IPOH: Koi fish is a significant symbol in Chinese culture, representing wealth and prosperity.
For chocolate maker Nor Asyikin Abdul Malek, her signature koi fish-shaped chocolates perfectly complement Chinese New Year.
Thanks to the power of the Internet, the 35-year-old former landscape architect turned her passion for baking into an important source of income for her family.
The mother of four children, aged two to 11, had quit her corporate job in 2012 to spend more time with her children.
Things started falling into place for Nor Asyikin post-employment after she learnt how to make chocolates in a baking class.
She said she enjoyed baking as it enabled her to express her creativity.
“After mastering the basic baking methods, I experimented with different ways to shape my chocolates,” she said.
Today, Nor Asyikin’s homemade chocolates are highly sought after by customers online, especially the koi fish-shaped chocolates.
“It all started in 2013 when the Ipoh City Council accepted my business proposal and commissioned me to make chocolates as door gifts for Chinese New Year.
“I started studying the cultural aspects of the Chinese community and decided that the koi fish was the best symbol to use,” she said.
Nor Asyikin added that the koi fish-shaped chocolates were also special because she had only seen fish-shaped kuih bahulu or jelly before this.
“The chocolates also come with various fillings such as almonds, raisins, durian ganache and an Oreo base, which is the most popular filling so far.
“I have also come up with gold ingot designs for the festive season as it is also a popular symbol among the Chinese,” she said.
Nor Asyikin also thanked her husband Arief Redzuan Ahmad, 39, a senior marketing executive, for supporting her wholeheartedly in her endeavour.
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