What she wants…

When my NZ friend came to Sibu last year, she bought a whole lot of this ikan sepat masin (salted sepat fish)…

Ikan sepat masin 1

– several kilos of it but unfortunately, it did not manage to get through the New Zealand customs so it all came to naught.

When I was growing up, we used to fish in the streams and drains beside our houses and we often managed to catch what we call ikan puyu…and also ikan sepat. However, the ikan sepat that we caught were of a different variety. They were flat, silvery and very attractive…with a red/orange tint at the tip of the bottom fin unlike the black and not so great looking ikan puyu. But I can recall that in those days, in my family, they would cook the ikan puyu in their own special way – what we call masak kuden and they would enjoy eating it a lot…but I would not touch the fish probably because I was put off by the looks. We did not eat the ikan sepat though – those would be kept in a fish bowl and reared until they died and then we would just get rid of them.

Now, this ikan sepat masin…or budu sepat as we would call it in Sarawak Malay, is of a different variety from the ones that we used to catch. If I’m not mistaken, they are actually sepat Siam and they’re black and not exactly pleasant to the eye…

Ikan sepat masin 2

However, the other day, out of the blue, my mother asked for it – the salted ones, that is, so I had to go to the market the very next morning to buy two (RM2.50) and fry them for her to eat…

Ikan sepat masin 3

I tried  a bit and I thought it tasted like…salted fish and did not feel that it was great or anything that I would want to eat again.

Somehow or other, it has its followers, it seems…and my NZ friend, for one, would be drooling away, wishing and hoping that she could lay her hands on some to cook her special masak lemak nenas ikan sepat masin… Slurpssss!!!!! LOL!!!

Author: suituapui

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

22 thoughts on “What she wants…”

  1. wah… special post just for shereen ya… muahahaha… you are the Master in this field…

    Not really leh. 😉 Coincidentally, my mum asked for the budu sepat out of the blue…

  2. Yeah had the same experience catching ikan sepat too but but got lots of bones. Oh Shereen sorry to hear your salted fish got ‘assaulted’ by customs and did’nt make it through to NZ

    She must have been so heartbroken. You should see her excitement when she saw those beautiful ikan sepat masin at the market here….

  3. Juz too bad the salted fish does not have a second chance to live through NZ, in Cantonese we say ‘hum yee fun sung’ ..lolz.

    Never mind! She’ll come to Sibu again pretty soon…and next time, perhaps she can hide it somewhere at the bottom, hard for them to dig out…and hopefully, she would not get a Filipino officer but a Kiwi one who would not know much about ikan sepat…

    1. No chance hiding lar…what the eyes can’t see, the x-ray machine can. I did manage to bring in some earlier but tak banyak…only about 1 kilo plus as difficult to get and no stock.I have 2 in my fridge now but so sayang to masak.

      Next time, divide between the three of you – 1kg each…and declare separately and go through customa separately. Small amount, probably they do not bother so much. How come they know sepat is not sea fish leh? So clever one…your NZ customs. LOL!!!

  4. haha, ok ok, the salted fish tastes like salted fish!! so that means it’s a compliment or it’s a criticism?? 😀

    Neither. Personally, I prefer a different type – what we call “long” salted fish. I find those very much nicer. If I’m not mistaken, over at your side, they put this type in claypot chicken rice…

  5. i love salted fish! too bad my mum kind of forbid salted fish.. maybe i will go and buy some and fry it anyway. lol. and endure the nagging later!

    High blood pressure…and some people are allergic – like my mum but she doesn’t care. Otherwise, no appetite to eat, she says… 😦

  6. Salted fish usually makes people have extra appetite and I specially like “long kiam hu”. Yum!!..Yum!!!…now makes me craving for it.

    Yes, I prefer the “long” ones a lot more… Slurpssss!!!!!

  7. Hey this ikan masin really brings back memories of the good old days in my kampung! It goes pretty great with nasi lemak but I would still prefer the ikan kuning since they are crispier. Drooling already as I write this, staring at the picture but no more nasi lemak for me nowadays … huhuhu!

    Ya…somehow with that tiny bit of salted fish, the nasi lemak will have extra oomph!!! Seems much nicer… 🙂

  8. these fishes complement some dishes really well. Sometimes I will take a small piece and have it with my economy rice.

    Oh no, it didnt manage to pass New Zealand customs? must be the smell, yes?

    Not really smelly – it seems that they do not allow freshwater fish in – sea water salted fish and stuff all ok. My mum will tell you – no salted fish, no appetite to eat… 😦

  9. If you are into salted fish, the best ones are from Yangon. I should know because my in-laws were in the fishery business in Mukah all their life and they said the Yangon’s were the best. If you ever go to Yangon, I can give you the name of the shop, the coordinates and of course the name also. Can even send you a photo of it if I know how.

