The other day, Wednesday, was Ash Wednesday which marked the beginning of the season of Lent, a day of fasting and abstinence.
Unfortunately, we did not have any more fish in the freezer. Yes, we still have a lot of the big pek hay (seawater prawns), two packs and one of the giant freshwater prawns or tua thow hay (big headed prawns)/udang galah and around a kilo of the sotong (squid) – I bought two that time and we cooked one already.
However, I went for my blood test the other day – it had been a year already – and thankfully, my blood sugar was under control, my blood pressure was normal but my cholesterol level was shooting through my head. The doctor said that he had to increase the dosage of my medication and because of that, my missus said we would not be eating those crustaceans for a while but fish would be fine.
That was why I made my way to my favourite fish & seafood stall that morning. There were not that many fish but a whole lot of seawater prawns, huge ones! I guess it must be the season – sometimes, you get a lot, at other times, they are so hard to come by.
I bought two or chio/ikan bawal hitam (black pomfret)…
…and the nice lady told me that they had gone into the freezer, not freshly caught from the sea so they would not be so nice for steaming. I told her it was all right – we never steamed this variety, anyway.
That evening, for our buka puasa (breaking of fast) dinner, we just had one of them, fried…
…and ate it just like that. My missus had been cooking quite a lot of sweet and sour, never mind what fish, so I wanted it plain this time around for a change. Yes, it was very good, so nice and sweet, still fresh, never mind that it had gone into the freezer before this. My girl sure enjoyed it!
I was thinking of buying some kembong but the lady only had some ikan jamar, a similar variety of those small fishes, so I bought six of those. The lady did say that kembong is nicer but when I took the jamar home that day, my missus said that this would be good too. She said that being more affordable, my late mother-in-law used to buy that and they did enjoy it a lot. We did not cook those that day though, another day perhaps.
For our vegetable dish, my missus cooked this Japanese cabbage pancake, the okonomiyaki…
…with some strips of carrot added. My girl would not eat cabbage cooked the usual way but she would eat it if used to make coleslaw and that day, cooked like this, she ate most of it, believe it or not!
Back at the fish stall, the nice lady insisted on giving me these…
…a bottle of our Fuzhou traditional red wine, unadulterated (no water added)…
…and a bag of the ang chao (红昭)…
…the red lees that is the residual product of fermenting rice and red rice bran to make the red wine.
Ang chao is used for cooking meat, pork or poultry – chicken or duck…
My missus does it really well, exactly like how my late mum used to do it. Those that I have had outside tend to be somewhat watered down and are not so nice. We also use it to marinate a type of fish for deep frying and these days, they are doing that with meat as well…
I told the lady I would not take those from her unless she let me pay for them but she insisted. She said that a friend asked her to make and she managed to come out with an extra bottle and she would like me to have it. Gosh!!! She really is so nice, so very generous, bless her!
The fish & seafood 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. You can also go in via Jalan Pipit from Jalan Pahlawan. Go straight ahead till you reach the place towards the end of that road on your left.
7 thoughts on “She’s so nice…”
Just recently I heard from my friend that she steamed or chio. I was surprised and ask her again, or chio or pek chio and she reply, yes you heard it right, or chio. I thought or chio had a very fishy smell when steamed. She told me no fishy smell especially when they are very fresh. I like it deep fried like above or cooked sweet and sour fish. My Foochow DIL always cooked duck with ang chao, never with chicken.
Wowwww!!! You are more Foochow than us. We never had ang chao duck – the photo was taken at a restaurant when a group of people came over from Kuching and we had all the local Foochow specialties. First and last time I had ang chao duck. I prefer phak lor.
Yes, it seems that there are two types of or chio and one is suitable for steaming if it is VERY fresh, no smell. We still prefer it deep fried or cooked sweet and sour too though – old habits die hard.
Such kind hearted lady. Bless her and her business!!
Lovely fried pomfret. I like Ang chow chicken/pork. Never try any chow duck. Does the taste alright?? You know, duck meat pretty strong.
The taste is mostly drowned out by the ang chao – I prefer duck phak lor or roasted. I like ang chao chicken better…and yes, pork too.
Indeed, bless the kind and generous lady. Hope her business gets better and better!!!
I like or chio deep fried, grilled or in curries. I normally do not keep the ang chao because I will take a long time to finish it. I think I like the idea of marinating pork or chicken with the ang chao before deep frying them. Good idea. Will try next time when I have the ang chao. So nice and generous of the lady. She will be blessed for her generosity to her customers.
You do not keep? You mean you make your own ang chiew? We usually buy our ang chao, keep in the fridge or the freezer. Will be o.k., already fermented.
Yes, may God bless the wonderful lady.
Oh there are two types of okonomiyaki. I am particularly fond of Hiroshima style.
I “homestay”ed in Hiroshima for two weeks, my host family taught me how to make Hiroshima okomiyaki.
It was actually quite a lot fun. How I miss Hiroshima!
Gotta google for the recipe then.
My family usually only had white pomfret or the so-called “golden” one. We seldom have this black pomfret one. I don’t know…maybe because it looks…black.
yeah sometimes just eating the fish the way it is, is actually better, no?
Black is our favourite for its stronger taste. White is a bit too mild for our liking and the golden one, I am not fond of the texture…nor its taste and smell. Many love it though – you will see at Chinese banquets, cheaper and more affordable than the white.
I love okonomiyaki – it is so versatile.
It was all right. I’m fine with cabbage, cooked in any way. My girl is kind of choosy when it comes to cabbage.