Old school sengkuang calit

When was the last time you had a taste of sengkuang calit? Yes, the refreshing snack you so enjoyed and bought at only RM0.10 sen each from the school tuck-shop.

Old School Sengkuang Calit staff
in the bazaar at Tanjung
In a recent restaurant review, I discovered this snack on their menu and marveled at how a school tuck-shop snack has found its way into a restaurant menu!

I couldn’t resist having a taste and when the order was served, I was shocked to see the plate with thinly sliced, meagre pieces of sengkuang – a shadow of what our school tuck-shop used to sell!

On a recent road trip with Emily with a stopover in Muar, she suggested to go for a walk after dinner – where else – but at Tanjung.

Now anyone who lives in Muar or is from Muar will tell you that Tanjung Emas or Tanjung, on the banks of the Muar River, is their favourite choice for family recreation, friendly hang-outs or dating destination.

A carnival-like atmosphere prevails here as children roller-skated across the open courtyard in front of the clock tower and vendors sold balloons and other knick-knacks.

Calit or spreading prawn paste on
one side of the turnip slice
A nearby bazaar beckoned and as we walked nearer, I spotted a clown showing off his skills in making balloon sculptures.

Walking through the bazaar means we can browse around the stalls to check out anything interesting to buy and among the stalls selling souvenir T-shirts and street wear, were snack stalls.

I believe we read the signboard for Old School Sengkuang Calit at the same time because wordlessly, we walked towards it and Emily placed an order with the vendor.

The vendor moved with dexterity and removed two thick slices of sengkuang from a chiller box and started to evenly spread prawn paste on one side of the turnip (yam bean) slice.

This is how the snack earned its name sengkuang calit because the slice of turnip is calit, (Malay word for) ‘spread’ with a layer of prawn paste.

Calit or spreading chopped toasted peanuts evenly
She then swiftly scooped up a ladle of chopped toasted nuts to sprinkle it liberally over the prawn paste and spread it out evenly to cover the entire one side of the turnip slice.

“Kacang!” I remarked and without a pause in her actions, she gently echoed with, “Kacang kasih sayang…”

In a matter of a few minutes, a small group had gathered behind us, waiting in the queue to place their orders.

The vendor then whipped out an instrument that resembled a scraper tool and proceeded to slice the sengkuang with force and precision into bite-size pieces.

Slicing the sengkuang or turnip slice with force and precision
And then it was ready.

My portion of ready-to-eat Old School sengkuang calit; See how thick the turnip slice is!
Emily paid for our purchase, RM3 per slice, and we continued walking around the bazaar, munching on our chilled sengkuang and reminiscing about how old-school it truly is!

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