Headed to Chinatown for brunch with the family in the middle of the week..after lunch we decided to go check out the famous fry-your-own hum Jin pengs stall housed within the same food centre..which is relatively easy to spot given the long queue of customers standing outside the stall,taking turns to work the wok for their own hum jin pengs.Heh.
“Hum jin Pengs”, if you’re not familiar with the local food, are little fried dough fritters which taste like..uh,fried buns with a little salt to it,and sometimes it comes with a sweet bean filling in the middle.Normally you would pay around 50cents for an Hum jin peng from a foodstall,with it fried and ready to eat.The ones here though,are a old favourite among Singaporeans and the cost has been retained at 10cent per bun from the old days when things were still dirt cheap.(now its 15cents ler.)To offset the rising costs of doing business,the owners decided to come up with a novel way- make customers fry their own hum Jin Pengs.So while the hawker skillfully drafts out each bit of dough and slides it into the wok of bubbling hot oil,the customers will work the wok from the other side,frying the dough until they’re golden brown,take them up,dust with light sugar powder and then packing whatever amount of buns they want in brown paper themselves before dropping off their money in a basket to a grunt of acknowledgment from the busy hawker. My mum happily fried our own bag of hum jin pengs,and a few more for the other less culinary inclined customers in the queue.Free labour.
Fry-your-own-Hum jin peng Stall is in the popular Maxwell Food Centre,in case you dont know.