Somebody’s gotta do it…

One morning, my neighbour gave me one or chio/ikan bawal hitam/black pomfret…

…a small one, to reciprocate for all the butterfly pea flowers that I would pluck every morning to give to her.

She said that her son’s brother-in-law or somebody has a fishing boat and sometimes, when the ship comes in, he would give him some of those that he has caught. “It’s not cleaned yet,” she told me and I replied that it was perfectly all right as I could easily do it myself.

I asked her if she would do it herself too and she said yes but she added that when she was still single, she did not know how to do a lot of things and only got to learn after she got married and had a family of her own. That would be the case with most young people, I said. As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of success,” and another one says, “It’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it!

Here, the fish seller will do it for you but he or she may not be that thorough so upon coming home, we would have to clean it all over again to get rid of what is left of the scales and the inside of the fish, those streaks of black along the middle bone and elsewhere. My girl is very particular about cleanliness and she would stop eating at the mere sight of it.

I never had such a small one as usually, we would fry one that is big enough and eat one side of the fish for lunch and heat it up later to finish off the other side for dinner. However, I found that it might get a bit hard come dinnertime, not as nice as when we had it for lunch. I do think it is a good idea to buy two small ones and fry one for lunch and the other one for dinner so no reheating would be involved.

We like it plain so it does make a difference whether it is really very fresh or not. The fresh ones, like the one my neighbour gave me, would be so very sweet, so very tasty you can just eat and enjoy it just like that. Otherwise, we would have to serve it in sweet and sour sauce…

…or cook asam fish or curry with it.

As far as these chio or bawal or pomfrets go, we like these black ones the most. The kim chio (golden pomfret)…

…is more affordable but somehow or other, we are not that crazy about it nor are we into the very popular and expensive pek chio, the white or silver pomfret…

The latter is smoother and has a milder taste but since we do not enjoy it as much and it is not that affordable, we never bother to buy it to eat.

Author: suituapui

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

11 thoughts on “Somebody’s gotta do it…”

  1. Yes, or chio is my favourite fish too. Most of the time, I prefer it deep fried and then sprinkle with finely chopped ginger and garlic (like in 1st pix) and sometimes for a change I have it cooked in sweet and sour sauce. These are the only 2 ways I cooked my or chio which my family likes.

  2. I get the fishmongers to clean for me. But it has been more than a year since I went to wet market. And also how long I did not buy pomfrets. Kind of miss it after looking at your photos

    1. Your hubby can do it for you, no problem. He does not bring home any pomfrets? I saw the assistant at the fish stall cleaning the ones I bought – so fast. Less than one minute, he can do one. I will take half an hour perhaps. LOL!!!

  3. Wahhhh… different types of cooking! I like all the styles of cooking this fish…. fried is tasty too as long as it is served hot and crispy…

  4. I do love cleaning and cutting my own fish that is why when I am in a fishmonger all I ask is for them to scale it. That goes with meats as well, I usually buy a block and I do my own cutting at home

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