We’re in charge…

The other day, after enjoying my fish soup kway teow here, I decided to walk over to my favourite fish & seafood stall at the end of that block of shops to say hello to the very nice Mdm. Lau there. I did not drop by for quite sometime as I had not been so mobile lately.

Unfortunately, she was not around! She had left her young boy helpers in charge and according to them, she was at home making up for lost time because her daughter had come home from Singapore and they had not seen each other for over two years, all throughout the horrible pandemic.

I bought some of those little fishes, quite a lot of bak chik and there were two kembong left and I took those for RM12.00 altogether and I decided to buy one whole ikan senangin, not a very big one for RM20.00. I could not remember what fish the latter was until I checked my post here – it turned out to be the very nice ngor hu or the threadfin.

One of the boys asked if I would like to steam or deep fry it and since I was not too sure, he just cut it up into slices for deep frying. He said he could do it differently depending on what I would want to do with it, like what he did to the ikan siakap (barramundi)…

…that I bought from him once.

Oh? So he was the one! Mdm. Lau has a few helpers, young Malay or Melanau boys, all very nice and friendly, very trustworthy and able to work independently so I do not really remember all of them. I asked him if there was any siakap that morning but he said that they did, just a few but he would not sell them to me as they were two days old, not freshly delivered from Batang Ai that day. Now, isn’t that nice? I am pretty sure others will just sell it to me quietly and run laughing all the way to the bank!

It was then that I saw the ikan terubok (chee khak/toli shad)…

It was so fat and looked so fresh and nice plus it had been a while since we last ate one.

However, one of the boys kept repeating the price, “RM60.00 a kilo! RM60.00 a kilo!” Obviously, he was trying to discourage me from buying, not because it was not good – he did admit it was very nice but because it was so expensive.

I had just bumped into my girl’s coursemate on Facebook – they were together in Sg Petani, Kedah and in Wellington, New Zealand and they had just moved her to Daro in the Rejang Delta. I gathered from Mdm. Lau that she gets their ikan terubok from there but my girl’s coursemate said they were not in season at this point in time, very difficult to come by. I sure was lucky and of course, I insisted on buying one for RM48.00 (less than 1 kg) and taking it home happily!

It is not difficult to get hold of the salted ones…

…and the salted roe (eggs)…

…here. Folks from West Malaysia would buy these by the boxes to take home everytime they fly over to Kuching to spend their holidays.

I do enjoy eating those too but to me, nothing beats eating the fresh ones, rubbed with a bit of salt and wrapped in aluminum foil and baked…

…in our Tatung pot…

We tried baking it in the oven but it was not as nice.

These days, we would line the foil with daun kunyit (turmeric leaves) for the added fragrance…

It is simply out of this world, so very sweet, so very fragrant, so so delicious – a whole lot nicer than cooking the fish any other way!

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.

Author: suituapui

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

9 thoughts on “We’re in charge…”

  1. Bak chit, kembong and ngor hu are my favourites and will buy if I happen to come across. No one in my family likes chee khak, for simple reason, too many tiny bones. Ikan siakap and pek chio are great for steaming.

    We prefer deep fried fish to steaming, my girl, especially…so we just follow her. Yes, like ikan sultan, terubok has a lot of bones, most freshwater fish are like that but not as bad as the Wang Poo Liao! Must have a lot of time and eat slowly. All of them, I enjoy a lot more than salmon, got smell!!!

  2. When I go to fish mongers, I always get them to clean and cut fish to me. Easy and convenient.

    The boy was very friendly and thoughtful.

    I just got a free mackerel from hubby’s friend on Monday. Fresh from sea, and he passed to me in one piece. Luckily it is easy to handle mackerel for me. Lol. I immediately divided the fish into 2 packs. And another pack of fish head and tail, for curry or Assam curry. Hehe.

    Took out 1 pack today, going to fry them later.

    I can clean fish, no problem with that but of course, if there is somebody doing it for me, I shall not complain. LOL!!!
    I’m very lazy when it comes to the small fish though, like the bak chik. So glad the boys will do it for me.
    That is why I do not buy the ikan seluang (herrings), so nice, fried till crispy, eat it all including the bones.
    I did ask the Iban lady selling them if she would do it and she said, malas tak payah makan! So rude. Of course I did not buy from her!

  3. I don’t mind cleaning the fish but it can be messy with all the scales flying all over the place. Here, most of the stalls will willingly clean the fish for their customers. I like ikan terubok too but too bad, I am the only one eating because everyone complains of its many bones.

    One trick is to hold the fish very tightly by the head and the tail and pull real hard – the bones will all be aligned from head to tail, easy to pick out and remove while eating.
    I think there are different varieties – some, you cannot eat the top half, so many little bones like ikan lumek. We have not come across these days though (touch wood!) – the ones we have had all this while were quite easy to eat, no problem picking out the bones and throwing them away.
    It is the taste of the fish that we love so much, so very special, so fragrant…quite unlike other types of fish.

  4. Not sure I have tried salted fish roe like that before.
    The only one I usually have, came from flying fish called tobiko used in Japanese sushi.
    I do love Cantonese style steamed fish though.
    We have Nyonya style (green yellowish paste) steamed fish in my little kampung too.

    >Those things they tied up the tree. I wonder why they did that!
    Oh, those random crocheted items were just a part of guerilla art movements.
    Sometimes, they also grow some random wildflowers from seeds underneath a random tree on a busy pavement.
    It is very noticeable because as you walk along the pavement, you will see a tree with colourful flowers at the bottom.

    1. I’ve eaten tobiko before and I quite liked it, just that I cannot remember when or where.
      We have Teochew steam here – with a bit of salted veg and tofu – the Chinese folks here prefer fish steamed…and they like ikan tapah…or ikan patin…or other more expensive ones like pek chio or Soon Hock. They would never go for terubok – used to be very popular at places with Malay customers, deep fried – not our favourite way to cook it.

      Btw, who is Operation X? Spamming my notifications by liking ALL my comments in YOUR blog!!!

  5. Now you made me crave for fish roes

    The kiwis eat those too? Can’t remember any other salted ones here other than this very popular one – the rest are fresh ones, they just happen to be in the fish and we eat them after deepfrying.

  6. I much prefer steamed over deep-fried. I find things that are deep-fried tend to all taste the same.

    Steamed fish can be very tricky, must be extra fresh to be really nice. If you are served white pomfret or tilapia, for example, deep fried and served with some sauce at a Chinese dinner, you can be sure it is not fresh. With the deep frying and the sauce, you will not feel a thing – it will be so bland, not nice and sweet if steamed, no matter what ingredients and toppings you add.

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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