I learned from the best…

My late aunt used to cook this very nice butter chicken and potato soup and the other day, Sunday, I decided to cook that to bring over to my parents’ place for our Chap Goh Meh family dinner, the 15th Night of the Chinese Lunar New Year that signifies the closing of the festive season.

Auntie Lucy's butter chicken and potato soup 1

Firstly, you boil two Bombay onions in water together with a handful of peppercorns. In the meantime, you melt a bit of butter in a pan and lightly fry your pieces of chicken in it…and then you transfer the chicken into the now simmering water. Peel some potatoes and cut into thin slices and add them in – boil until cooked…and add salt and msg according to taste. Garnish with Chinese celery (daun sup) before serving…

However, when I cooked it that day, I added a chicken stock cube to the water…and I also threw in a few of those red wolfberries. When it has cooked, I added some white fungus and hardboiled quail eggs…

Auntie Lucy's butter chicken and potato soup 2

I did not add salt or msg as when I tasted the soup, it was very sweet and savoury enough. Really nice! My daughter used to love it a lot whenever we dropped by for lunch or dinner at the ol’ kampong house and my aunt happened to cook it…

For our Chap Goh Meh dinner, I also made popiah (spring rolls) and kuih pai tee (top hats)…

Kuih pai tee

…and when I went to the market that morning, I saw one HUGE ikan buris. This is a river freshwater fish which is beginning to get quite rare and though it used to be dirt cheap when I was a child, it now costs a bomb – if you are lucky enough to come across one, that is. There are usually some small ones available at the Jungle Produce Market here and those are cheaper but they are not so nice. The simplest way to cook it is to deep fry and eat with soy sauce. That, in itself, is heavenly enough…and that was exactly what I did for our Chap Goh Meh dinner…

Ikan buris 1

The one I bought cost RM25 which really was a good buy as my parents enjoyed it tremendously and was full of praises. It was so fresh…and there was so much flesh…

Ikan buris 2

Imagine – the one-time humble ikan buris is now worth serving at the dinner table on such an auspicious occasion as a Chap Goh Meh dinner! Time certainly has changed a great deal, hasn’t it?

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

32 thoughts on “I learned from the best…”

  1. Good morning Sir… so I am early this morning to catch the early meal … fish maw soup.. yummy! OK, please remember this dish when I go.. hahahaha.. 2ndly, I like to compliment you on the fish.. u have it so nicely done… so neat… i cannot never fry it so so presentable.. mine will be skinless at times! LOL…

    Fish maw!!! Gosh! Looks like you need new spectacles! Hahahahahaha!!!! As for the fish, maybe you did not defrost it well or it was dripping wet…or the wok was not hot enough before you pour in the oil…or the oil was not hot enough before you put in the fish…or the fish was not cooked enough on one side before you turned it… Not difficult leh, frying fish? Perhaps you can try using a non-stick wok or pan then… LOL!!!

  2. don’t recall tasting ‘mar-ee’s’version of this soup before. All I can remember is my mum’s version for cny,she likes to cook jagung sup with the ‘pek mormee’,chinese parsley,mince meat,the birds eggs n also some chicken liver. But this version looks yummy too,may try one day,yr fish is very creatively prepared! the perfect lines on it, remind me of dominoes when u lined it up…. πŸ™‚

    I remember your mum’s soup. Used to love it too! I’ve always loved such clear soups. As for the buris, I don’t know why but I always saw my mum slicing the sides thinly unlike other fish e.g. pek/or-chio ( pomfret/bawal), so I just followed suit…

  3. wah you’re such a good cook! I’m impressed!!!

    No leh! Ah well….preparing the popiah/pai tee filling was work-intensive – you’ll see that in the next two posts…but the other two were easy to prepare, no hassle at all…simple dishes, just like me – a simple man! πŸ™‚

  4. Haha… the Buris. I only know how to eat it fried… very oily, must be rich in omega 3 or something. hehe.
    Cant remember that soup… am sure have eaten in Nangka before.

    It’s also nice – masak kunyit/assam…and with tapioca leaves. Will post on that very soon… I guess you only remember the sua-too-bak soup!!! Hahahahaha!!!! Haven’t had that for a long time – must go to Sg Merah to see one of these days!

