Gosh! So many posts already and not a single one on food! Unbelievable, isn’t it? Well, actually, I was waiting to learn how to upload photos before doing that…but I haven’t had time to do that yet. So here’s a food post then…without photos that will make you drool!
Well, with all this hoo-haa these days about healthy living and healthy eating, perhaps you would like to try cooking “sayur rebus” or directly translated “boiled vegetables”. This is actually a traditional dish of the ethnic population in Sarawak, and my maternal grandmother being a Melanau, I inherited some ot the family recipes.
It is SO very easy to prepare. First, you boil some water (one Chinese soup bowl) in which you must put a handful of ikan bilis (10-20), or what we call ikan pusu here. Do remove the insides and wash first unless you do not mind those black things floating in your soup later. Put in some belacan (1-2 cubic cm) and a chilli (stalk and seeds removed). Simmer for a while to allow the flavour to come out of the ingredients.
After that, you can put in sweet potatoes (cut into small cubes) or young sweet corn and either cangkuk manis (I think in West Malaysia, u have the sayur/pucuk manis from Sabah. They’re smaller than the Sarawak variety but taste the same.) or pucuk paku. Note the suggested combination.
Bring to boil and your soup is ready! No salt, no msg, no oil! Isn’t that an absolutely healthy dish? There is no need to add salt because usually the ikan bilis and belacan are salty enough. But if you prefer it saltier, then you can add a little. The same goes with msg; the soup is sweet enough but you can add a pinch of it if you like.
For extra flavour, you can add a stalk or two of lemon grass (serai) but this is optional. And if you do not mind the high cholesterol level, you can replace the ikan bilis with freshwater prawns (udang galah). This will definitely enhance the taste!
Incidentally, I have also shared the recipe for cooking tapioca leaves with cincaluk in coral’s blog, so if you are interested, you can log on to quest-quench.blogspot.com and check out my comment.
For one thing, as with most traditional recipes, there are no measurements. They will just tell you “a little bit of this” and “a little bit of that”. Everything is according to taste, so it is sort of a trial and error kind of thing. For one thing, it is hassle-free…and in my opinion, delicious.
Do give it a try and let me know your verdict! Bon appetit!