having said that, my mum cooks other fabulous food such as braised duck, hor-fan and yu-sheng, the kind that goes with congee, just to name a few. I've been wanting to put into writing my mum's many recipe or they will be in oblivion when my mum makes her exit one day...

Evan, a 'blogo-friend' of mine, has asked me for my mum's popiah recipe when I did a post on Chinese New Year goodies recently. See, popiah is a staple food for my family during CNY. My mum usually prepares 3 big pots of the popiah veggie, enough to serve all our relatives and friends who come visiting, with left over to last at least another 3 days. It's become a tradition of sort, having popiah for CNY in my household. And it's really quite a joy to see all my aunts, uncles and cousins rolling up their sleeves and rolling the popiah themselves, basically having a rolling-good time (no pun intended).

So, Evan, here's the recipe, courtesy of my mum. Be warned though, that I've yet to try it out myself.


1. Shredded Carrot (5x)
2. Shredded Turnip (3x)
3. Long bean (2 packets)
4. Cabbage (1 roll)
5. Bean-curd (2 packet. My mum says to buy them from the supermarket. Each packet contains 4 bean-curd)
6. Pork belly
7. Suan Ah (10x). [I don't exactly know what this is called in English; but in Hokkien, it's called Suan Ah]


1. Cut bean-curd into tiny cube; then fry them
2. Stir-fry carrot, turnip, long beans, cabbage and "suan ah" separately
3. Slice pork belly into tiny pieces, stir-fry it.
4. Mix ALL ingredient together.
5. Add salts and MSG (optional) for taste


In my humble opinion, the chilli is one of the most important ingredient in popiah-making (just like the Hainanese chicken rice), without which the popiah simply won't give us the ooommmpphh! My mum uses only three ingredient for the chilli - the chilli itself, garlic and a bit of salt. First, grind the chilli. Then add the garlic and continue to grind. Lastly, add the salt.


You also need peanuts. I'm not sure if my mum prepares this herself. But you can get the ready-made one in the market.

Popiah skin

Can get the traditional one from Joo Chiat as recommended by Victor. No car? Never mind, get Victor to buy for you. Just pay him petrol money. Or repay him with TEN rolls of popiah. :P You might as well ask him to deliver some to my house. ;) Actually, those ready-made skin from the supermarket is just as good.

Other ingredients

You can add prawn, mashed egg etc. And don't forget the sweet sauce. Another ingredient that is a must is the Chinese lettuce (or Pang Chai in Hokkien).

I guess that's about it, Evan. Apologies for the delay. So when do you think Victor and I can sample your popiah? :P

Category: Food