Malaysian Food · December 10, 2023

Bian Nyuk Featured

Bian Nyuk: The Delicate Foochow Wontons of Sibu

Bian Nyuk: The Delicate Foochow Wontons of Sibu

Bian Nyuk 扁肉 is a delightful wonton-type dish that holds a special place in the heart of Sibu. With its substantial Foochow community, Sibu is celebrated for its Foochow culinary heritage, and Bian Nyuk plays a humble supporting character among the other street food delights.

Bian Nyuk means ‘flattened meat’ in Foochow dialect. It is a simple dish, made with pork mince paste filling, wrapped in a specially crafted thin Bian Nyuk skin called yanpi (燕皮). Although bearing some resemblance to other region’s wonton dishes, Bian Nyuk possesses its own distinct allures. Bian Nyuk skin is thinner, more translucent and more delicate than the usual wonton skin. Yanpi is also made without using of alkaline water, which allows it to have the remarkable ability to melt in the mouth. Bian Nyuk usually has fewer amounts of fillings, and the pork used is leaner and more finely minced, resulting in a light and less greasy texture.

The delicate skin combines with the richness of the lean pork imparts a delightful texture and taste, setting it apart from other wonton-style dishes. When eaten, Bian Nyuk practically dissolves in the mouth, making it easy to digest and particularly suitable for both the elderly and children.

It’s worth noting that Bian Nyuk’s popularity isn’t solitary; it often enjoys the company of another Sibu breakfast staple, the famous Kampua noodles. Any kopitiam stall known for crafting Kampua is certain to offer Bian Nyuk as well. Bian Nyuk is traditionally served in a clear soup, or dry tossed, mirroring the preparation method of Kampua. Bian Nyuk undergoes a quick blanching in boiling water first and is then tossed with fragrant pork lard, sauces, and seasonings, and lastly garnished with chopped spring onions. This shared tradition enhances the symbiotic relationship between these beloved Sibu dishes.

Similar to Kampua, the dry tossed version Bian Nyuk arrives in an array of flavours, each catering to distinct palates. The classic white version, the savoury black variant enhanced with dark soy sauce, and even the spicier option present a world of taste experiences waiting to be explored. So, when your travels lead you to Sibu, seize the opportunity to indulge in the iconic Foochow-inspired Bian Nyuk.

Bian Nyuk