'Mee koo' sales picking up steam

The Star/Asia News Network

Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014

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GEORGE TOWN - Steaming hot mee koo (pink-coloured tortoise-shaped buns) on sale at a biscuit shop in Lorong Selamat are being snatched up as soon as they come out of the oven.

Hoe Peng Biscuits Sdn Bhd shop assistant Lai Siew Bee, 35, said the mee koo sales have doubled from 400 a day to 800 with less than a week to go before the Jade Emperor's birthday celebration on Saturday.

"The mee koo is usually purchased for prayer purposes or a birthday celebration.

"On the eve of the Jade Emperor's birthday itself, sales could exceed 1,000 per day. I also have customers who ordered as many as 300 buns.

"Since the mee koo is handmade, the selling point lies in its texture, it has to be not too light and can be eaten after being re-steamed or pan fried with egg," she said when met at the shop recently.

Lai remarked that the mee koo was made of flour, yeast and vanilla flavouring without any preservatives.

"After mixing the ingredients, it is kneaded and moulded, and then left for an hour for the yeast to rise before being steamed for 30 minutes.

"The mee koo can be kept for up to two weeks in the refrigerator and a month in the freezer," she said, adding that her customers were from as far as Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Some customers also pre-order the longevity bun (sou-tao) which comes with two types of filing of either lotus or peanut.

"The buns are priced at RM2.60 (S$0.99) (small) and RM5 (big) with 10 sen to 20 sen being added to have the Chinese characters ping an (peace) or shou (longevity) inscribed.

"Some mee koo can be as expensive as RM180 each as it is intricately decorated with small tortoises to symbolise many children (bai zi qian sun in Mandarin)," she added.

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