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X marks the spot

Thursday 23 February 2012, 03:18PM

Chinese dough, or patongkoh.

Chinese dough, or patongkoh.

Chinese dough, or patongkoh in Thai, is a very popular local snack for breakfast or dinner alike, with many local vendors around the island found selling this delicious treat.

Patongkoh is made from wheat flour, sugar, salt, water and yeast, which
is then moulded into an ‘X’ shape before being cooked in hot oil.

One vendor is Wanchai “Ko Chai” Wuttisom. His popular stall has been
open for almost 10 years. However, Ko Chai says that patongkoh is not actually the real name of Chinese dough.

“Thai people called this Chinese dough patongkoh but it is actually not. The dish is in fact called iw chia koy or iw cha koy by Chinese people.”

He says patongkoh is instead the name of a Chinese sweet candy, which is not popular but is normally sold with Chinese dough.

CMI - Thailand

The confusion occurs because vendors normally sell both types of snacks.

“Th ‘X’ shape signifies a couple. In China, there is a story about a soldier who was revered by the local people. However, this soldier was the victim of rumours by another, evil, soldier, who spread bad words about this good man.

Because of his slander, the good soldier ended up being killed in jail, which made the people very angry and upset with the evil soldier and his wife, who started the trouble.

“So they began making patongkoh in an ‘X’ shape, because they believed
that when the patongkoh was cooked in the hot oil, it was punishing the
bad Chinese couple.

Ko Chai’s patongkoh stall is on Patipat Rd, Phuket Town, and open daily from 6pm to 3am. The price is B3 each, or B6 including a dipping sauce of either egg custard or sweetened condensed milk.

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