Hanging by a thread…

We did not get to eat many different kinds of fish in my younger years growing up. Perhaps my dad had a preference for some like the pek chio (white pomfret/ikan bawal putih), steamed so we would have that very frequently or we would have the or chio (black pomfret/ikan bawal hitam) deep-fried or served sweet and sour.

Perhaps those do not have a lot of bones but then again, we did get to eat ikan terubok (chee khak/toli shad) quite a lot. Other than the aforementioned types of fish, I do recall my mum buying slabs of ngor hu, served deep fried though I never did see it whole…

What I knew then was that there was a problem with the big ones, sold in slabs, pre-sliced. Sometimes it was lo ko (a Hokkien expression) and was kind of hard and rubbery, not nice at all. I’m not too sure but it seems that this may be the case when the fish is too big.

So far, I have encountered this twice at our local restaurants, once with a friend who insisted on ordering the ikan tapah

…and when it turned out to be like that, he was rather pissed off and he never forgave them ever – since that day, he never wanted to go there again. Another time was when we had the ikan lajong here

– that certainly spoilt our mood at that otherwise very enjoyable dinner.

Anyway, going back to the names of the fish, we usually used their Chinese (Hokkien) or Malay names to refer to them. Like in the case of the ngor hu, all these years, I only knew its Hokkien name. We have bought it a number of times and thankfully, it was good all the while, not lo ko. Now, thanks to Google, I managed to find out its names in English and in Malay. It is called the threadfin or ikan senangin respectively but this Singapore blog calls it ikan kurau.

For one thing, it is not cheap. When I bought the sotong (squid) at my favourite fish & seafood stall not far from my house that day, I saw a few slabs, already sliced so I asked the lady boss what fish that was. She said it was ngor hu, RM45 a kilo but since those were towards the tail part of the fish, she would let me have it at RM35.00 per kilo. For reasons unknown, whenever we have fish, my girl will always want the tail part.

I asked for one of the bigger and thicker slabs and asked for it to be cut a bit more thinly like this…

The total for the two slabs came up to RM36.00, around RM18.00 a slice which, of course, was not cheap but of course, very much cheaper than cod or salmon (and to me, very much nicer).

We just had it deep fried…

…and enjoyed it just like that…

…with rice.

Most of the time, they will sell such big fish whole and of course, I would not want to buy so much. I did buy one, the whole fish but pre-sliced, once at the fruit and vegetable sundry shop near my house – the boy said it was not very big but it took us such a very long time to finish all the slabs/slices that I never wanted to see another ngor hu ever again after that.

Considering how much we enjoy it this time around, if I see them selling it in slabs/slices again like this, I sure wouldn’t mind buying it again.

The fish & seafood stall is located to the right of CCL FRESH MINI MARKET against the wall at that 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 (formerly Jalan Pedada).

Author: suituapui

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

13 thoughts on “Hanging by a thread…”

  1. Nothing is cheap these days. Last time kembong and or chio fish used to be very cheap but now it cost a bomb, RM18/kg for kembong and RM30/kg for or chio. Maybe it is due to the monsoon season that cause the prices to hike. Or chio, kembong, bay ka, ngor hu and tilapia (fr Batang Ai) are the only few types of fishes I will buy. I scare seeing all those colourful fishes at the market.

    Kembong and ngor hu from Batang Ai too? I did not they have those from there. Must find out at my fish & seafood stall.

    RM18 a kg seems to be like the standard minimum price, more or less, at the fish stalls, nothing cheap. I guess the prices of everything is going up, no choice. Will just buy and eat and enjoy, if I can afford it. Nothing much that I can do with my money these days – no dining out, no going round shopping, no travelling…no more smoking, no TOTO, hardly go out, save a lot on petrol, nothing.

  2. No, I mean tilapia from Batang Ai… 😂😂Not kembong and ngor hu

    Oh! Ok. The other day, I bought the ikan siakap (barramundi) from there, very nice and once, I bought the ikan sultan from there – nice too but many bones.

  3. No, I mean tilapia from Batang Ai… 😂😂 Not kembong or ngor hu.

    Oopsss!!! Duplicate comment! Never mind, the more the merrier! LOL!!!

  4. Hubby has a fisherman friend, so he sold his ngor hi to us when he caught one. Pre-cut in slices. He usually don’t want to accept money from us but hubby paid him some.

    I like steamed ngor hu. Maybe will deep fried when we got one.

    We always deep-fry but yes, we had it steamed at a restaurant here – that ugly looking one in the first pic. Should give it a try sometime. Yes, it is a lot easier if they cut in slices for us – so big, I dunno if it will still be edible once I am through with it using my chopper. You should see my chicken! LOL!!!

  5. the teeth on that first fish look sharp!

    Yes, it sure did not look a pretty sight! I did not know the name at the time so I just ordered “the ugly-looking fish”. LOL!!! The waiting staff here all spoke Mandarin and that’s Greek to me. Quite a struggle to order what I wanted.

  6. Fish is not cheap these days, and plus rainy days when fishermen can’t go out to the open sea. We too have experienced getting tough rubbery fish. I love both steamed fish and fried fish. I prefer the part nearer to the tail because I find the texture of the meat nicer and more tender. I usually buy bigger fishes with less bones for the family but I myself prefer smaller fishes.

    Same as my girl then – she prefers what is near the tail. I will have to handle the part around the head every time. I love fish, never mind big or small but preferably not many small bones. My girl is more picky so I will have to buy the fish she likes.

    So far so good here, there is fish still available. I guess no matter what, there will be the farmed ones from the massive lakes at the Batang Ai dam – the tilapia, the ikan sultan and the ikan siakap. All good, no mud smell and very fresh.

  7. I think Sarawak is famous for its empurau, right?
    I have not tried that fish before.

    It is! There are other similarly expensive ones, maybe even nicer like the ikan semah, for instance.
    I’ve had them a few times, friends’ treat. You can search for my blog posts on those occasions – I wouldn’t want to spend that kind of money on the fish.

    If it is VERY fresh, not those frozen already ones, it is very very sweet, very very smooth…nice but they all have one thing in common, these river fish, too many bones, small forked bones. Have to eat VERY carefully. Takes quite a bit of effort AND TIME to sit down and eat!

  8. I personally prefer salmon despite the slighter higher price.

    SLIGHTLY is an understatement for a farmed fish especially,..and I’ve read a lot of articles about these farmed ones. My girl loves it – I am not entirely fond of the smell, don’t mind cod instead but it is just as expensive..

  9. That fried fish with rice…yum. I would definitely eat them with soy sauce mixed with calamansi and chili. 🙂

    Aha!!! There is msg in soy sauce too…and salt!!! I will only resort to soy sauce when something does not taste nice or is bland.

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 sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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