She likes it…

Yesterday morning, I stopped by the Bandong Malay kuih (cake) stall and I saw that they were selling freshly-plucked paku (wild fern) at RM2.50 a bag. There was a lot in the bag so I thought it was very cheap and bought one. At the native jungle produce market in the town, they will sell you these tied in bundles at RM2.00 each and when you untie it, you will find some old, withered ones inside and much of it would have to be thrown away…and at some Chinese stalls, they will sell it to you by the kilo.

I took it to my parents’ house as I had my usual morning duty of babysitting my bedridden mum…and I decided to cook it for lunch…

STP's fried paku with belacan & salted fish 1

For one thing, to prepare the ferns, you need to slit the stalk into two so that it will be easier to chew. This can be quite a chore so that is why usually, I would prefer to cook midin instead. I could not find the lesung batu (mortar and pestle) so I just sliced the shallot and chopped the clove of garlic. There was a bit of chili and I sliced a bit of that too…and I did manage to locate some belacan but I used only a little bit as actually, it would make my mum itch but she loves it…a lot – anything with belacan or cincaluk or budu (salted fish) would help whet her appetite and she would enjoy the meal a whole lot more. I also spotted some salted fish, already fried, in a bottle so I thought it would be nice to add a bit of that too.

Heating up the wok, I added a little bit of oil in it and once it was hot, I threw in the shallots and the garlic and once they had turned brown, I added the belacan and made sure it dissolved completely in the oil before adding the salted fish and then the chili. Finally, I put in the paku and stirred it, mixing it thoroughly with all the ingredients. There wasn’t any need to add any salt as the belacan plus the salted fish would make it salty enough. I could not find any msg in the house but I saw a bottle of chicken stock granules in the pantry so I just threw in a pinch of that, adding a little bit of water and let it simmer to cook the ferns.

Once it was ready, I dished it all out onto a plate…

STP's fried paku with belacan & salted fish 2

Hmmm…it was really nice! But frankly speaking, I would prefer to do any cooking in my own house where I would know exactly where everything is kept and what ingredients are available…

Author: suituapui

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

22 thoughts on “She likes it…”

  1. Well it similar to kankung belacan over here….
    I tried d fern when I m in Cameron highland…
    I guess it is d same….

    Exactly what I said on Facebook – over your side, I have only seen kangkong being cooked this way. Not really a fan of kangkong – I think this is nicer…or even sweet potato leaves.

  2. oh my, its look so delicious. maybe i should try cooking it.. but how a? belacan is forbidden in my house!! hehehehe… maybe should curi2 cook and see my mum will fall in love with belacan or not. LOL!

    Cook two – one with a little bit of belacan added and one without…and you eat the one with belacan yourself.

  3. You are making me drool. I wonder if this can be made into kerabu or not. Celur it, add sliced onion, Cili padi, gula, lime juice and fried bilis/hay bee

    That’s the only way I’ve seen people at your side eating it – as a kerabu. It was often available at hotel buffets when I went on my working trips, alongside the ulam counter….

  4. Midin! I am craving for it right now. I have heard from two people working in politics that elections will be in June so…I’ll be back then to savor this! πŸ˜€

    This isn’t midin, Huai Bin, but the distant cousin, the paku… Not as popular – I think the only restaurant selling would be Fisherman, a few doors away from Cafe2…or you may get it at the Malay food stalls. The Chinese-cooked ones available at times at the economical fast food stalls are not nice – no belacan or dried prawns, and often blackish in colour. Ya…if that is the case, I will be seeing you again soon. Looking forward to that. πŸ˜‰

  5. Oh your dish looked yummilicious. We rarely buy ferns as the wet market we go to has only a couple of malay vendors. The last dish I had was cooked with tempoyak. I actually liked the taste.

    That’s one difference between here and there – here, we have the native produce market – a big section beside the market proper, wet and dry so it is easy to get hold of all these things. The bloggers who came over loved the market here and so did Shereen from NZ. Hmmmm…with tempoyak eh? Maybe I’ll give it a try one of these days… πŸ˜‰

  6. Arthur, you just make cooking this dish sounds so simple! Like throwing in anything you can find…haha. Wonderful to see you cook for a change. It looks really delicious. With all the things that you added in, I know it will be very delicious even without the pictures. Love it! My favourite too! πŸ˜€ If only I can get this vegetable here!

    It IS!!! Very very easy! If it had been difficult, I would not have bothered to cook it… I always cook like that one – never follow any fixed routine or recipe. If paku, my missus would definitely cook it with sambal hay bee (dried prawns) – as for me, anything goes…as long as it does not spell WORK. LOL!!! πŸ˜€ The only difficult part would be cutting the stalks into two – time-consuming and boring.😦

  7. that is indeed very delicious, can go with two big bowls of rice with it, haha~~

    Oh dear! At this rate, very soon you will have to take over my place. LOL!!! πŸ˜€

  8. looks like kangkung belacan but i think this paku-pakis is nicer due to its texture..

