C’mon, try a little bit…

When I was growing up, the only time I would eat this was as a dip for the buah dabai, our own local black olives, which means that we only took the sauce, nothing else. I’m not too sure what happened to the fish then but if I’m not mistaken, I can vaguely recall my mother eating it with her rice, skilfully extracting all the bones and eating just the flesh.

I am talking here about the buduaur

Budu aur

Budu‘ is what we call salted fish, pronounced in the Sarawak Malay dialect with a faint “k” sound at the end and this is made using a particular type of fish – the ikan aur, fermented by soaking it in salt water. Aur in Malay refers to a kind of bamboo found by the river banks (tebing), so you can easily guess the meaning of the expression, “Bagai tebing dan aur“.

Then when the special Kelantanese favourite, the nasi kerabu, made the scene here, I started eating that with air budu and enjoyed it so much that I kept going back for more and I would even ask the people at the shop of extra air budu. I think I read somewhere, however, that they use ikan bilis (anchovies) to make the budu over in the peninsula but I guess they would all smell and taste more or less the same.

Well, it so happened that I bought a tub of very good quality budu‘ aur sometime ago at a stall in the kampung (village) and since I do not eat it like that, I was wondering what I could do with it. In the end, I decided to use it to make my own version of the buduaur dip. I took some of the sauce and tore the flesh from a few of the fish, throwing away the heads and the bones and put it all in a bowl. Then I added a bit of belacan (dried prawn paste)…


…and stirred it well to dissolve it in the sauce.

Next, I added some thinly-sliced serai (lemon grass)…


…and chili…


The next thing to go in was the thinly-sliced shallots…


…and finally I squeezed a few calamansi limes…


…into the bowl, taking care to see that the seeds did not fall in together with the juice.

I mixed everything together thoroughly and that was it – my own version of the buduaur dip!

STP's budu' aur dip

That was easy, wasn’t it?

We had it with deep-fried bawal hitam (black pomfret) and we also mixed it with our rice as we ate and boy!!! It was sooooooo nice! I thought it tasted a bit like cincaluk (fermented shrimps) and like cincaluk, it was salty and would be best as a dip or to eat with rice only – not on its own. My missus loved it a lot too and took a fair amount of what I made when we had our dinner that evening.

So, would I make that again sometime soon? I would say without any reservations whatsoever, most definitely! C’mon, try a little bit! Yum! Yum!!!