  5. KNB: you don’t want to know where the fish gets its oil from…. the chinese name for the fish is not exactly that appetising.. HAHAHA and I doubt its Omega 3… but its definitely something.. HAHAHA

    As the world turns… What we don’t see/know won’t hurt us! We really do not know what the fish we eat actually eat – sea or river but for one thing, it’s natural – unlike some of the animal feed they use to rear livestock plus all the hormone and antibiotic injections and what not!

    P.S. Based on your deduction and looking at our shapes and sizes, I wonder where WE get our oil from! ROTFLMAO!!!

  6. SOUP I likey…. Top hats I likey more πŸ˜€

    Reading your post… or Pete’s.. makes me wonder why I married a guy who can’t even cook his own instant noodles πŸ˜›

    Hahahahaha!!! These days, not just the guys…but also the gals. Wait for my post on Friday!!! You have to see it with your own eyes to believe. LOL!!! πŸ˜€

    1. Your William can go kawan with my husband. the only time he cook his own instant noodles is when I was heavily pregnant and I cannot even move to cook for him. IMAGINNNEEE THATTTT!

      Well, as the saying goes, love is blind… Too late for regrets. Hahahahahaha!!!

  7. WOWWWW you make the pai tee cups from scratch?? Impressive! Mum has a pai tee cup mould that’s been sitting on the rack for ages begging to be used, but the women in the house have been adamantlyly ignoring the poor ole chap. One has no time….the other…thinks that it makes a great decor piece ! :p

    No, no!!! Sorry to disappoint you but I did not make the pai tee shells. A few of my aunts had the mould and each time they decided to make the shells, it was a real treat for the family – but I remember them making them to the most two or three rimes only. I guess it’s such a hassle, so they were not that keen on doing that. These days, we have a stall selling pai tee here – but I don’t like the filling – a choice between veg or salad (= raw veg plus mayo)… The consoling part is the lady sells the shells at RM10.00 a tub – at least almost 100 inside, so easy so no point making one’s own… πŸ™‚

  8. I definitely don’t remember this soup. I remembered the steamed minced meat with egg & soya sauce though. Yummy! Till today, i think it’s still KNB’s favourite. Haha! Am not a fan of buris, prefer keli cooked in wine.

    Yes, the minced meat! So sick of it…as the old lady will cook following her recipe for a family of 12 – and we will be struggling day in and day out trying to finish it for a week or more!!!! I like the way Ma-ko used to cook it in a small bowl with an egg on top – just enough for a few people. And hers tasted nicer too!!!

    As for the buris, I would not touch it when I was a kid…and now that it’s so expensive, I have grown to love it! All those wasted years!!! My brother has loved it since young – hmmm…..I bet he will drool plus-plus if he reads that we had it for Chap Goh Meh! LOL!!! πŸ˜€

    1. Ya Mako’s one is not easy to replicate…must go buy some minced pork. Which soya sauce again? hahahaha….

      Ah!!! The soy sauce!!! That must be why the old lady’s one isn’t as nice! We use mushroom soy!!! LOL!!!

    2. ya, i still cook the minced meat thing! Yum! can’t wait for popiah tomoro! saw lots of mangkuang in our local chinese shop n quite cheap at the moment,so tomoro wake up early check yr post then go marketing!hehe!!

      You’ve never made popiah? Can be quite a hassle though…lots of little little things to do. Making the filling and condiments in tomorrow’s post and making the popiah, the following day!

  9. as long its clear sup i every type like it…thats sup seem nice and yummy…hehe

    no matter what fish can be served in big occasion its just ppl mind that much go for xpensive fish then worth on the table…chap goh mei i just only had few small ikan kuning/kembung deep fried… πŸ˜‰

    Hahahaha!!! So kesian. Ya…we had fish…and the rule is you must not finish it all – leave some, so you’ll have a lot of “leftovers” (for your savings) in the year ahead. It was SO big I saved one third (the head part) and fried the rest…and even that, we could not finish the tail part and had to save it for the next day. Wah!!! Like that, sure will save a lot of money this Tiger year… LOL!!! πŸ˜€

  10. yES – late aunty lucy vv good cook-there is one special dish – sup sapi tulang she used to cook for special occassion-she used potatoes n big onion – u have the recipe?–maybe can ask Ah Hiok.

    Should be the same… This one, after she had passed away, Melissa asked Ah Hiok to cook (when she was working for us) as she remembered eating that and loving it in the ol’ kampong house…and I saw what Ah Hiok did – frying the chicken in the butter before use.