    Definitely. Anytime nicer than kangkong…

  9. wahhhh….loving it. For a moment, I thought it was cooked by the chef at Ming Mei shi Restaurant..ahahhah

    Aiyor…shy lah! They so professional one, I just cincai fry… πŸ˜‰

  10. Love the way you cook the wild fern. Anything with belacan or cincaluk would definitely taste nice. If plain cooking and add a bit of red wine, also taste good. Looks super yummy delicious

    Plain and red wine, best with midin. Annie Q would love that. Paku has a smell, best with something stronger to drown it out…and I usually soak and rinse it for a few times to remove the “gum” – I suspect the smell comes from there.

  11. A good chef, as usual!!
    I can’t really differentiate the veges though hahaha not fit to be a housewife yet :p

    Good grief! You will need to hire a maid…

  12. Yes, over here we can see paku, but not midin. I think a lot people here mistaken paku and midin are the same. Most malay rice stall, they got this paku dish, i still like my midin more.

    Ah, yes your way of cooking it with belacan, just like the people here cook kankong with belacan, now Cruz also a fans of kangkong belacan!!! tsk tsk tsk tsk

    Hahahahaha!!! He’s got good taste! Then we can order midin with lots of belacan for him when he comes to Sibu! LOL!!! πŸ˜€ Yup…I do agree with you that midin is nicer…but if you cook sayur rebus (kampung-style soup) or masak lemak (with santan), you will need paku. Midin is not usually cooked that way.

  13. That looks absolutely delicious!!! The colour, the balance of the ingredients are just so perfect. My late mom used to cook pucuk paku this way too. How can one go wrong with belacan and ikan masin,eh?

    True! True! I went this morning and asked my mum and she said that they finished ALL of it. She asked if it was midin because it was so thin/fine. I told her that I split the stems into two if they were small and four if they were bigger to make sure that they would be able to chew… Most of the time, they would complain that they could not chew the vegetables so they were not able to eat… 😦

  14. Looks delicious and very easy to prepare. I think I can prepare this also. ^_^

    Sure you can. Everything that I cook is easy one… I’m basically very lazy – always take the easy way out. Hehehehehehe!!!! πŸ˜‰

  15. Looking at the pix…I feel so hungry now.
    Btw…very cheap la this vege…rm2.50 per bag.

    Cheap, very cheap…as a lot in the bag and I only took the softer upper part. If I used all that I could use, should be able to fry two plates like this.

  16. cooking at the parents house eh.. for me, doesnt matter where I cook at, I will never know where the ingredients are kept.. probably because I rarely cook. hehe

    You spoilt brat! Better learn… So poor Janice has to cook for you all the time, wait on you hand and foot? Bad, Bad boy! Imagine if you had married Charmaine, you two would have to eat out all the time…spend a fortune, eat unhealthy food…or starve!!! Hehehehehehe!!!! πŸ˜‰

  17. Everything looks so lovely; I’m still fascinated by the jungle fern. It’s so green, like the dark leafy greens I grow in our garden.

    Oh by the way, I’ve given you the Versatile Blogger award.

    Oooooo…thanks so much. Much flattered. Hmmm…who knows those leafy greens in your garden may be edible? My mum’s helper from Indonesia was amazed – said that they have all the things in their own country but they do not know they can be eaten.

    1. You deserve the award; you do an excellent job of providing your readers with great and entertaining posts.

      Yes, the ones grown in our garden can be eaten; collards and kale.
      Here in the USA; there are several wild weeds that are edible, like the dandelion. Dandelions have a slightly bitter taste, but so tasty when mixed with other ingredients that tone down the bitter taste.
      I have a book that lists all the wild plants that could be eaten in this area (complete with pictures) although I remember some, there are many I’ve forgotten, so I need to find for that book.

      Whoops, in my first comment, I put my gmail email in the place I should have added my name; Opal @ Celebrate Life, in my above comment. Could you you change that… not sure what I was thinking about to do that, lol.

      Ok, done! Sometime we do things like that absentmindedly – happens to the best of us! πŸ˜‰

      Here, the trend is going herbal. There are books on all the plants that have health benefits and those that can be an alternative treatment for some ailments. I’m taking some, not to treat anything but for general well-being. The general belief is that the best would be the bitter ones – those that can be used to treat some sickness.

      Thanks again for the award.

  18. Paku cooked with belacan is yummy. I seem to have this idea that a plate of paku in KL restaurants is quite expensive, but I could be wrong and confusing myself with sweetpea shoots or something?? Hey, Arthur, did you know that kangkong is known as morning glory in Thailand? When in ChiangMai last week, we looked at a menu which had pics and one was described as morning glory which looked exactly like kangkong and the other looked similar but had a name “water (can’t remember what)”. Onn kept saying kangkong would be the one with the word “water”, but I disobeyed and ordered morning glory. There you go!

    If you can find paku at a KL restaurant, that would be a miracle! Kangkong maybe…and sweet potato leaves. They love that! Not so popular here – can’t find in restaurants, have to cook ourselves.

  19. Wah! A dish from the Iron Chef Arthur! Next time cook for me.

    No lah…this one simple only. Cooked at my parents’ house…most things did not have or did not know where they kept, so simply cook only lor….

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