In the course of our exchanges, my girl did mention in passing one day the river fish that we enjoy a lot – the ikan buris but no, she did not say she would like to eat it or anything. She’s the kind who will eat most anything we cook and never complains but of course, we can see the enjoyment when it is something that she finds delightful.
That was why I went to the wet market early last Thursday morning to buy the fish but there were no really big ones. I did get hold of some that were big enough, not too small, one from one stall for RM7.00 and three from another stall.
The next day, Friday, my girl came home for the weekend and she left her school in the jungle immediately after class, skipping lunch and by the time she reached home, she was famished, I was quite sure of that. That was why that morning, I worked on cooking the fish.
I wrapped one, stuffed with chopped daun kesum and topped with a number of sprigs of dill, in daun kunyit (turmeric leaves) – all from my garden and put it in the oven to bake. Of course it would be a whole lot nicer if I had grilled it over a hot charcoal fire but, no, I did not go through the trouble of doing that.
It turned out really good…
…and my girl sure enjoyed it so much, the sweetness and the lemak-ness (it is a very oily fish) plus the fragrance of the leaves and herbs used…
I did do the same with one big ikan sultan (from Batang Ai) not too long ago – I had bought it for our Chap Goh Meh dinner but because my mum was admitted into the medical centre that day, I did not get to cook it till much later. I stuffed the fish with the daun kesum and Thai basil leaves and serai and garlic, all whole and other than that, because the fish had scales, I did not cut slits in the sides. In the end, even though the fish turned out great, there was only a very slight hint of all the added ingredients.
This time around, chopping up the daun kesum worked out very well and it, plus the dill and the daun kunyit used for the wrapping, sure helped enhance the taste of the fish a lot.
I also cleaned and prepared two more and asked the mum to deep fry them…
Don’t ask me why I cut such narrow slits in the fish – my mum used to do that when cooking this particular type of fish and I never asked why. I just followed.
While I was at the market, I also bought some udang galah (freshwater prawns) and used them to cook the soup…
…the Melanau kampung-style or what we call masak kunyit. It would be nice to cook the aforementioned fish this way too but, no, this time around, I am reserving it specially for the crustaceans.
My girl is not into prawns so much but she sure enjoyed the soup a lot. These not-very-big ones were going for RM40.00 a kilo and I got a little more than that, RM50.00 altogether for around 30 of the crustaceans. That worked out to less than RM2.00 each…
…but we had not had these for a very long time and sure enjoyed them a lot so I guess it was worth it.
My girl loved the fish, both the oven-baked one and the deep-fried and as I said earlier, she loved the soup too. She reached home past 2.00 p.m. and had her lunch right away and of course, seeing how she enjoyed the meal so much, it pleased me immensely.
18 thoughts on “I do it for you…”
I like the deep fried fish, very nicely done and looks very cripsy. The prawn is to die for too.
This is a very oily fish, very nice but I would not mind those a little bigger. Those prawns are too expensive these days – can only eat once in a long while.
Does this type of fish has a lot of tiny bones? As far as I know, people only cut narrow slits in those fish that have lots of tiny bones. They will fried till cripsy and once it is cripsy the bones can be easily eaten and it won’t get stuck in yr throat, like “lek hu” which my mum used to slit in this way.
No, no bones…just the big one in the middle like pek chio, or chio…those kinds of fish so this is not the reason for the narrow slits.
My mum also slit the fish like that when she cooks it. I also don’t know why, never ask but I guess it makes the fish cooked faster. And can see if the fish has cooked by looking through the slit. Just a hint. Lol.
Prawns. Give me, give me!
I’m sure you can get these prawns quite easily there but I guess they are a whole lot more expensive, city prices. My relatives coming over would buy a whole lot home from here or from Sarikei.
No, it’s not to see if the fish is cooked. Even with broad slits, one can see – no need for such narrow ones.
You are such a sweet dad. She is very lucky to have you.
I’m lucky to have her too, she’s a sweet girl as well.
not exactly a huge fan of seafood.. but they always say, eat fish good for your brains.
Oh? So you do not eat fish much? Does it show? Muahahahahaha!!!
Isaac not a huge fan of seafood, I am a fan of seafood…
I love fish…but at my age, I have to go slow on prawns and all the other types of seafood. Gout!
The fish looks good! I guess you can find a lot of all these yummy riverfish over there at borneo
Yes, lots…including the very expensive ones which I feel are overrated as the restaurants stock up on those and sell at astronomical prices. Not so nice, not sweet anymore as they are all frozen ones, not freshly caught from the river. Definitely not worth paying all that money for. These much cheaper ones are a whole lot nicer.
Nice cooking! Fried fish is my favourite.
This particular type of fish is very very nice!
I like the way you cut the fish… I guess the reason is to get it cook fast? Well, I will certainly do that for those long fish … more crispier this way too!
I have no idea but yes, I do think it makes it crispier and nicer. Maybe that’s the reason.
I must really try the way you cook the fish. Quite hard for me to get nice fresh fish unless I go to the market.
I had to go to the market too for this river fish. At a shop near my house, they only sell frozen ones, sea fish…or tilapia and ikan sultan from the Batang Ai Hydro-electricity Dam – they use the lakes for fish farming.
So I guess most parents are like this when their child is coming home. I was back in Melaka last weekend and my Mom cooked a feast for us too.
I love fish and I can imagine how delicious your fish is with all those fresh herbs. Yummy!
Yes, when I was working in a rural school and would come back every weekend, my mum would cook something really special for me. Now it is my turn to try and do the same for my girl.
The fish was very good, fresh freshwater fish so very sweet and lemak plus all the fragrance of the herbs and leaves.
The baked fish looks so yum!
“She’s the kind who will eat most anything we cook and never complains” –> That’s because you and wifey both taught her well.
I understand how it feels after all the effort in cooking, but not being appreciated.
I wish she would say what she wants, then I will not have to decide where to go, what to eat but I guess I do know what she wants, her favourites…usually!