I can’t remember the last time we had one. Probably it was in 2017, when my brother-in-law in Bintulu came back to Sibu and he brought us one from there.

All this while, I kept asking the fish sellers at the market but no, they did not have any until one fine day when the old lady from whom I always bought the pek kay (seawater prawns) greeted me excitedly. She said she had one but when she took it out, it was HUGE!!! I did not think it would fit into my oven, much less the Tatung pot that I always use to cook this fish. In the end, I did not buy it, of course!

Needless to say, I was so thrilled to see that my current regular fish seller had some that day – she said it is in season right now so there should be some available – and I wasted no time at all in grabbing two, this size…

In the meantime, I saw a video clip that a Malaysian doctor shared on Facebook. He was talking about the dangers of the things we use to cook in the kitchen and in his list was aluminum foil. Well, I’m not surprised. Since time immemorial, I’ve heard about this – that is why I have two beautiful Thai tiffin carriers, stuffed in the storeroom, never used anymore but those pots they used in the good ol’ days, all dented, so out of shape – weren’t they all aluminum? My late grandma and aunties used to masak kuden using those and the fish tasted so so good!

Well, the doctor said that we should line the foil with baking paper should we insist on using it and that brought to mind how I would cook my fish in that thing, wrapped with daun kunyit (turmeric leaves)! I cut a few of the leaves in my garden to use…

…for wrapping the fish after rubbing it with salt before putting it in the Tatung pot to cook/bake.

We sat down to enjoy the fish for lunch and boy, it was so so so good, so fresh and so very sweet, so very lemak – we sure enjoyed it to the max! Because I did not remove the scales, the fish only had a slight hint of the fragrance of the kunyit leaves. It did not really matter though – even without that, it was good enough!

Of course when eating this fish, we must eat it slowly and enjoy every bit of it while being extra careful with the bones.

I cannot remember how much the lady was selling the fish for – I did not take note of the prices. When we can only get to enjoy it once in so many years, price is secondary and besides, these days, with the horrendous pandemic, there aren’t a lot of things we can do even if we have a lot of money!

The fish stall is located to the right of CCL FRESH MINI MARKET against the wall at the end of the block to the right of the Grand Wonderful Hotel (2.309601, 111.845163) along Jalan Pipit, off Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai, on your left just before the Petronas petrol station a short distance from Delta Mall. You can also go in via Lorong Pipit 4, turning left into the lane at the junction where Starbucks Sibu is located and go straight ahead from there.

Author: suituapui

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

9 thoughts on “Foil…”

  1. I like this fish steamed especially when it is very fresh but I never bought it because of too many tiny bones and quite troublesome to eat. There is another type of fish called “lek hu” with lots of tiny bones too and when deep fried very nice but sad to say these 2 types of fishes are out of my list to buy….😊😊

    I think I know the other one that looks a bit like terubok but flatter. Nice also, very sweet but not as nice – it lacks the lovely fragrance and taste of terubok. That one is easy to get, always see at the market but I never buy. My missus would…once in a long while.

    These fish can only be eaten when one is very free, lots of time to pick out the bones and savour every bit of the delicious meat. We always have it grilled, not so fond of it steamed or deep fried…plus easier to handle the bones too, not wet and not oily.

  2. The lady who greeted you excitedly, telling you that your “fish” was finally here must be really happy to be able to end your search. Ha 😀

    Or happy that I would not bore her to death asking her the same thing everytime I saw her.

  3. Never tried this fish before, must be very nice since it is so fresh! Yes, must eat slowly and carefully… Agree with you, price does not matter especially at our age, just eat and enjoy!

    …and that’s what I intend to do. Problem is we are so confined, cannot go anywhere, nowhere to spend our money!

  4. I am not too keen on fish that have many tiny bones. But if you like the fish then it’s quite worth the trouble having to remove the bones while eating. I am just too lazy.

    You are too ang moh…fish and chips, no bones!!! LOL!!!

  5. I think I don’t have enough patience to eat fishes with small “Y” shaped bones.. so much work! Give me ikan pari anytime.

    So no empurau for you then! RM1K a kilo, simply “wang poo liao”!!! LOL!!!

  6. You can also use banana or taro leaves, we use that a lot in the Philippines

    Here, we use banana a lot, not taro and not turmeric either. Have to buy in bundles at the market but quite a waste as usually we do not use so much and I don’t have the tree in my garden. That is why I use my turmeric leaves since I have a lot…and really big ones too!!

  7. Oh, I knew plastic was no good, but I hadn’t thought about foil! I will investigate further.

    We have been using foil all this while. I guess we need to cut down a bit at least, too much of something is always not good.

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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