Keep on coming…

They did seem to keep on coming like they were never going to stop, the gifts from family and friends.

March is usually the bubuk season – the sea would turn red as a result of the presence of those little red shrimps that we call bubuk. That would be the time when the people would go out and reap the harvest and use them to make cincaluk (fermented shrimps) and belacan (dried prawn paste) which, of course, means that this would be a good time to go and grab your supply as they would be very very fresh.

Still, it would be best if one knows exactly where to go as being a home-based cottage industry, some may not be all that clean, some will use colouring to get that nice red colour and I have read horror tales of people buying those leaf-wrapped cylindrical-shaped belacan and when they cut through it, they found rolled-up newspapers inside. Money is the root of all evil, so they say!

Well, my cousin in Bintulu was here for the Ching Ming weekend and she gave me two bottles of cincaluk and my brother-in-law, also from Bintulu, gave me one…

Cincaluk from Bintulu

…and some belacan as well. That was quite a windfall, I must say, as these things do not come cheap. A kilo of Bintulu belacan can set you back by at least RM50-60 and we sure use up quite a lot and finish it all soon enough and would have no choice but to fork out the money to stock up on our supply.

In the meantime, my friend, Lim, went over to Kuching to attend a meeting and when he came back, he brought along these souvenirs…

Souvenirs from St 3

…for me from my cousin there from the school where she is attached to. I love that drink canister – metal, so no offensive plastic smell and it does not leak when placed on its side. That would certainly come in handy on my long drives to my girl’s school and back.

Lim shared with me some of the goodies that he brought back from Kuching, a few of these ham and sour cream buns…

Buns from Kuching

…with one whole piece of ham all rolled up inside…

Ham inside

I used to buy some very nice ones at a shop at Padungan until I found the same at one place here except that they were not as generous with the ham. I heated them up in the oven for breakfast the next morning so it was nice and warm and a little crusty on the outside. I sure enjoyed them very much.

Other than those buns, he also gave me these pineapple cakes…

Pineapple cakes

I remember how at one time, these were so very popular in Taiwan and anyone going over would cart home a whole lot to distribute to everyone. The trend or craze seems to have fizzled out as I do not see nor hear of anyone buying them anymore.

I, for one, would prefer the local bakery-made ones as they would be fresher and nicer…

Pineapple cakes, inside

…than those churned out from the factories here, there and everywhere.

Thanks so much to you and you and you and you…for the gifts – it sure was so sweet and thoughtful of all of you and I most certainly appreciate it very much. Cheers!!!

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Author: suituapui

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

11 thoughts on “Keep on coming…”

  1. You are so thoughtful and kind to everyone. That’s why they keep giving gifts to you. I never dare to buy any belacan nor cincaluk because I don’t know which are the good ones so I will just eat out if I want to eat food made with belacan or cincaluk.

    Pineapple tarts from Taiwan are very different from our local ones but locally there are some bakeries that started making pineapple tarts that look like those from Taiwan and charge a bomb for them. The special thing about pineapple tarts from Taiwan is that the pineapple jam fillings are specially mixed with winter melon to give it some winter melon taste but now due to popular demand, some Taiwan pineapple tarts have just pure pineapple jam as filings without those winter melons so if one goes to Taiwan to buy them, must know exactly what kind that one wants.

    I guess it is the same with everything everywhere – one must know where to go for the best. Some come here and eat at places near the hotel and they declare that the food here is not good.

    The Melaka-made ones are factory-produced, may not be the best but at least, one can be sure it is nice and clean. Can’t say the same about the home-made cottage industry ones – they are not even labelled, not sure how good or how clean they are unless you know some reputable somebody in the business and go to buy from their houses.

    I am lucky to have very kind and thoughtful relatives and friends.

  2. Very hard to get good Bintulu cincaluk & belacan in Kuching. Guess those big bottles your sis & bro-in-law gave cost a bomb. The other day I bought one small tomato ketchup bottle, not full, only up to the bottle neck cost me a whopping RM12. The seller told me is from Bintulu & homemade, very good though.

    I’ve never bought cincaluk – we get enough to last a long long time so I do not know the current price. Bintulu belacan can go up to RM50 a kg and yes, it is good to go to a regular seller – he will tell you which is nice. We always go to the same one here.

  3. The ham and sour cream buns look very good! 🙂

    Loved them, used to go out of my way to buy all the time. I think the attraction has diminished over the years.

  4. It must be quite a sight to see the sea change colour. I wonder if the bubuk you speak of is what we call grago in Singapore, and, afaik, in Melaka. That is also used for making cincaluk.

    Yes, should be one and the same thing. I’ve seen it called grago somewhere, in the newspapers, I think…and I read in a Brunei blog, it is called bubuk there too – same as in Sarawak and udang geragau in the Malay language. Never heard of afaik before. We have the dried ones too, not expensive – great to add to one’s kampung fried rice…or make cucur (fritters).

  5. I always love pineapple tarts, the best is if we can bake it our own, healthier, and can put as much fillings as we want, hehehe!

    Missus tried making once, not very successful. Anyway, we’re not all than fond of these, not like when we were young – will eat, and would buy and eat when we feel like it, would not go out of our way in search of them…and much less, make our own.

  6. Month of giving!!

    Oooh. Love that pineapple cake and buns. I actually have not been to that bakery in Kuching because out of the way.

    It’s just like us here…and the thought of driving all the way to Farley never appeals to us at all, so lazy…so far.

  7. Your cousin, your relatives and your friends are all very generous to you and you are so blessed with so many thoughtful gifts.

    Yes, truly blessed to have all these wonderful relatives and friends, praise the Lord.

  8. When I read what you wrote about bubuk (which I had never heard of before), I wondered the same thing as your other reader – I’m from malacca, so I’m familiar with udang geragau – whenever the season arrived, my grandmother would buy some and fry them in crispy fritters. My family really loved them 🙂

    The wonders of the internet! We get to learn new things all the time. I didn’t know before this that what we call bubuk goes by a different name over at your side. My friend, now in Australia, originally came from Singapore.

    Yes, the fritters are very nice – we have one girl making those here but I have not seen her doing that for a while now. My missus will make when she is in the mood – and of course, hers would be nicer, she adds a lot more bubuk. The dried ones are quite cheap here, a few ringgit for one bog plastic pack.

  9. Wow, ham and sour cream buns! I’m sure I would love those 🙂

    Loved them so much the first time I discovered them in Kuching, would go out of my way to buy a lot to cart home. Now, not so already, can get not-too-bad ones here also. The novelty has worn off.

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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