Between playing SiMS2 & gutting a fish

As much as I wanted to play the SiMS2 all weekend, I had a gazillion stuff to do and apperances to attend. Festive season is still in the air and wonderful officemate Syena extended an invite to her “open house” on Saturday. I hate to dissappoint people when I promise something, so I decided to make the extra mile to Saujana Utama – Sungai Buloh, a one hour’s drive from Ampang. Surrounded in lush greenary and near palm plantations, its really a nice place to have a crib.

 

But for all good things, they say it comes with a price. We noticed that the weather was extremely hot and our cars front mirror suddenly blew up – yupp literary blew up but luckily it was still intact.  So me and Dee spent like an hour in the middle of no where trying to figure up what to do. Kampung Plong – where we had stopped to assess the damage – was exactly what it is a kampung. Thank you to a few fellas nearby at a food stall, we had a few pages of old newspaper and covered the dash board, the front seats and started bagging on the mirror and decided – heck, we shall by all means get to Syenas house by hook or by crook. Syenas mom makes a mean cooling rose syrup thats bound to calm anyones nerves including mine and Dee. Dee found a carwash nearby, vaacumed the broken pieces off. A few rendang, nasi impit, lodeh and faboulous chocolate cake with chocolate icing and sprinkles later, we drove back slowly in the cool Saturday night air.

Dee slept instantly after we got home, but me being me, decided to move out my 2 SiMs, opened a new bussiness and got them pregnant and went off to bed at 2.00am.

Woke up on Sunday with Dee whispering to me that he had left some change on the dining room table. Not wanting to spend so much time cooking – it really sucks when Ramadhan is over because now I have to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner. I love Ramadhan because we sae up on money and time so much more than the normal months.

Between fried noodles and nasi lemak, I finally decided to cook nasi lemak.

So our menu for Sunday was:

Nasi lemak Halba
Sambal tumis
Terung goreng
Ikan Selar kecik goreng
Kangkung Rebus

At Abg Dins I found some petite looking eggplant and fresh young fish called “selar kuning”. I prefer the young ones because they are sweeter and tastier. But the trick with them is that if you dont gut them properly and if you dont really take care of how you fry them, you might just end up with only bones.

 

Time management wise, it always best to prepare the grounded dried chillies first. My aunt – Mak Yah –  who has a catering bussiness told me the trick to nice flaming red sambal tumis, one of them if to boil the chillies first.

So while my chillies were boiling and giving out fumes that could clear one’s nostrils, I decide to prepare my eggplant and fish.

Ive cut the eggplants in half. Simple.

For fishes these small, you definitely need proper tools and a lot of patience –  a pearing knife(very small) and a nice sharp scissors. This I learnt from Abah who loves them and tender lovingly gutts them for Mama.

Here is the trick..

Start by using the scissors to snip where the gills and the outer hard skin of the gills meet.

Then snip along the side of the fish.

Use the small pearing knife to scrape off all the insides of the fish.

Use the scissors again to snip off the front fins.

A lot of fish mongers “beheads” the fish when they gutt it and I hate that. So this is the best way.

Dont forget to wash them throughly before coating them with salt, some cummin powder and corn starch (to avoid sticking). Frying fish this small you really need a non-stick pan for deep frying so that the meat doesn’t stick. Again, you dont want to end up with just bones in the end.

The other trick of making a good nasi lemak are below:

The way you cut the big onions. The top part (cut into rings) are for the sambal. For the rice, you need to cut it as you see in the bottom part of the plate.

Add the halba to make the rice frangrant (small yellowish bits you see that looks like a grain of rice). This is optional. Halba is great for curries as well, but be sure to fry them with the curry leaves for that nice aroma. You need to add “buah keras” as well to your small to make it nice and thick.

As insignificant as it may be, but palm sugar or gula melaka gives your sambal a nice dark maroon color instead of it being orange.

Dont forget the pandan leaves – which is essential for any nasi lemak.

I love to use M&S UHT coconut milk. Its rich and creamy and less colesterol. Saves me the time and hassle. Cooking is suppose to be a fun event, not something you dread.

I used Faizah Herba Poni Rich, less carbo. Suprising if you eat nasi lemak made from this organic rice, you dont feel sleepy and drowsy.

So here is my liquid gold – the sambal

And this is my serving suggestion. I usually like my nasi lemak to be different. No anchovies and nuts and boil eggs for today, but I think this makes a well balanced meal, no?

Later, we got a tour of the house we’re going to buy next year – 2 houses opposite of us. It was going for 75k but someone they said – what the heck – we’ll go for 85k and put in all the furniture and move back to Segamat with our pots and pans and some momento stuff – FOR REAL??? I’m just too excited. Kitchen cabinets and hob..and nice sofas, built in bedroom wardrobe…OMG…just cant wait. Abg S’s family has always been helpful and to consider us as buyers…we’re really honoured.

I really wanna go back to my SiMS2 but I know I got loads of postcards to sort out. The lot you see down there in that blue box is just for the last 2 week..haiz…suffer la.

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Filed under Faizah Herba Poni Rich, fish, fish dish, gutting fish, malaysian dish, Malaysian Food, Nasi Lemak, Recipe, Resepi

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