Can’t win ’em all…

I’ve tried the chicken kapitan and it was really good and the rendang was good too even though it did not turn out quite like rendang as I know it but then again, it could be because I did not really cook it right or I did not simmer it till the gravy had dried up. I can’t remember exactly what else I have tried or what my missus had taken to cook but so far, it all had been good. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about this one…

Pajeri nenas

To cook it, I had to go and buy some pineapples and that was why I was in the vicinity of this coffee shop that day. There is a stall selling fruits at a corner beside the big furniture shop in that area, durians when they are in season and presently, they are selling pineapples. I was shocked when they told me the price of ONE Sarikei pineapple, not all that big. It was 50 cents to a dollar in my younger days, colonial currency…and maybe, RM2.00 sometime ago, depending on whether it was in season and in abundance or not. The guy there told me it  was RM4.00 each (and I noticed that one was a lot bigger than the other and yet they were both going at that same price!). I asked about the “kelapa sawit ones” and he conceded that those would be sweeter but they would not be as fragrant and they were selling those at RM4.00 a kilo! In the end, I settled for the offer of 4 of the Sarikei ones for RM10.00…

Sarikei pineapples

…already peeled. People tell me that they are cheaper elsewhere in town but honestly, I would have thought the prices at a roadside stall like this one, dunno if it is licensed or not, would be a lot more competitive.

Anyway, I took them home and cooked two, using the instant paste following the instructions at the back…

Directions

I did add one cinnamon stick and two star anise plus a little bit of sugar to counter the sourish taste of the pineapples…but not the rest in the suggested list on the right.

The end result did look really good…

Pajeri nenas

…and ah yes! I added some prawns too as my cousin, who gave this to me, said it would enhance the taste and make it a whole lot nicer. Of course, we all know that one can never go wrong with prawns, don’t we? However, an old (literally) friend commented on my photograph on Facebook and said that pajeri nenas should not have any prawns and very sarcastically asked if it was my original recipe. I just replied saying that my cousin who gave me the paste asked me to add some, period! Really!!! Is there any steadfast rule that we must follow “rules” rigidly, no bending, no doing things our own way? Personally, I do not follow recipes and I will always do things my way, never mind how others do it – as long as it is nice, that is all that matters, right?

Anyway, back to the pajeri nenas

Pajeri nenas 2

…I am afraid to say that it was not as great as it looked. That taste was fine but somehow the gravy had some kind of peculiar “texture” – my missus said it was kind of “powdery” but it came in paste form, not powder. Maybe it was the blended ingredients but whatever it was, we did not enjoy it as much as we would have…and for RM8.64. I would much sooner go and buy something else instead.

Well, I had two of the four pineapples left so the following day, I decided to cook them in our simple kampung (village) style. Usually, to cook what we call sayur rebus, we would just boil some belacan (dried prawn paste), ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and fresh chilies in water and simmer to get all the flavours out and then throw in whatever vegetables we may be cooking, adding salt and msg according to taste, if so desired and that is it! This time around, I decided to substitute the ikan bilis with what we call kerutuh

Kerutuh
*Cousin’s photo on Facebook*

…or dried smoked prawns which would give the soup the sweetness of the prawns and the special smoked fragrance. I bought something like this once at my regular Malay/kampung food stall at Bandong…

Nenas salai ikan
*Archive photo*

…and they used salai ikan or smoked fish instead but it was also very nice, nonetheless. As they say, “the world is your oyster,” so who’s to say that it has to be ikan bilis or salai ikan or anything for that matter. I did add one star anise and a bit off a cinnamon stick for the added fragrance…and one stalk of serai (lemon grass) as well and this was the end result…

Nenas kerutuh rebus 1

…and yes, it was very very nice…

Nenas rebus kerutuh 2

– a lot nicer than what we had using the somewhat pricey over RM8.00 instant paste and this is just as hassle free too…or maybe, even more so.

