My Favourite Chinese Foods Which I Won't Ever Eat

If you are 30 years and above and Malaysian Chinese, you probably will know what I am talking about.
I started off responding to Marsha’s comment on this blog post about made in China ice cream. Then I realized that hey, it could be a blog post on its own.
You know why?
If you are Malaysian Chinese and have lived long enough in this world, you will know that even before the awful melamine milk scandal, we’ve been eating Chinese products for a long time already. From the time of my grandfather in fact. Maybe even longer!
I suspect we’ve been ingesting enough chemicals to blow ourselves up.
And it’s not just the White Rabbit sweets either.
Here’s a list of my favourite Chinese foods which I am not eating anymore. I’m not scared of dying. I’m just scared of being poisoned and die an unnatural death.
1. Ma Ling Luncheon Meat
I can tell you that THIS is my favourite of all. I can tell you that throughout my growing up years, this has been a family favourite too. Whenever Mom had no time to cook, we’d open up a can of Ma Ling Luncheon Meat, slice the round slab of meat, fry them and god, did they taste heavenly on rice and with bread. The luncheon meat was oily and porky and salty. If you slice it real thin before you fried it, the meat would be crispy and salty! Heaven was in that slice of meat!
But I stopped buying this about 8 or 9 years ago due to one bad incident. I opened up a can of luncheon meat and saw the meat had some greenish mould! Yucks. I don’t know what it was but I was sure I wasn’t going to eat that gross stuff.
Then I started thinking – what do the Chinese put in this can? Is it really pork? Could it be that they ground up other types of meat e.g. roadkill? I still don’t know. I have sworn myself, ok, ok more like weaned myself OFF this Chinese product. I know I could buy the European luncheon meat (which costs a bomb) but nothing tastes like the Chinese version.
Did you know that there’s another version with ham bits? Nic says I’ve been living under a rock as I have never eaten this ham version (I think it’s a premium version). The ham version has a green and white label with a white pig on the label.

2. Pearl Bridge Fried Dace with Black Beans

Who hasn’t eaten this with porridge? The fish is hard, oily and salty. (Hey, it seems all Chinese canned products are salty! In fact, sometimes overly so!). The black beans have an acquired taste but goes so well with the fried fish. Nowadays there are some rip-offs of the original brand. One is in a deep blue tin sold under the Gulong brand. I don’t want to eat this fish anymore because again, like the luncheon meat above, I cannot trust the Chinese manufacturers. I don’t know what chemicals they use to preserve the fish! It is likely to be illegal! On days when I crave something like this, I run out and buy Yeo’s brand Fried Mackeral with Black Beans. Of course it tastes completely different but what to do?
3. White Rabbit milk sweets
Oh, I loved this when I was a kid. I still have a packet in my fridge as I type this. I gave it away to friends as gifts last year during Chinese New Year. It brought back lots of good memories of Chinese New Years past when I would peel off the rice paper wrapping and let it melt slowly, deliciously on my tongue! That would be the best sort of feeling in the world. I loved the creaminess of this milk sweet! I could eat a bunch in one sitting. And now we realize that it contains 50 times the permitted level of melamine!

4. Chinese wax sausages and all types of waxed products

Convenience is the word when I talk about chinese wax sausages or ‘larp cheong’. I’m Cantonese and I grew up eating tons of this precisely because it’s so convenient to prepare. Just throw a pair or two of this into your rice cooker when you are cooking rice. Once the rice is done, so’s the sausage. Take it out and slice it and you have instant food! The oil would have absorbed into the rice, turning the rice into the Chinese version of nasi minyak with a fragrance of pork sausages! Yummy. But what scares me is this: what is the sausage wrapping made of? What is the wax made of?
Then there’s waxed duck thighs which is another gorgeous meat, to be found usually during Chinese New Year. Waxed duck thighs can be cooked like waxed sausages. But you can glamorise it a bit and cook it the way my Grandma did – braised with button mushrooms and chicken meat. This rendered the waxed duck thighs – also extremely salty – to a five-star dish status! Salty and oily – a bad combination for your heart and cholesterol but oh-so-damn-good with rice on the first day of Chinese New Year.
5. Braised pork in a tin
This is one pork dish which can kill your heart. Nic calls it ‘wobbly pork’ because really it wobbles so much due to the fat ratio of the meat. Braised pork in a tin (don’t ask me what the brand is – you don’t need to know the brand but you can see it on supermarket shelves, the non-halal section, of course) is actually chunks of fatty pork immersed in oil! It’s every cardiologist’s nightmare! My Aunt uses this braised pork to stirfry with beehoon, even the oil. Nothing is wasted. Not one drop of oil even. I don’t buy this anymore as I think I’m now 34 years old and I should be kinder to my waist line and heart.
All the above are my fave stuff but I don’t eat them anymore. I am not sure what goes into these food products from China but I really don’t want to know. I might keel over if I find out. But this is not all there is. There’s dried red dates, there’s snow fungus, there’s all sorts of dried herbs from China which I can tell horror stories about. I now go for Eu Yan Sang herbs as I feel safer if there’s a brand behind it.
Speaking of which, I still haven’t dared to eat the Walls’ Moo ice cream even though it’s been cleared of melamine.
How about you?
Tell me if you’re as guilty as I am of ingesting poisons and chemicals, no thanks to unscrupulous Chinese folks in mainland China.
And what’s your favourite canned food of all? 😉