Precious and few…

Kapit is a town in the upper reaches of the Rejang River, accessible by express boat from Sibu. One thing that it is famous for is its freshwater fish. If I am not mistaken, there are three main types that are most exclusive – the empurau which can go up to over RM200 a kilo, the semah slightly cheaper at around RM120-150 a kilo and the tangadak which falls below RM100 a kilo.

These are not easily available as they are often booked by the restaurants in the main towns and I hear that they even export them to countries like Singapore. But I was fortunate the other day as Yan went on a business trip to Kapit and came home with some fish and the kind and generous lady gave me some slices of tapah – another freshwater fish that is not cheap either though it does not belong to the same class as the other three (If you’re wondering what it looks like, you can click this link to have a look at it in one of the photos) and one semah

Kapit fish - semah 1

This one is not very big but there are really huge ones! People were saying that if they could just catch one big one, they could relax for the rest of the month after selling it! That comes as no surprise considering the exorbitant market price for the fish.

Kapit fish - semah 2

There is just one way to cook the fish which is to have it steamed…

Steamed ikan semah 1

There is no need to add a lot of ingredients – maybe just a couple of slices of ginger and some garlic. I added a few chillies, a dash of oyster sauce and garnished it with some Chinese celery. The minimal amount of added ingredients is to ensure that one can savour the original sweetness and freshness of the fish.

Steamed ikan semah 2

I think I steamed it for too long or to be exact, I kept it in the wok for too long while waiting for my missus to come home from work…but still she said that it was really very nice – absolutely delicious! It most certainly was!!!

That, for sure, is more than what I can say about these lobsters that I got from my brother-in-law…

Lobster 1

These are very rare here and difficult to come by. My brother-in-law buys them from Bintulu; I have never asked him how much they are but I bet they cost a bomb! For one thing, the shell is extremely hard, so before cooking, I had to use the kitchen scissors to cut the lobsters into halves.

I used my creamy and cheesy recipe that I created when I cooked some New Zealand mussels last year…

Lobster 2

…but to say that I did not think they were great would be an understatement. Frankly, I would much sooner go for our very own udang galah (freshwater prawns) anytime and they are very very much cheaper, I’m sure…