A friend sent this to me. It freaked me out enough to circulate to family and friends.

Dear friends, this is true. A friend of mine also saw a similar occurrence in the Tanjung Aru (Malaysia) famous goreng pisang. What they do is they cut the (drinking) straw into small pieces and throw them into the boiling oil and when the straw melts they start frying the pisang. Unthinkable!!!!

This is a REAL TRUE STORY…and also SL told me it happened at her place in Kedah…Tunjang…(Malaysia) I think…. It happended to us too, in Perlis(Malaysia) (titi chai kangar…the pasar malam (night market) area where they always selling goreng pisang (fried banana) at noon .. Mom said my uncle saw that when they fried the goreng pisang they added the straw (which we use to drink water) and melted it into hot oil before frying. That’s why the goreng pisang, goreng ubi etc are all very crispy for hours…. And my uncle could not explain why, and he asked them. They just keep quiet. And then when my uncle told my mom, and we realized this is how to make the foods crispy for a while….

DO NOT EAT CRISPY FOOD especially from the hawker!
I have been to Cameron Highlands (holiday resort in Malaysia) with my family, It was 3pm ++. We were hanging around the market area, we saw many hawker stalls doing their business, suddenly something attracted me…. One of the stalls, there was a big wok of oil and there was a half-5-litre empty oil bottle on it! It was melting slowly in the hot frying oil… I freaked out, I thought it was an unintentional act by a 7-yr-old girl … but when I looked at it closely, I saw a pair of chopstick stirring the bottle…. Seemed like it was done purposely. Immediately I asked my family to come and check it out…. At that moment, the parents of the girl who sat beside, were looking at us ferociously. Oh my god…they were using melted plastic to fry food…. The reason is that the titbits will not soften after placing for some time due to the plastic hardening.

It doesn’t end here. After I sent this out, a family friend replied attaching this New Straits Times article confirming that the story had surfaced in the Malaysian media. Another family friend then wrote:

I do not know about using straws but I do know that in Singapore, to make the goreng pisang crispy for hours they don’t add straws but limestone solution. I’m referring to the white substance which people use with betel nut on leaves and chew them. It is also the same substance which was used in the earlier days for white washing of walls. Those days, they mix this limestone solution with water and use it to paint their wooden walls. This limestone solution is added to the mixture to which the banana is dipped in before frying in hot oil.

I am in the know because I had helped someone to fry goreng pisang before. I had seen with my own eyes how the white mixture was prepared.

A reply from The Wise Old Owl:

I’m now stunned by your revelation! […] I hardly ever buy them for me or family as I had always suspected that the low quality oil they used for frying them, is used and reused umpteen times…right?

From the same family friend:

You are perfectly correct. This oil is reused until it is almost black in colour. Then it is sieved to remove the goreng pisang particles and the leftover oil is used to make the chilli sambal for your nasi lemak or laksa. The next time you eat nasi lemak, take a closer look at the colour of the chilli and you will understand what I mean.

If you like to eat “Pig’s Organ Soup” – commonly known in Hokkien as “ter huang kiam chye” soup or loosely translated as “pig’s intestine salted vegetable” soup, then you may be interested in this piece of information.

My younger brother, after his retirement, helps out at a vegetable stall at KK Market packing vegetables and fruits for ships told me of what he witnessed at a Chinese pickled and salted goods stall next to his. Salted vegetables are normally soaked in salt and kept in big urns to season and ferment. These vegetables are left to mature to make it crunchy. By the time they reach the stalls, a layer of mould would have formed. The stall holder would normally just pull out the salted vegetables from the mouldy mess, squeeze out the water and sell them. Once all the salted vegetables are sold, the interesting part comes in. The mouldy fermented salt water is not thrown away. It is packed in huge plastic bags and sold to the pig’s organ soup seller. This water is then used to prepare the pig’s organ soup – hot, salty (natural flavour) and tasty.

Still game for a bowl of Pig’s organ soup??


3 responses to “Frankenfood

  1. There goes my goreng pisang, ter huang kiam chye, and I suppose anything that is fried or has kiam chye from hawker stalls in Singapore. How about curry puffs, yew teow, ham chim pang, and other fried goodies that Singaporeans just love! Now we know the reason from increasing incidence of cancer. Plastic bottles are known to leach into food and milk which causes cancer when used as food containers. Activists in the west are moving to ban them.

  2. gross.
    does this mean I have to stop buying the bottled fried shallots that come from Thailand? 😦

  3. Unladen Swallow

    Cripes. But first, can anyone verify this bullshit first before we go on a boycott of all fried foods?

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