Let me try…

I saw it on a banner in the vicinity of some food stalls at Bandong here and I had seen it on the menu at this place in Kuching as well but I had never tried it before, much less cooked it myself.

Initially, I tried it with some fresh dabai (local wild black olives) and even though it was nice and I could feel the richness of the fruit, it did not really stand out as something so nice that everyone would not be able to wait to have a go at it too. Then, I guessed that they probably used the salted or preserved fruit and not the fresh ones so I decided to make some myself…


It seems that some people do it in some other way and they end up with some seedless preserved dabai paste but what we usually do in my family would be to soak the fruit in salt water and after a few days, it would turn soft and red like this…


Having got what I wanted, I got the usual ingredients ready…

Ingredients 1

– some sliced shallots and garlic and finely chopped spring onion…as well as the preserved/salted dabai, seeds removed, some pounded chili that I had in the fridge and some leftover salted fish…

Ingredients 2

To start off, I fried the shallots and garlic in some oil till golden brown and then, I added the salted fish…

Fry 1

…after which, I threw in the bits of salted/preserved dabai

Fry 2

…followed by the rice, and after mixing everything together well…

Fry 3

…I added an egg and the spring onion and once I felt that it had been fried enough, I dished it all out…


…and served. There wasn’t any need to add more salt as I had the salted fish already and of late, I had steadfastly refrained from adding any msg in my cooking.

It tasted great…


…though I did not feel it was a lot different from my initial attempt when I used the fruit, fresh…and other than that, I thought the salted fish kind of overpowered the taste of the fruit. Maybe the next time I cook this again, I would just use the much milder ikan bilis (dried anchovies) instead.

Fingers crossed, I would get it just right next time…

Author: suituapui

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

21 thoughts on “Let me try…”

  1. Looks good! I guess salted fish can be too overpowering for most dishes and yea, no MSG for home-cooked food is good πŸ˜€

    Maybe I had too much salted fish – did not want to use a bit and stuff the rest back in the fridge. Nice fragrance, yummy…just that its taste and smell dominates all the rest.

  2. Darn that is one good looking plate of fried rice! No MSG for us at home. Play with spices, herbs and natural ingredients.

    Somehow all the flavours seem to stand out and one gets to appreciate them a lot more. But when I eat out, I would be extra sensitive to msg – didn’t use to be so bad before unless they really use a lot….and things served outside, minus all the nice flavours, don’t seem so nice anymore. 😦

  3. Honestly I never tried fried rice with dabai before. But your fried rice looks more like the Malay kampung fried rice. Just rice with ikan bilis and eggs. I like that!

    I started to acquire the taste of fresh dabai so dont ask me to eat preserved dabai. Hehehe.

    Yup, that’s the basic – the kampung fried rice…but this time round, with dabai added. Gives it that special richness (lemak) of the fruit and a bit of the taste. Nice! I never liked preserved dabai…my parents were the only ones eating when I was growing up. I don’t really care for it even now…but with fried rice, I enjoyed it. KIV for my Chinese New Year open house… πŸ˜‰

  4. I like the fried rice with salted fish & all but not with the dabai. Actually my 1st time heard of people fried rice with dabai. I thought it was supposed to be eaten on its own.

    You never know until you try. If you have tried and you don’t like, that’s your prerogative…like me and Korean kim chi. I tried, and I do not like…though many love it a lot, thank you very much. Period.

  5. Sibu Food Mayor Secret Recipe Fried Rice!! Don’t play play!!
    I am still wondering how dabai taste like… hmmm… guess no go Sibu, no get to taste??? πŸ™‚

    Exactly! So come, come… I’ve stored some in the freezer. Can have them anytime of year.

  6. looks very appetizing! you could compile these recipes into a nifty little cookbook actually! πŸ˜€

    Simple recipes, anyone can whip up ones…nobody would want a book of those, no need. 😦

  7. Suituapui πŸ™‚ My family and I are going to Sibu next week, where is your top recommendation on where to go? We’re definitely going to find some Dabai to enjoy, too πŸ™‚

    Oh dear! Hopefully, there’ll be some left. Not much at the market already…durians also getting fewer. You may want to try the pakon – the golden wild durian – seems to be making its appearance, quite a lot yesterday. PM me your contact on Facebook – I can take you all around if I’ve not gone off to my girl’s jungle school when you all are here. Don’t miss Payung! Check out my posts last week or so when Melissa’s friend was in town to see where I took her to.

  8. Wah, your fried rice sure looks good! I reckon it is better that you make your own dabai concoction rather than use the bottled one.

    I don’t like those bottled preserved olives, not a taste I have acquired. 😦

  9. I do like black olives n kalamata olives better than the green ones it’s hard to find fresh here they are usually canned or bottled and therefore salty

    I tried the bottled ones – the green ones. A friend gave a bottle to me once but I had to admit that I did not like them.

  10. It looks delicious! I bet it’ll be a hit over here, but it’s hard to get dabai in commercial quantities and then it’ll be a seasonal thing.

    Your plate of fried rice is awesome! I didn’t know you can soak them in water and turn it red like that, my family eats it the way my sister likes it, since she’s the primary consumer – blanched and tossed with salt and sugar.

    P/S – Hmm…weird, I can’t seem to comment using Facebook but WordPress is okay.

    No idea. I’ve seen some with Facebook links, Claire, for instance, but Facebook can go haywire sometimes. Had problems with it last week or the week before but it’s ok now.

    That’s eating dabai fresh – these are the preserved ones. I never liked them this way, I must say…and even with fried rice, I think I still prefer using the fresh ones for that special richness of the fruit without the preserved taste. But the fresh ones do not keep very long.

  11. Haven’t tried fried rice with dabai before..but looks delicious!

    This was good. Still working on it to get it to be nicer though.

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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