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!!!

Author: suituapui

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

31 thoughts on “C’mon, try a little bit…”

  1. Hey this looks like something we usually have with our ikan bakar. I like the combination of the chilli and lime… must be appetizing!

    It’s not the same…but equally great with fish. I used it as a dip for my deep-fried fish that day and it was ooooo….simply out of this world!

    1. Yalo yalo! Look like the dip for ikan bakar!

      And oh the buah dabai! I remember eating them with some salt sprinkled on!

      Usually we sprinkle soy sauce and add sugarto the dabai…but great with the budu aur sauce as well. Ya, looks the same but not the same – I like the sambal for ikan bakar too.

  2. aiseh man! i really love budu aur…makan with nasi panas…fuhhhh sedap. i always buy them from the stall at kampung nangka….can finish them all hehehehe (hopefully my doctor doesnt read this, blood pressure sure naik hahaha) . call me when u make them again STP…i come over huahahahahahaha cheers!

    What??? So young, high bp!!! Oh dear! Oh dear! Have to control your diet…and exercise lor!!! Don’t think you just take the medication, you’re fine. Hmmmm…I bought one big tub, just needed a bit to make this dip…and can eat for days and days, not habis. Would have given you some….top quality budu’ aur, very very nice…but you have high bp. Sorry lah hor!!!! Muahahahahaha!!!! 😀

  3. These kids… Ikan bakar dip is air asam lah. Try this dip with durian and hot piping white rice! Looks like budu is much more famous than it is… Had discovered that in palembang, bangka, belitung and they named it ‘rusip’. Also had a chance to taste that in a small fishing village off tasmania, australia… Very surprising… Guess tat’s how they preserved the fish besides the usual ikan kering. Ok, gimme another plate of rice pls, or make that two!

    Durian eh? We eat with our buah dabai. Yes, we have lusip here too, sold in bottles…can buy that here – you open, it will go “pop” due to the fermentation gas…and instantly, those giant toilet flies will appear out of nowhere. Also very nice with rice. Yum! Yum! Coming…coming…more rice coming up!!!! LOL!!! And next time I go KL, I bring lusip for you – hope the bottle does not meletup in the plane! I can imagine the smell… 😉

  4. Oh Arthur, this must be pretty appetizing! Thank goodness my mom is here, she is cooking for lunch and dinner!! Yippeee!

    Oh? Your mum’s there with you. Ya…when overseas, we miss our home-cooked food – last time in NZ, we cooked curry and ate with rice – enough already to make it feel like heaven, so nice in the cool weather – not that we could not get curry at the Malaysian and other restaurants outside! But this budu’ aur… I don’t know lah. I’m not sure whether it will be something that you will like. Very kampung, very ethnic kind of cuisine – I am quite sure Annie-Q will not like it either… 😉

  5. O.M.G!!!!! I HATE YOU, ARTHUR WEE!!!!!! Now, that would really make me plan to visit you again… soon!!!! HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE YOU!

    I knew it! I knew it!!! EXACTLY what I was hoping for… Muahahahahahaha!!!! 😀

      1. small kucing….veli pandai hoh…..nvm….dah kena order…takut meletup aje

        Ahhhhh….Shereen will be very happy to hear that! 🙂

  6. I don’t need much convincing when it comes to budu aur. Similar to our Terengganu budu from the sound of it. Yah, we take it like you do with chillies, shallots and lots of lime. It is really great with fried fish. During durian season, we add the durian flesh to the budu too and it is simply heavenly!

    You’re from Trengganu too? smallkucing’s papa also from there – that’s why he knows all these things so well. Oooo…so nice. Almost habis liao, must make some more today. 🙂

  7. Wuah…serve with blanched four angle beans and fried chicken. Yum!

    Oooo…great with ulam! Good with fried chicken too? Hmmm…must try that! Yum! Yum!

  8. oooh, have not tried this budu’ that is salted fish that is made by soaking in salt water.. i’ve only tasted salted fish buried deep in salt, haha.. and and and, I don’t really like promfet, they have very strong fishy smell~~

    That kind of salted fish we call “long kiam hu” – not just buried. The moment the fish is cut, they gut it, stuff salt inside…and then bury! Ooooo…I love that too! You don’t like pomfret? You memang ada kelas punya orang mah – eat salmon, nothing less…

  9. This is very new to me too. Do the dip have a strong fishy smell? My dad used to make dips for deep fried fish as well. He is using calamansi limes mixed with some cili padi.