    Ummmm…I don’t buy salted fish (this one’s for my mum – no choice)…and will only eat when people give me. Mustn’t take too much salty stuff and besides, they’re so expensive. Ummm…you give me, ok lah? I can stop by your shop to pick it up. Muahahahahahaha!!!!! 😀

    1. You are too late. They are all gone. But let me make you a deal. If you ever go to Yangon by Air Asia, I will pay for your luggage allowance on condition I use a small part of the allowance to carry the salted fish for me from Yangon. They are that good.

      Unfortunately, I will not be going anywhere…least of all, to Yangon.

      1. May be you should rethink. Yangon is not a popular place people think of going but I really enjoyed it. The food are great and they have Burmese, Thai and of course Chinese cuisine. The Bangkok temples are no match for the very impressive Shwedagon temple. The street are super safe but unfortunately, dirty.

        Can’t get away from my “responsibilities” here./..and anyway, I don’t have the money… Sobsss!!!! You need somebody to carry your bags or not? Wink! Wink! LOL!!! 😀

  10. Aiyor..rubbing salt into the wound!!..and you go and tell the whole world somemore..so shy..hahahaha. I am very sure that the Filipino Officer confiscated it to take home for his wife. However, I didn’t surrender the fish without a fight..hahahaha. I will try to bring in the fish into NZ again when I have a chance and will get Tok Bomoh to jampi-serapah to kaburkan those people’s mata..hehehehe.
    Ikan sepat is much favoured by the Nyonyas as we like to cook it in masak lemak nenas. The taste is so good and can be considered as one of the better salted fish. When goreng, the isi is a bit keras but when you cook it in gravy, the flesh is very halus. It is quite difficult to get this ikan sepat especially the ones that a bit montel in Melaka and of course very pricy too. This ikan sepat, when fresh, we would only eat if it’s been pancing at the padi fields or stream that is clear with spring water. This means we would never buy fresh sepat unless a family or relative go pancing themselves. We like to cook sambal tumis with it.

    LOL!!! So interesting your story must share lor… 😀 I’ve never eaten it before…and I asked my mum how she would like it, she said just fry. Growing up, I remember eating ikan masin kembong quite often, deep fried served with cut chilies on top and a squeeze of lime all over it. Very nice.

  11. Do you have any idea if ikan terubuk is a salt water fish or fresh water fish? I cooked the last one last week…masak asam rebus with kacang panjang…heaven I tell you!! Even the tiny tulang can’t stop the pleasure…hahahaha…so shiok!

    It’s sea water. Ikan terubok masin – just deep fry and eat like that…already so nice. Can squeeze lime if so preferred.

  12. Gosh..Shereen is so daring! Surely the customs won’t allow those to go thru.. maybe the salted smell gave the secret away? lol..

    No lah… To go into NZ, you will just have to declare all the foodstuff you’re bringing in – make a list for them! Then at the customs, let them see your loot…and if there is anything you cannot take in, they will just take it from you. That’s all. Very straightforward… Not trying to smuggle anything in lah! I know they will not allow meat, egg and plant products…but if factory-produced, with labels and all, e.g. curry paste, sambal laksa and the like, they will let them through.

  13. the fish looks fine. if it’s too salty, try it with vinegar 🙂

    Oh? That will help. Maybe that’s why people take salted fish with a squeeze of lime?

  14. My favourite!!! But have to control…once in a while i will eat. So nice to go with rice. AH! I better stop looking at the picture, make me very hungry.

    But the fish before fried, look very “geli” lei, after fried, it look so nice!

    Yalor! Maybe that’s why I never bothered to buy and try… So ugly, so unappetising… LOL!!! 😀

  15. talk about salted fish with vinegar, i remember when i am young, my grandma use to cook salted fish in vinegar? Then we can only eat bit by bit, very salty and sour, but very very nice!! I don’t know what fish she use, i only know how to eat. kekekekke

    Hardly ever had vinegar in our cooking when small – only black vinegar with sharks’ fins soup when going for Chinese dinners. Now, I like black vinegar pork leg also… Yummmmm!!!!!

  16. yummy mummy. I love salted fish. It goes with rice, porridge, noodles – everything!

    I prefer the other type – the rotten, smelly one.. Slurpssss!!! LOL!!! 😀

  17. I am a saltish person, I like anything saltish!

    Me too. Despite my shape and size, I’m more into savoury stuff…or things that are not too sweet. Don’t like anything that’s too sweet. 😉

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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