Lee Wen Cong Lucas, 13
Lee Wen Cong Lucas requests for his 90-year-old da bor zor (great-grandfather)’s orh bak (black meat), one of Lucas’ favourite dishes when he was young. How differently would da bor zor cook the dish now?
Great-grandfather, Lim Lye Thiam
Dish of Choice:
Orh bak (dark soya sauce meat)
Have a listen to Lucas' reflection in this journey of documenting his great grandfather cooking orh bak or read on in the transcript below.
Lucas: Hi, my name is call Lucas and I’m 14 this year.
Shiyun: Maybe you can share with us the food that you have chosen this time.
Lucas: I choose orh bak - it’s like black meat in Hokkien and it’s like a lot of soya sauce, add some sugar. When I’m young, my dabor zor, ya means my great-grandfather, cook this dish for me and like, I really like it.
Shiyun: Is there something that you discover about your dabor zor?
Lucas: There’s something happen during like the when cooking the orh bak, it’s like he forget to add sugar. After that right, he keep saying “I got add sugar! I got add sugar!” Then I say “No, you don’t have.” ya
Shiyun: Do you find that like he’s like not… he’s like forgetting things?
Lucas: Yea, like forget things and like wake up at 12am and thought it’s like morning, ya, like the time…
Shiyun: His sense of time is very distorted
Shiyun: Remember the last time when the first time we met you right, it’s like wa, you have 四代同堂 (four generations under one roof). It’s like so rare to have that grandfather, then great-grandfather. It’s actually very rare. So, it’s a very precious thing.
Lucas: I’m still very young that’s why I have!
Shiyun: That’s… Not really! Because when I was born, already don’t have grandfather!
Shiyun: You also?
Larry: No, I also have ah zor. I never saw my dua gong and ah zor but wasn’t close.
Shiyun: Now you’re the one cooking for yourself?
Lucas: Ya. Because my mother also work until very late. I will go YouTube search or sometime my mother teach me, how to fried rice or I go Popular buy that kind of recipe book.
Lucas: Ya, I bought it like last week but haven’t even buy the dish yet. I want to buy the 排骨. Pork rib! Ah, yes, but haven’t buy.
Suhuai: Did you buy the ingredients from the market or?
Lucas: Market, because market good!
Lucas: Because you say ah like auntie 要 500 gram the 排骨 (pork ribs) hor, $5 only! Then you buy the vegetables ah $1. You say auntie 我要一个 $1 的菜心 ("I want $1 worth of chye sim") then 她给你 (she gives you). Then you take. Then 你给我一点 potato 可以吗? ("Can you give me some potato for free?")
Shiyun: 所以哪里的阿姨全部都认识你阿？They all know you right?
Lucas: Yea… 还好还好 (more or less)
Shiyun: Waaa, next time you can go market with me.