Vegetarian diet is nothing unusual to most Penangites on the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. The devotees believe that the “Nine Emperor Gods” (九皇爷) will visit on the 9th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Devotees will need to go on strict vegetarian diet for the first nine days to show sincerity and also as offerings to the gods.
I have been consuming vegetarian food for the past 20 years everytime during this festival. There are many places selling a wide variety of vegetarian foods by the temporary stalls setup at roadsides. This post serves as a guidance to vegetarians to choose among a variety of foods on this lunar month.
This picture shows that the medium is performing spiritual dance in which the worshippers believe that the god has posessed his body. Legendary folk law claims that “Nine Emperor Gods Festival” are “pirates” that rob the rich and help the poor. It sounds like the legendary Robin Hood from the Western culture. There are many different versions told by different people. If you know any other version, please do let me know.
As soon as I arrived at the junction of Lip Sin Garden, there was a cultural and religious performance at the open space just in front of the junction turning in to Lip Sin Garden.
My visit to the vegetarian stall today is proudly accompanied by Yummy Station owner Allen Ooi.
As we were walking around, there is a “muar chee” (麻芝) mobile stall by the roadside. The stall is attached to the motorbike while the uncle is busy preparing muar chee.
The owner is so proud to show me his skills in preparing muar chee as his success story was published on “Kwang Hwa” newspaper before as one of the nice delicacies in town. The article claimed that the muar chee tastes QQ and delicious.
We ordered RM2 of muar chee and the taste is delicious as reported by the article. Anyhow I still feel that something is missing on this muar chee which is the fried onion rings which is usually sprinkled on top of our usual muar chee.
The second item that we tried out is Mook’s Pizza. No doubt this stall sells vegetarian pizzas. There are only 2 options, Hawaiian and Curry Pizza. The owner seems to know that I am going to order the Hawaiian Pizza. As soon as I pointed out my finger, he already packed the pizza for me.
Each personal vegetarian pizza costs RM10. I find it a bit expensive.
The crust is very crunchy and it tasted as if there was a layer of cheese on top of the pizza. For the believers of “Nine Emperor Festival”, milk and cheese are considered “banned items” to be consumed. Anyhow I didn’t manage to ask him how did they make the “cheesy” feeling.
The 3rd item that I had was “Peanut Soup” (土豆汤). I love peanut soup since small. I remember there is a place that sells nice peanut soup in town area. I will have to blog about that next round. Anyhow, I find that this particular soup is just average as the peanuts were not really well-cooked.
This stall is selling a wide variety of vegetarian cookies and cakes.
Miniature “red tortise bun”. Looks cute and nice.
Dozens of “Beh Teh Soh Bisket” (马蹄酥饼) were stacked up like a mountain.
These desserts are only available during this special occasion. I don’t understand why they are not selling it during normal season as these “kuih” are indeed very soft and tasty.