It is so hard to find ikan terubok (toli shad) here these days. Yes, we can buy the salted ones and the eggs as well but the fresh ones are really so very scarce these days and for a long time now, I have not seen any at the wet market.

That was why I was delighted that we had one, salt-baked by Angela, my friend/ex-classmate’s wife, when they invited us to their house for dinner once. She said she saw one at the market that morning so we were able to have that that very evening. I do know of two places, at least, in town where they serve this fish but it’s deep fried and I am not fond of it this way. I did have it once at a restaurant here, stuffed with all kinds of ingredients and grilled in the oven but no, it is not even available on special order – you will have to bring the fish and they will do it for you.

Imagine my happiness that day when my brother-in-law from Bintulu gave us one…

Terubok from brother-in-law

when he came back to Sibu for the Ching Ming Festival that day. You can tell how fresh it was…


…and no, when it is that fresh, there is no need at all to cook it with lots of  ingredients in any fanciful ways. I did blog about how we would cook it once – just rub the fish with salt, wrap in foil and put it in our Tatung pot…

Tatung pot\
*Archive photo*

…and bake. My missus says it is not so nice if we do it in our electric oven.

I had to drive to my girl’s school in the jungle on Thursday to bring her home as she had something on in Sibu on Friday and we had this for our dinner…

Ikan terubok, cooked

…that evening. It was so sweet, lemak enough…

Terubok, so good

…and so very delicious – we sure enjoyed it to the max. The problem now is I wouldn’t know when or where we will ever get to enjoy another one again.

To go with the fish, we had this Bario brown rice…

Bario brown rice

…that I bought from here at RM11.00 a kilo.

Yes, it was nice…

Bario brown rice, cooked

…but I prefer the regular type that is so nice you can eat it on its own but of course, they will tell you that brown rice is healthier so it is better to eat that.

Author: suituapui

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

10 thoughts on “Scarce…”

  1. Ikan terubok (chi kak hu)…I would love this fish if not of the many tiny bones. Best to steam if fresh. There’s a other type of fish called “lek hu” also with lots of tiny bones. Yummss!!!!

    Not a fan of it steamed, does not have the nice panggang fragrance plus it is wet, harder to deal with the bones. Would prefer that to frying though. I do know of the other fish – dunno the name – flatter, looks similar but does not taste the same – nice too though. That one, we can get quite easily here.

  2. Yes to the Barrio brown rice! Local and nutritious.

    Trouble is we may enjoy it so much that we will not get used to the cheaper imported Thai rice anymore when this runs out. 😦

  3. I remember this fish from my childhood days. If it’s the same fish, it had a lot of bones as I recall.

    Yes, a lot of bones but big enough, easily removed, just have to eat slowly…but there are fine ones closer to the head – we would not bother eating that part.

  4. Yes, i have not seen one lately, my dad likes the fish but not me… too boney.

    He does not patiently remove all the bones and give you the meat to enjoy, manja…manja???

  5. i wonder what’s the reason behind the scarcity of the fish … have they been over-fished … are they at danger of becoming a threatened species … oh no!

    Possibly! The salted fish and the salted fish eggs/roe are coveted items for people coming over to Kuching. I would see them carting home by the cartons – maybe that is why it is hard to get hold of the fresh fish these days. They should ban the selling of the eggs/roe…like turtle eggs.

  6. That is a fantastic meal. I love the salted one and the one with egg.

    One blogger stated that it’s common to eat the scales for its lemak in Sarawak? Have you heard of this?

    No. What on earth is he/she talking about? How to eat the scales? Maybe the salted ones, fried till really very crispy. Definitely not these fresh ones, that’s for sure.

  7. I like fish, but scared of bones…

    Wait till you eat the “wang pu liao”, our upriver Empurau, worth its weight in gold – lots of bones, forked some more!

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

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