Saturday, April 01, 2006

Bring back the soft-boiled eggs & malai-kai!

J is hankering for her favourite soft-boiled eggs. She's starting to ask when the bird-flu crisis will end.

I too am getting uneasy about this health threat that has made eating eggs and chicken a watchful task.

Right now, I'm avoiding my favourite hainanese chicken rice because the meat is always cooked in such a way that you can see the blood still fresh in the bone-marrow. I know, for these "hainanese chicken experts" there's no other way to cook it if you want to get the meat to taste succulent and juicy to the bite. And I never had any complaints until those medical experts warned us about the danger of eating under-cooked chickens in the midst of bird-flu epidemic.

And, it's not just the chickens that's giving me a headache.

Nowadays, I have to keep reminding the hawker to make sure the egg yolk is thoroughly cooked in my sunny side-up that comes with the fried rice. Such hassle, not just for me. I know how annoyed Ah Kiew is getting when I send the dish back because the yolk is still runny. Maybe I should just skip the egg next time, for goodwill sake. I don't want to end up with an egg on my face if I antagonize her on a bad bad day.

But the worst compromise has got to be making do with those commercial farm dressed chickens sold in supermarkets. So lembik and tasteless. I want my malai-kai (that's kampung or free-range chickens to all you confused lot out there) and kampung eggs back on my dining table.

Oh dear ... will this troublesome and threatening virus ever go away for good?


Today is April Fool's Day, in case you need reminding.

So, instead of playing a joke on you (which might backfire on me), I want to share a joke with you on the subject of ... malai kai! For those who are not conversant in Chinese dialects, let me first enlighten you on the meaning of this word.

"Kai" in Cantonese means chicken. "Malai" in Cantonese means "Malay". However, if you put the two words together, "malai-kai" does NOT mean "malay chicken", okay? The connotation comes from the assumption that in Malaysia, most of the free-range chickens were bred by kampung (rural) folks, and by assumption also, kampung folks would mean Malay folks. Therefore the term malai-kai means kampung bred free-range chickens, very specific to Malaysia, and therefore, the meaning is very clear to Malaysians as well. Nothing racist about it.

Now, the Malaysian Chinese also have a different meaning to the word "Kai" which I must also add is universal to Chinese in other parts of the world, like Hong Kong. "Kai" is also the term for ladies of the night. If you don't know what ladies of the night do, go ask Maverick. He's the one who is going to tell you a joke about the "Malai-kai from Kowloon".

And oh, ... let me also add that in this other context, "Malai-kai" does NOT specifically mean "Malay you-know-what". It actually means "Malaysian you-know-what", in case some people feel offended by misinterpretation.

Go on, have a good laugh, and dig into some "char-kai" today!



Blogger Maverick SM said...

Eh Amoi,

My MalaiKai from Kowloon is Ayamas. The ladies of the night, saya tak tau oh!!! Ask Howsy or Ah Pek!

1/4/06 15:09  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

That's the joke, isn't it? Happy April's Fool Mave!

1/4/06 22:23  
Blogger H J Angus said...

the pic looks good.
Any invitations to lunch?

4/4/06 08:29  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

For you HJ? Anytime. Really & truly.

4/4/06 11:22  

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