My favourite fish and seafood stall not far from my house is no longer there. The boy told me that Madam Lau has retired, not running the business anymore but I do know that she had a stall at the central market and if I am not wrong, she also had one in the vicinity of the Sunday Market as well but I don’t go to those two places so I am not sure if she is doing it there or not.
This particular stall was on the narrow pavement against the wall of the building and customers would stand by the side of the road to pick and buy the fish. Many would park their cars illegally along the road on the opposite side even though there were ample parking spaces round the corner in front of the building.
It did not matter one bit though because there were hardly any cars passing through – those that did never had a problem, not at all so there would be no reason for the town authorities to force them to close down the stall. Just go round the kampung any time of day and you will see all the stalls by the roadside selling all kinds of things and all the cars parked illegally along the already VERY congested and narrow road to go and buy and nothing ever happens to them!
Now, the fish stall has moved to the front of the shop/supermarket – perhaps they have taken over but one young boy would still be there every morning to attend to the customers. The only difference now is once done, you will have to take your purchases to the cashier’s counter inside the supermarket to pay for them.
I have not dropped by for a long time now so I am not sure what fish they are selling these days. As far as I know, they have three types of farmed fish from the Batang Ai hydro-electricity lakes – the tilapia, ikan sultan and the barramundi (ikan siakap). They harvest them and send them over regularly so you can be sure they are very fresh, no mud smell at all. I liked to buy the barramundi – all of them would be of a standard weight, 600 gm, all the same…and the boy would clean it and do the butterfly cut for me, ready for steaming.
Well, I was browsing around one of the supermarkets here the other day when I saw this…
As far as I know, Malaysia exports this fish to Australia and those people overseas would not eat fish, bones and all, and would rather go for those pre-filleted ones. I assumed this was farmed from the last part that said, “Our hand-cut fillets are flash-frozen within hours of harvest, locking in the freshness and flavour.“
Much to my surprise though, this did not come from Batang Ai. Instead, it came all the way from Perak in West Malaysia…
…selling at around RM20.00 a box, two pieces inside…
…400 gm altogether. My cousin in Bintulu said that they were selling this fish a little cheaper at around RM40.00 for a kilo there but theirs were plastic-wrapped, not in nice boxes like this. The fresh ones from Batang Ai are selling for around RM28.00 a kilo but they are whole fish, not filleted.
My missus steamed it for our meals the other day…
…and yes, I would say that it…
…was very nice, no unpleasant fishy smell, no bones, all fish! Personally, I felt the Batang Ai ones that we had before were nicer – smaller but smoother and silkier but these are so very convenient. We can just keep a few boxes in the freezer and take out to cook whenever we feel like having fish, no need to go through all that hassle of cleaning the fish prior to cooking and no need to worry about the bones when eating.
There were only two boxes left at the supermarket and we grabbed both of them. I don’t know if they will replenish the stock or not – that is the problem here. Once something is sold out, you may never get to see it again.
3 thoughts on “In a box…”
No hassle of cleaning and no bones, that sounds good. Vacuum packed and in nice boxes too. Yes, if it is nice and so convenient, I will also buy and keep in the freezer. Looks really good after steaming.
But it is actually around double the price of the fresh ones from Batang Ai…but those would include the head and the bones and everything!
Barramundi is quite popular in Australia. It grows in the northern tropical waters.
I hear they export it there from here too.