    Fishy smell? Ummm…like belacan, cincaluk or salted fish kind of smell lah! You’re from Ipoh? Hmmm…maybe you will not appreciate – true-blue Chinese tastebuds…but at least, your father eats cili padi! Not very usual…

    1. Haha, yea we got true-blue chinese taste buds. I do appreciate salted fish too. My mum used to steam salted fish with pork last time. Oh, my dad loves spicy food.

      Salted fish with pork? Hmmm…we have steamed tofu with salted fish – nice Chinese recipe with ginger and I would add sliced chili and spring onions as well.

  10. Nice brightly red hot chili pixz. Pretty sure your chili is red huh. Was in Klang one day on company trip and the poor CVD Bananaz was ‘announcing’ to the whole gang seated at the long table before food was served “who wants red chili?”. Then all eyes zoomed onto Bananaz and asked the same “where got red chili? Oops oh oh ‘roses are red, violets are blue..’ this time around the color code was not being very helpful becoz on the table its only GREEN chili.

    Sometimes they serve green chili – pickled green chili. You see that a lot in Kuching, not so common here in Sibu…but when requesting for freshly-cut red chili, we ask for “chay hiam chio” = green chili leh? I guess the “chay” there means raw/uncooked…and not green.

  11. Oh, it looks appetizing to go with a hot piping white rice. Wow, look at all the chilli seeds floating. With the lemon grass, thinly-sliced shallot & calamansi limes juice all in, I can briefly feel the taste of it. Yummy!!!…

    The chilies not hot these days, people say don’t throw away the seeds, will be hotter…also the same. I can remove the seeds using my hands, no problem – no burning sensation later. Even cili padi these days, no kick one… They say it is because the growers use too much fertilisers.

  12. OMG! Budu dipping is so addictive and appetizing lor…
    I can go with just plain white rice! 😀

    Yes, it goes so very well with rice… Had to resist the temptation of going for a second helping. Old man, mustn’t eat so much. 😉

  13. oooo that is something that I think I could not take..
    but maybe i will give it a try and change my mind on it..
    just like the cherry huh? then somemore can tie a knot .. kakakakaka

    No? Well, if you can eat cincaluk, this will not be a problem. Otherwise, probably, this isn’t for the likes of you. Btw, have you seen TM’s comment up there? Complaining everywhere about your photos… LOL!!! 😀

  14. Very nice! I’ve actually never eaten the fish from a salted fish cooked like that. It’s usually just tiny nibbles from a salted fish as a condiment to rice.

    I would LOVE to try your cooking, especially this one, it really caught my interest! 🙂

    Hmm…now I have a craving for dabai, can’t find it here also.

    You ate balut so I’m pretty sure you will not have a problem with this! Dabai is in season – just coming out. Are you coming home anytime soon? Just let me know – I’ve a lot of the budu’ still – will save them for you. 😉

    1. Thanks! I’ll love to eat them when I come back to Sibu! 🙂

      I’m not sure of the date yet, it’s probably going to be election time or when my mom is back in Sibu. See you then! 😀

      I’m certainly looking forward to that. Hope it will be soon… 😉

  15. wow, i’ve never heard of any of the terms mentioned above (aur, budu etc). It took me a moment to figure out what was the thing laying on the bowl LOL. Anyway, the sauce feels great, i’d love to add in some fish sauce as well, to make it a bit “thai” style, can imagine that sauce will be so appetizing and works well with fish/rice 😉

    It’s already fish sauce, why add some more? Let’s say it is actually unrefined fish sauce/gravy… You have bottled air budu for sale over at your side from Trengganu or Kelantan – more or less the same thing.

  16. Try little bit… …pass one small bowl over here leyy….I’ve not seen this dish but it look delicious. The dip look so tempting, yum yum…

    It is…very, very nice!!! You have air budu sold in bottles – can try those! May even be nicer to you as the smell not as strong.

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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