Category Archives: 咸草

A Touch Of Grass

Before the advent of super cheap plastic raffia strings,  we used a humble and environmentally friendly, 100% organic and biodegradable “string” called “咸草” or “kiam chao” in Penang Hokkien.  Not sure what it is called in Malay.

These grassy strings were sold in bundles of about a metre long, and they were used everywhere — at home, in sundry shops, wet markets, etc — for bundling up loose goods that had not been factory-prepacked.

Cannot remember ? Perhaps recall the old days how bak chang dumplings were tied up.   Haiz, these days we can hardly find these kiam chao anymore.

I understand that a lot of these kiam chao have gone into high fashion, where they are turned into hats with a touch of class for ladies.   That could be the reason for its scarcity !

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