Mdm. Lau, the owner of my favourite fish stall not far from my house, has a few young boys working for her. They are very nice and friendly, independent workers and trustworthy and ever so often, Mdm. Lau would be nowhere to be seen, leaving everything to these boys.
I like one of them in particular especially when I look at how he does his work. Whenever I buy any fish, he would ask me how I would like to cook it – it seems that there are different ways to prepare the fish depending on whether you want to deep-fry or steam it…
The other day, for instance, I bought some barramundi (ikan siakap) and like the previous time I bought one from him, he removed all the scales till completely clean – many fishmongers would not do a good job and I had to do it all over again when I got home.
After that, he proceeded to cut open the fish and gut it, removing all that was inside including that black streak inside along the middle bone – some say that’s the blood of the fish. My girl is very fussy – the instant she sees that, she will not go on eating anymore!
Finally, he will cut the fish down the middle to split it open, still attached at one end. I understand this is the butterfly cut for fish that we would like to steam…and believe it or not, he would do all this for his customers free of charge!!!
The moment I got home, all that my missus had to do was to rinse and wash the fish clean and placing it in a plate, she would steam it…
I did not stick around in the kitchen to see what else she did but I guess eventually, she would add the sauce and the ingredients before steaming it further till it was done…
Gosh!!! That was so good! It was so very sweet and fresh, very smooth and void of any fishy smell whatsoever, absolutely delicious…
…and the best part was it worked out to only around RM17-18.00 each, less than half the price of the ikan lajong we had at the restaurant that day and everyone agreed that this was a whole lot nicer and yes, we had a lot more to eat too – the fish was big enough for the three of us for lunch as well as for dinner!
There are some very popular fish like the white pomfret (ikan bawal putih) or the ikan tapah or the tilapia that they will serve you at most, if not all, the Chinese restaurants in town and a lot of people seem to like them a lot, not me…and besides, they sure do not come cheap. I would much sooner settle for this barramundi or ikan siakap and enjoy it a whole lot more without feeling the pinch.
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.
7 thoughts on “Let’s hear it for the boy…”
The boy has done a good job. Yes, I heard the black streak inside the fish if not properly clean will give out a fishy smell when steamed. Either way is good to my liking, steamed or deep fried and cook in sweet and sour style. Having said that, I think I still like it deep fried and cook sweet and sour style more if I were to choose which way to be done.
My missus cooked sweet & sour the first time I bought the fish from this stall. It was nice but the strong taste of the tomato sauce drowned out the light and pleasant sweetness of the fish – could hardly detect and enjoy it because of that. Best to have it steamed especially when it is so fresh and sweet. At the Chinese restaurants, if they deep fry their pek chio & cook sweet and sour, it would be because the fish is not so fresh – cooking it this way, you will not feel it as much as when steaming.
My favourite is the Thai-style at my friend, Mary’s Thai restaurant before – its sweet and sour sauce is lighter, not all tomato sauce! Unfortunately, their barramundi was always so big – too big for the three of us so I could only order when I had guests.
Dunno about the black streak and the fishy smell – if you order or chio/bawal hitam at the restaurants, it will always have that – they never bother to remove it like me. I think the fishy smell, if any, is from the fish, not the black streak.
That young boy did a great job. He will help draw happy and satisfied customers to the stalls. I like this fish steamed Thai style.
I can’t remember if I ever tried Thai steamed fish – if I did, I guess it must be quite forgettable since I do not remember.
I do enjoy Teochew steamed…with salted veg and tofu.
The Thai restaurant I used to frequent had another barramundi dish, also deep fried
served with a whole lot of herbs and other ingredients, no sauce.
That was very nice too…but I prefer the one with sauce – I think they called it the 3 sour or something!
Indeed the fish looks fresh and nice, for that price, you can afford to eat fish every day. Meat is more pricey for sure.
Well, I cannot eat red meat so that leaves chicken breast only, no dairy products, no egg yolk so the only source of protein would be fish (and beans)…EVERY DAY! Thankfully, I can get some of the cheaper types of fish that I do enjoy and once in a while, I may go for the slightly more expensive ones for a change.
This reminded me of a very famous stall in KL that serves steamed fish, now I miss it
Bet that cost a bomb!!! Fish is expensive over there. These days, I see them eating tilapia a lot – not a very popular fish here, cheap.
Thanks to your title I’m going to have that song stuck in my head all day 😉
LOL!!! It was a hit way back in those disco days!!!