    1. this one my mum knows how to cook…very very yummy….will ask her to cook soon…slurp, slurp…….Oh ya, Lent hor? LOL!

      Weekend…ok mah!!! As long as it isn’t Friday…and some people fast and abstain on Wednesdays too! This is where Macy Gray enters singing……..I try… Hehehehehe!!!

    2. frying chicken in butter….very the french! LOL!

      Didn’t know ma-ko so advanced…long before AFC, she was already into that! LOL!!!

      1. I bet she knows about Julia Child…they may have recipes from MTAOFC, and adapted them!!

        Julia Child…was supposed to watch the movie with Mel b4 she left but we never got round to doing that!!! So many things to see to, just couldn’t find the time!

  11. The soup looks delish….ikan buris – haven’t heard of it before but I’m a fish person so your fish dish looks very appealing to me. Your pai tee looks good too – unlike the ones we had at the Nyonya joint at Tropicana which was quite a disappointment. Who knows, maybe one fine day all of us might actually make that trip to Sibu and then you’re gonna have your hands full just trying to feed all of us πŸ™‚

    P/S Have you seen my latest blog entry yet?

    Yup – those were a disgrace! Not much better than the ones we have at a stall in town here at a very much higher price. Hahahahaha!!! Come! Come! Don’t often get the chance to show off to people what I am capable of…and bask in the praises!!! Hahahahaha!!!

    P.S. Oh? It’s still alive? Hahahahaha!!! Will hop over and check!

  12. OMG! Going to supermarket later. Must search for beef bones to cook that soup! Yum!!

    Gosh! The power of the internet! Not so much into beef soup these days as not easy to get fresh beef. Aussie and NZ beef very expensive…and not so nice for soup – by the time they get here!

  13. i thought you make the pai tee cup yourself too, after read your reply to Joanne, then i know you buy those cups. πŸ™‚

    The soup look nice? Fried chicken with butter and put inside the soup, won’t that be a bit oily???

    The fish you fried is so so perfecto!! Yummy!!

    p/s: my mum coming today, will bring me KAMPUA!!! hahahahhahahha, can’t wait to go home.

    Nope…just a spoonful of butter (and I used olive oil margarine, no butter in the house) to fry the chicken pieces…and use tongs to lift and shake off the oil before dropping into the soup. No oil in the soup! I’m sure people usually use a lot more oil to fry the onions, garlic, ginger and what not when cooking their soup! But if I had butter, the soup would have a much nicer fragrance, I think… Will try it again soon. Can post step-by-step photos…

    P.S. Enjoy your kampua! Ya…next month’s April already.

  14. WA…..So delicious looking leh the Pai Tee! Next year I fly to Sibu and tumpang dinner at your place can ah?

    Come! Come! So when are you coming? Can show off my cooking… Hehehehehe!!! Hah!!! Next year? What’s taking you so long? Check the air fares – book zero fare!!! Really cheap to fly here.

  15. wow…food again. Everything looked so delicious to me.

    Ya…and for the next few posts, I’m afraid! Nothing much happening around lately – just eat, eat, eat…so one food post after another lor! A lot of people like – lots of comments! LOL!!!

  16. The fish looks very nice to me… lol…not much bones, right?

    Nope…only the big one down the middle like pomfret/ikan bawal. The flesh is smooth and fine, not like bawal…and very lemak! It’s in a league of its own!

  17. Interesting soup recipe! I like the way you fry the fish….crispy and nice…..taste good with chili padi in soya sauce!

    Traditionally, they take a bit of the oil and brown some chopped garlic in it…and add soy sauce to use a a dip. Chilli is optional…but my missus can’t do without that! Loves cili padi especially LOL!!!

  18. This is my first time seeing fish being skin the way it is? Or is it sliced? :p

    Technically, not sliced…and definitely not skinned. Cutting slits in the fish perhaps? Ya…there’s always the first time… LOL!!! πŸ™‚

  19. awww… I spent my chap goh meh attending lectures! 😦

    Aiyor…so kesian! And in later years to come, you’ll spend it…working! LOL!!!

  20. i was about to ask you to show us how you make the pie tee hats.. LOL ! lucky you,, can buy them ,so convenient. I love pie tees and here in BonTon, it cost a bomb, around RM5 for 2 !

    Gosh! I wish I were younger! I could just go into pai tee and po piah business and I would be rich in no time at all!!! 😦

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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