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It is common knowledge that “Ipoh Kueh Teow” (also known as Ipoh Sha Hor Fun in Cantonese) is acclaimed as the best quality Sha Hor Fun in the country.

The famous authentic Guang Zhou (Canton, China) Sha Hor Fun made with mountain water originated from the town of Sha Hor. There is a story of Sha Hor Fun involving a mysterious old man being circulated locally 

At the end of the Qing (Ching) Dynasty, there was a food shop called “Yi He Ju” in the town of Sha Hor operated by a couple. They sold mainly porridge and rice. The proprietor Ah Heong was a kind and honest man who often helped starving poor people in the neighborhood by offering them a bowl of porridge or rice.

One day, an old man in rags came to the town. Being too exhausted to move as he came to the doorstep of “Yi He Ju”, he sat down to rest. Seeing the hungry old man perspiring profusely, Ah Heong asked his wife to bring a bowl of porridge for him. The old man hesitated and said he would not be able to pay for it. When the kind Ah Heong replied that the porridge was offered to him free, he gulped it down.

Since then, the old man sought shelter in a dilapidated temple nearby. Everyday he would come to Yi He Ju to get some food after it had closed for business. The old man was never an unwelcome visitor to the kind couple. After some time, friendship began to grow between them. The old man often gave the couple guidance on cooking tasty dishes which helped boast the business of Yi He Ju.

At noon one day, as usual, the old man appeared in the shop after it had closed for business. Failing to see Ah Heong in the shop, he was curious to find out the reason from the wife. He was then told that Ah Heong was sick after taking some food that caused internal heat the previous night and was lying on the bed in the room.

On hearing the old man’s voice, Ah Heong came out from the room. His wife asked him whether he needed some food. When he did not show any desire for food, the wife advised him to have some to which he finally agreed to eat some plain porridge.

The old man then suggested to him to have some steamed rice-noodles instead. The old man started his preparation by putting some milled rice liquid into a basket utensil which was later placed in a pan to steam. After a while, the cooked noodle ‘skin’ was taken out and skillfully cut into smaller pieces before other condiments like oil, salt and shallots were added. Two bowls of aromatic rice noodles were now in front of Ah Heong.

 After eating the delicious rice noodles, the sickly Ah Heong regained much of his energy. He then asked for the name of the noodles. “This is only my experimental work. I haven’t given it a name yet.” Ah Heong’s wife then suggested the name Sha Hor Fun (Sha Hor Rice Noodles) since it was made in Sha Hor Town. Others also agreed to the suggestion.

Ah Heong who was very grateful to the old man who displayed good skills in cooking wanted the old man to move out from the old temple and stay with him in the shop. He even proposed to the old man to adopt him as a ‘godson’ so as to give him more advice in cooking to which the old man happily consented.

On the following day, Ah Heong prepared some food to welcome his ‘godfather’. To his disappointment the old man did not show up even after the sun had set. He went to the temple to search for him but to no avail. Despite all the efforts to find the old man, he failed to trace his whereabouts and so the old man went missing ever since.

The superb quality of the water from the Mountain of White-Cloud made thin, chewy, smooth and palatable Sha Hor Fun. Since then, the shop Yi He Ju began to specialize in producing the Sha Hor Fun taught by the old man, making use of the natural water from the mountain.

Residents and merchants coming to the town frequented “Yi He Ju ” for its Sha Hor Fun and the business flourished. Other food shops in the neighborhood also followed suit resulting in Sha Hor Fun becoming a delicacy of the town Sha Hor.

The foregoing is the story of Sha Hor Fun in the town
of Sha Hor, China. The water available in Ipoh, Perak,
Malaysia is of similar quality. There is also a story
concerning the growth of “Ipoh Kueh Teow” that
might be of interest to you.

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All Rights Reserved.