Ah Di Popiah delights customers with quick, healthy snacks

Peter Lai's popiah stall is called Ah Di Popiah, located at Gala Corner Food Court.

KUCHING, March 7: A local favorite, the savory Chinese crepe known as popiah, proves to be a satisfying snack for those seeking a lighter meal option, often prepared and served in a matter of minutes.

Despite a steady stream of customers at his stall, popiah seller Peter Lai effortlessly crafts generous portions of assorted savory cooked vegetables wrapped in a delectable crepe, a beloved local snack enjoyed at any time of the day.

Hailing from Kuching, the 34-year-old Lai, affectionately known as Ah Di among friends and family, has honed his craft over the last seven years at Gala Corner Food Court.

Peter Lai or Ah Di, has been selling popiah for seven years.

Lai learned the art of making popiah from one of his sisters-in-law, drawing inspiration from his fondness for the snack since childhood.

“I used to watch her and assist her at one of our stalls in a café at Fourth Mile here in Kuching. Our ingredients have remained the same. It’s a simple dish and snack to prepare,” he shared with DayakDaily.

Lai revealed that their crepe and assorted vegetable fillings have remained consistent in ingredients and recipes over the years.

“For the fillings, we keep it simple, using lettuce leaves, cooked grated local turnips (Sengkang), and grated carrots, all fried together. We sprinkle crushed peanuts before wrapping the crepe. The spread on the crepe is fermented sweet bean sauce,” he explained.

Lai believes that popiah has become a favorite among customers because it offers a balanced and healthy diet.

Lai’s popiah is known for his generous fillings and portions.

“Since I started my stall here at Gala Corner, I can’t really tell who eats my popiah unless they’re regulars. I recognise them, but I’ve never asked them what makes my crepe special,” he admitted.

Lai’s 32-year-old wife, who prefers to be called Liew, added that the dish is a popular choice for those seeking a meat-free snack.

“Our regular customers often choose our popiah when they visit the food court, as they prefer something without meat,” she shared.

Both Lai and Liew are content with their popiah business, viewing it as their livelihood for the time being.

“Although we haven’t started a family yet, we’ll continue with our stall. We can focus on it, and it has become our livelihood for now. Like all food operators, we’re concerned about rising ingredient costs, but for now, we’re keeping our popiah prices affordable,” Lai added.

Lai disclosed that their regular popiah is priced at RM4, while their seaweed popiah and extra fillings popiah with meat floss are priced at RM5 each.

Lai’s normal popiah is priced at RM4.

Lai’s stall, known as Ah Di Popiah, is located at Gala Corner Food Court and operates from 7 am to 2 pm daily. For more information, contact 016-891 4533. — DayakDaily