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Author: suituapui

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

18 thoughts on “Can’t win ’em all…”

  1. Good combination – slightly sour pineapples with prawns. Tasty!

    Usually we would cook the sourish Dayak brinjal this way but this was good too.

  2. Yes, good combination.. I never tried cooking pineapples with anything before cos it is a hassle to cut a pineapple.. guess I have to buy those pre-cut ones… I remember when I was young, my mom used to cook it with those vegetarian flour puffs.. (they call it fish stomach but its vegetarian)… nice dish, Arthur!

    We usually cook with sambal and kunyit and prawns or just eat it fresh with rojak sauce, can’t remember cooking it any other way – first time cooking it like this. We usually use terung Dayak, the sourish Dayak brinjal when we cook this kind of soup. Very nice too.

  3. I never enjoy pineapple dishes. Too sour or sweet for me. Hehe.

    They do have a few bits in sweet and sour pork or fish fillet sometimes, along with the cucumber and tomato. Nice!

  4. I’m attracted to those pineapples.. I wish I can finish all the pineapples with “suen mui fun” (asam powder).. Don’t want to mix into any curries or rendang, hehe..

    I eat with rojak sauce. I do love it in fish head curry too – with the brinjal, the ladies fingers, the bean curd sticks and the tauhu pok.

  5. I love eating pineapples as it is (if sweet) and in cooking (if sour).I used to cook with mackerel fish as a dish. Great taste, sweet & sourish makes one has a good appetite. Sometimes, recipe from scratch turns out great.

    Never tried with mackerel – but I’ve cooked the fish with Dayak brinjal and yes, it’s VERY nice!

  6. I like to eat them fresh, not cooked :D, with a light sprinkle of salt

    Not even in pineapple fried rice…or you’re not into Thai?

  7. I like those four pineapples, reminds me of those Thailand small pineapples I had before.

    Maybe the same variety – these Sarikei ones are generally quite small, compared to what we call nanas paun, the ones used to make jam for the pineapple tarts…

  8. I think your old friend is not a friend anymore once he/she reads this post…kekeke! 😀 And, by the way, the pineapples you got should be more costly since they’re already cut up for you. I don’t know the origins of pajeri nenas but I would think that pineapples would go very well with prawns or squid. My mother-in-law makes a very good pineapple curry with salted fish…yum!

    Ummm…no comments! Hehehehehe!!!! Ah yes!!! I do recall having that pineapple with salted fish dish but I can’t remember where now. Very nice!!! Something like salted fish acar – I love that too!!!

  9. Me got eat pineapple but not really into it…

    Too bad. You can google and see – so many health benefits, watermelon too, I think!

  10. I’m not really a fan of pineapple in cooked food and in fact, do not really like pineapple at all. I must say though that last year I had a super sweet one in Singapore, which I think is called Sugar Pineapple (or it could be Honey Pineapple – I forget which).

    I think it’s honey. I’m ok with pineapple – raw or cooked, not crazy about watermelons…as I cannot stand spitting out the seeds. My favourites – bananas and papayas.😀

  11. I have always enjoyed pineapples in curries like asam pedas. I thought the addition of prawns to your pajeri nenas was quite good because to me, pineapples go very well with seafood.

    I would think so too. Yes, I always saw this at the Malay shops and stalls, no prawns – but I thought it was because prawns, being so expensive, would make the dish not all that affordable and if we choose to add, surely that would enhance the taste, bring it to a whole new level – what’s the big deal? My original recipe kot! Tsk! Tsk! 😀 😀 😀

  12. ooo, sorry to hear the pajeri didn’t quite turn out as brilliant as hoped for, but you’re right, it looks BEAUTIFUL! i haven’t had lunch yet, and i was staring at the photo and drooling 😀

    It tasted great, very nice – just that we did not like the feel of the sauce/gravy…and of course, the price! Almost RM9.00 sure is not cheap for a pineapple dish. 😦

  13. I much prefer fresh pineapple; however, that looks great too!

    You can try adding some to your fried rice – like the Thai pineapple fried rice. Very nice! My girl’s favourite when it comes to fried rice.

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