Not available…

Gosh!!! It has been two weeks at least now since I last bought those pek hay (seawater prawns) from my favourite fish & seafood stall in the neighbourhood. Maybe it is not the season and that last time was probably in August. So far, I only saw those farmed ones and at times, the cheaper teng khak (hard shell) ones that I am not really fond of – they taste fine but they have a somewhat strong smell.

I went again that morning and no, she did not have any. I did not want any fish as I still had some in my freezer so I went over to the fresh mini-mart beside the stall in the main building to see if there was anything of interest to me.

Much to my delight, I saw these paku (wild jungle fern)…

I liked how they made the stalks stand in a basin with a bit of water at the bottom for customers to take the amount they wanted and go over to the cashier’s counter to weigh and pay.

These paku and also its distant cousin, the midin, will make their appearances at the neighbourhood vegetable stall and shop in the next lane from my house very rarely and of course, I would grab them the instant I see them. I guess I can go to the jungle produce section at the Sibu Central Market but that is a high risk zone and seeing how all the clusters in the state are all the rumahs (longhouses) and kampungs (villages), I certainly would avoid any close proximity with those ethnic sellers.

Besides, they are not very honest – they will tie the ferns in bundles, wrap them with some jungle leaves and tie and when you get home and open, you will find the not-so-nice ones hidden in the middle and those would have to be thrown away, may God forgive them.

I took what I wanted and that cost me RM2.50. They were selling it at RM4.50 a kilo here and what I bought was enough for a plate…

…fried with sambal hay bee/udang kering (dried prawns) for lunch and dinner.

We had that with this awesome dish of ayam masak merah

…that my missus cooked from scratch and the lovely nasi biryani

…using the packet of mixed spices and ingredients from MAGGI. Yes, it was very nice, bursting with the fragrances of all the spices in it. We certainly would buy more to keep and cook whenever we feel like having more of this.

Yes, that is the amount of rice I eat per meal these days and never mind how nice the food may be, a second helping is strictly not allowed as I am on a low-carb diet. My life sure is so miserable, isn’t it? Sobsss!!!

Anyway, on my way back to the car that morning, the nice and generous lady from the fish & seafood stall called out to me and came over to give me this…

– some salted fish that she made herself. Hopefully, she will have some prawns for sale soon so I can buy from her.

The fish & seafood stall and the CCL FRESH MINI MARKET are located 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.