In between…

This is Pekan Stapang

Stapang

…or Stapang Bazaar, located halfway in between Sibu and Selangau and in comparison, it is a lot smaller than the two of them. However, the location makes it an ideal stop if you urgently need a toilet break. Go right in after the single row of a couple of blocks of shops on your right and you will get to the public toilet…

Stapang public toilet

…facing the playground…

Selangau playground

Be forewarned, however, that it is 30 sen per entry unlike the others in Sibu or Selangau where you only need to fork out 20 sen per entry. There is a lady stationed there and my guess is her duties include keeping the place clean so yes, it is clean unlike some public toilets even in the big towns and cities.

This is the market…

Stapang market

…and being a weekday that day when I had to send my girl back to her school after attending something here for two days, there were not many sellers around, just a few ethnic women selling some jungle produce and stuff. I think it is a lot busier on Sunday mornings.

I saw a man selling some rather fresh-looking wild boar meat at only RM20.00 a kg but my missus was not at all keen. Well, for one thing, she is not fond of the meat but neither is she all that fond of duck, lamb and quite a lot of other things. In the end, I did not buy and we left the bazaar, heading back to Sibu.

I did not go straight home though. Since we were free, I decided to drive to Sibu Jaya, a township a little to the left of the Sibu Airport. If you turn right and go straight ahead, you will eventually get to Sibu town proper, 15 miles away. I’ve been there a few times but my missus just went once a long long time ago when they first started developing the place as some kind of low-cost housing residential area with a few shops…and of course, it did not look nice at all. That was why when anyone talked about this place, she would insist on how miserably horrible it was but I do feel that lately, they have done quite a great deal and a good job at that. To me, it does look nicer (and perhaps, bigger as well) than some of the towns around here like Bintangor or Kanowit…or perhaps even Sarikei and Kapit.

When we got there, we saw blocks and blocks of shophouses, mostly under construction but a few facing the original town centre have been occupied. Gee, I thought! This place is getting bigger and bigger! I saw a bank but I am not too sure if there is more than one and yes, there is a big KFC outlet even…which is more than what I can say about three of the aforementioned towns!

We stopped by the ethnic jungle produce market and I saw a couple selling ikan keli (catfish). They said that those were caught, not the farmed ones. The bigger ones were RM20 a kg while they also had smaller ones going for RM15 only. The lady was willing to cut and clean for me so I asked her to pick big three nice ones for me – they turned out to be exactly 1 kg!

My missus does not eat these either but yes, she can cook them…

Ikan keli

…very well. This is the Chinese/Foochow style with soy sauce, lots of ginger and garlic and lemon grass and all and because we did not have any bottle of brandy in the pantry, already opened, my missus added whiskey instead – lots of it! These fresh ones really taste a lot nicer than the farmed ones – we get a lot of those at the markets here…and of course, the way my missus cooked it, I enjoyed it to the max!

I picked a few pieces and saved them for my girl – she loves ikan keli too, especially when cooked this way – she would be coming home again the following day, Friday so I would want her to enjoy it too.

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Author: suituapui

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

10 thoughts on “In between…”

  1. Why doesn’t your wife eat catfish? I have eaten catfish and don’t think it tastes much different from some other fishes but I don’t think I have eaten it cooked in the Foochow style with soy sauce, lots of ginger and garlic and lemon grass. Cooked in soy sauce, ginger and garlic yes but not with lemon grass. Did she fry the fish for a while before cooking it in the sauce?

    Dunno, did not watch her doing it. You mean as in deep fry it like what they do at the shops? No. Standard family recipe of hers – would cook crabs and balitongs this same way too. I think they do this as well at the shops for balitongs but I dunno of any place serving ikan keli here, other than Payung. Theirs different, also nice – with lots of ginger and I think they do have serai too. Dunno why my missus does not like keli – maybe because it is slimy and slippery? My girl loves it but she does not eat the skin – I take it all from her, love it!

  2. So far, I have never come across clean public toilets. Mostly, eweeeee & yucksssss…..Ok lah to pay extra 10 sen if they are clean. Wow, these catfish fetch a good price. I have never eaten/bought catfish, eel or those colourful fishes. See already scare.

    Come to Sibu and see the one at Sibujaya. I was really impressed. I did not take any photos but it is like a big bungalow, so big and so clean, 20 sen only per entry. Very nicely decorated. I loved the penguins on the wall…walking towards the toilet, so cute – very pretty.

    I can see you are not very adventurous in your eating – my father is like that, never mind he can eat those same things day in and day out – will not try anything new, everything else is not nice. Very hard for my mum to cook last time – things we loved to eat, she had to cook separately and then cook something specially for him.

    1. Yes, I admit & I told you before I am not adventurous in my eating. Lucky my hubby never complain. Even instant noodles, I only bought when I saw someone say it’s good, haha

      That’s the safest, I guess…but one man’s meat is another man’s poison – sometimes what they say is good is not all that great, after all.

  3. My mil just like your missus. Doesnt eat those animals you mentioned. She does not even eat beef but she could cook a very nice beef rendang; out of love for her family who love it!!

    Sibu Jaya. Been there once but nothing much to see as under construction.

    I never seen ikan keli cooked like this. Ok, now I know how the Foochow cook it. 😉

    I think they cook many things this way – in Kapit, if you go for wild boar, venison , all those exotic meats – this would be the standard recipe. Same here, I think…and also in Selangau.

    Sibujaya is much nicer now but still a lot of construction going on – will be even better when all those buildings are completed. Nicer than Kapit, I must say.

    My missus’ phak lor duck, best! Her roast lamb shank with bolognese sauce can compete with all the cafes in town…and the ikan keli is nicer than Payung’s! Payung’s also nice, just not as nice. But of course, we do not get to eat those things…maybe once a year, special occasions only. Good also – something to look forward to.

  4. ooo, i suspect i’ve only ever had farmed catfish, and never wild-caught ones … they look delicious the way your wife cooked them! RM20 a kilo also sounds like a good price for such a large portion 🙂

    I guess when they sell in very large numbers at the wet market – like here, those would be the farmed ones, not as tasty and not so fat/oily so not so lemak. Actually, I thought that was quite expensive – all these things were dirt cheap when I was small. 😦 But never mind, it is not every day that I come across these caught ones so that was a real treat.

  5. I don’t mind paying the toilet entry fee as long as it is clean. It’s a nightmare going into public toilets that are unclean. How is the ikan keli cooked? Fried first and then make the sauce?

    Don’t think so, fry the ingredients, add fish and soy sauce…I think.

  6. I haven’t buy any raw catfish before but I used to buy those fried ones from the canteen…they either deep fried and put sambal belacan on top or cook them in curry… I like to eat them too but surely don’t know how to cook, they are too slippery to hold… hahahaha

    Yes, that is why I never buy even though I enjoy eating it a lot. Dunno how to kill and clean…so just go and eat at Payung when craving for it. The lady said she would do it, that was why I bought that day. I think if I were to do it myself, sure escape and slither away. 😀 😀 😀

  7. Same with Phong Hong, it’s a nightmare going to public toilets that are dirty…

    Not in Singapore, I’m sure…squeaky clean. Across the Causeway, perhaps? 😉

  8. I love the the little towns that dot the highway to Kuching. They have the rare red jungle durians sometimes too!

    Yeah SibuJaya is getting a lot more developed nowadays. I know a few people who bought a shoplot together. The houses look quite nice too.

    Yes, no longer the sub-urban low-cost housing place it used to be. I love those little towns too – will always check out what those ethnic ladies sitting on the pavement are selling.

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.

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