The blacksmith’s wife…

I did mention in my blogpost the other day that we had run out of all the fish in our freezer so last Friday morning, I quickly made my way to my favourite fish and seafood stall not far from my house to see what I could get hold of.

Thankfully, it was open – it sure looked like the weather is not too bad these days and the lady had a lot of fish and prawns for sale. She asked me to buy the blacksmith’s wife or in Chinese, the phak thik poh (打铁婆,松鲷 or tripletail fish or patipok or kuku laut in Malay), whole but I simply refused.

No, it wasn’t because it was not nice. In fact, ever since the first time we had it here, I would not hesitate to buy whenever there was any for sale. You see, once, I was persuaded by that young boy at my neighbourhood fruit & vegetable sundry shop in the next lane to buy one threadfin (ngor hu), whole. It was not very big, he said. Yes, it was very very nice initially but as we went on eating it, the pleasure we derived from doing that grew less and less and by the time we managed to finish all of it, we did not care if we would never see any ngor hu ever again!

Eventually, the nice lady agreed to sell me TWO slabs…

…but at a higher price than if I were to buy it whole. Of course I did not mind as there were only three slabs altogether plus the tail part and the head (almost half of it) and I sure do not feel like having any fish head curry so I would not know what to do with that!

We fried one for our lunch and dinner that day, Friday and yes, it was very nice…

…We sure enjoyed it very much. The lady did tell me how much the two were in total but I can’t remember now – probably around RM28.00, less than RM30.00.

There was cencaru, the smaller kembong-like fish with those huge marble like eyes but I think, I am not that fond of those. Yes, the lady said that the ikan jamar that I bought the last time was nicer so I bought those again, two kilos, TEN altogether. I asked for them to be cleaned and packed in twos so we could fry them two at a time, no need to take them all out of the freezer at one go to defrost and to cook and put back the rest.

There were a lot of or chio/ikan bawal hitam/black pomfret and I asked for SIX of the smaller ones, to be packed individually after cleaning. This way, we can fry one for lunch each time and if we want another one for dinner, we shall fry another one. In the past, I would buy one big one for two meals but I found that after reheating, come evening time, the fish would be a bit hard and dry, not so nice anymore.

All in all, I spent RM126.00 on the fish that morning but that should be enough to last for quite a long while. Besides, my doctor said I needed the protein and fish would be a very good source.

I still have some seawater pek hay (prawns) and freshwater ones (chia chui hay aka tua thow hay (big headed prawns)/ udang galah in the freezer but with my cholesterol level shooting through the roof, those would be best avoided at this point in time.

That day, my missus took two to cook our traditional Melanau style sayur rebus

…and after simmering the prawns with the other ingredients, she added the cangkok manis from our garden, torn of course…

…to bring out the taste and the sweetness and some pumpkin…

Here, I cooked that same soup but with unripened papayas and it was nice too – the ikan bilis would be optional, not a problem leaving that out since there were the prawns already for the stock.

Just add a bit of salt according to taste, no need for any msg and you can enjoy the clear and refreshing soup, so sweet from the prawns and the ingredients added.

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.