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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / Seafood

Last week semperna ulang tahun kelahiran Haze Long, we went to Templer Park Forest Retreat for a bit of a getaway (blog post some other time). A place that’s a bit out of the city and more in tune with nature, which also translate to making our own food.

Fortunately, there’s a pretty well equipped kitchen for our usage, and the Selayang market nearby. So on the morning of the 2nd day, we went to the market and picked up a chunky barramundi fish (siakap) for a bit of DIY ikan bakar.

I want to share with you the recipe of this dish, as it is  a very simple dish to prepare at home. It’s pretty delicious and the use of banana leaf in this preparation method ensure that the skin is edible and never charred.

home cooked ikan bakar with siakap fish
home cooked ikan bakar with siakap fish

Ingredients:

  • 600-800 gram barramundi fish (or stingray, or any other fish of similar size)
  • turmeric powder (kunyit)
  • salt
  • lime
  • 2 pieces banana leaves big enough to cover the fish
  • a couple table spoon of cooking oil or butter

ikan bakar with kunyit (turmeric) - sedap!
ikan bakar with kunyit (turmeric) – sedap!

cooking instructions:

  • clean and dry the fish
  • cover generous amount of turmeric powder and two teaspoon of salt on the fish, set aside for at least a few minutes
  • heat up a flat surface frying pan, then pan fry the fish on top of banana leaf for 10 mins with oil
  • fry the other side of fish with a fresh banana leaf for another 8 minutes
  • serve with a couple slices of lime (bonus: with sambal)

Happy cooking!

I first came across a dish similar to this at Restaurant City Star at Dataran Prima, and what initially caught my attention was the Chinese name of the dish “肥水不流别人田”, which literally translate to “fertilized water doesn’t flow to other people’s farm“.  It was basically steamed prawns atop of “tongfun” soup.

raw seafood with herbal soup
raw seafood with herbal soup

A couple weeks ago, my ex-colleague Kelvin reminded me of this dish again when he tried it at a restaurant, and so I thought to myself, why not make it at home? It is after all just steamed seafood with herbal soup, can’t be difficult.

So I did, and here’s the recipe you can try out. Feel free to substitute the seafood to your choice, and for that matter, different soup will work too.

steam the seafood for 15 minutes, add green vegetables in the last 3 mins
steam the seafood for 15 minutes, add green vegetables in the last 3 mins

Ingredients (seafood):

  • 2 big prawns
  • 2 medium size squid (clean properly)
  • clams
  • 1 crab (cut into halves)

Ingredients (soup):

  • herbs (you can get them in packets)
  • chicken carcass (or pork bones)
  • mushroom & vegetable

and... enjoy your dinner!
and… enjoy your dinner – steamed seafood with herbal soup

Cooking instructions:

  • boil the herbs and chicken carcass for at least half an hour to one hour
  • place fresh seafood on top and use the same soup to steam it for 15 minutes
  • add vegetable to soup and boil for another 2-3 minutes
  • ready to eat!

Yeap, it’s that simple. What you’ll get is herbal soup that has enhanced seafood flavor, and steamed seafood that has a bit of herbal taste to it. I really liked the combination and will be looking to do more of this!

It’s the weekends, start cooking!

P/S: I didn’t clean one of the squid’s ink sacks properly hence the slightly darker shade of soup, but that didn’t stop me from eating everything! Also, thanks to Joyceanne for the giant prawns.

One of my favorite dishes to cook during my time in the States was scallop fried rice, the reason is two folds – it is very delicious, and scallops are very affordable there (a pack of 8-10 huge scallops went for less than $10).

first, "marinated" your scallops and prawns in brine
first, “marinated” your scallops and prawns in brine

Back home in Malaysia, scallop is quite a prized ingredient, so having scallop fried rice is a bit of a luxury. That is unless, you get the seafood from East Malaysia. I picked up some frozen scallops and prawns while on a work trip to KK a week ago, so I immediately thought of recreating the very same dish that I’ve been missing.

 

boil the vegetable, and pan fry the seafood separately
boil the vegetable, and pan fry the seafood separately 

Here’s how you can cook this simple scallop and prawn fried rice at home, feel free to substitute with other shellfish or seafood items if you like.

Ingredients (for two servings):

  • a dozen scallops, medium size
  • 6-8 prawns, medium size
  • vegetable (choi sum)
  • 2 bowls of steamed rice (cook from 1.5 cups)
  • 1 bulb of garlic, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • soya sauce
  • cooking oil
  • black pepper & salt

start by frying garlic, then rice, and finally eggsstart by frying garlic, then rice, and finally eggs

Cooking instructions:

  • marinate seafood with brine for 5-10 minutes before cooking
  • boil the vegetable separately for about 5 minutes, add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the water to make it smooth and more palatable
  • heat up 3-4 tablespoon of cooking oil and fry the seafood for about 2 minutes, set aside
  • reuse the same cooking oil but add another 3-4 tablespoon
  • fry garlic till fragrant
  • add rice and 2 tablespoon of soya sauce (dark soya sauce optional), fry for a minute
  • add pepper to taste
  • split the rice in the middle, and add eggs
  • continue frying until eggs are cooked
  • plate everything and serve!

scallop and prawn fried rice with a side of vegetable
scallop and prawn fried rice with a side of vegetable

This fairly simple dish only takes about 10-15 minutes to cook, tastes pretty awesome too. Total price for two person came up to be about RM 20 or so, I got the seafood from KK airport.

Happy eating and be sure to check out more simple recipes from yours truly.

A few weeks ago my colleague Joyceanne came out of nowhere and told me she was going to give me some live crab and if I was going to be able to bring them home on my motorcycle. Well, since you don’t get opportunities like this very often, with the help of her friend Kaiqi, who actually supplied the crabs all the way from Johor, we loaded 3 live mud crabs into my backpack. Thank you Joyce & Kaiqi!

The crustaceans took a ride of their lifetime, and arrived safe and sound at home just in time for Haze and I to decide that butter crab is in the menu of the night.

first, you have to do the dirty job by killing the crabs
first, you have to do the dirty job by killing the crabs

For the muslims who may not want to consume mud crab, flower crab can be used in replacement with this cooking method as well.

Here’s the pretty simple recipe we found online for butter crab, originally shared on Rasa Malaysia.

The ingredients to serve 2-3 person:

  • 3 live mud crabs (or flower crabs)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch as thickening agent
  • 6-12 chili padi
  • 2-3 stalks of curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste)

 melt butter, add chilli padi and curry leave before the crabs
melt butter, add chilli padi and curry leave before the crabs

The trickiest part of this recipe turned out to be .. killing the crab!

For those of you who has a heart made of steel, just go ahead and rip apart the crab’s shell alive and that’ll do the trick. We ended up using a chopstick and drove into the belly of the crabs, which also effectively killed the crab after about 10-15 minutes.

add evaporated milk and simmer for about 5 minutes
add evaporated milk and simmer for about 5 minutes

Anyway, here’s the cooking instructions:

  • clean and kill the crabs, then cut in halves and remove gills after removing shells, use pestle to pre-crack the crab claws for easier consumption
  • heat up wok with medium heat and melt butter
  • add chilli padi and curry leaves
  • when aroma is released, add crab and stir until the shells turn red
  • add evaporated milk and cover to simmer for about 5 minutes
  • add cornstarch (pre-mixed with water) and stir for a minute to thicken sauce before serving

here it is, creamy butter crab, goes well with some fried buns
here it is, creamy butter crab, goes well with some fried buns

And here you go, the butter crab turned out rather delicious. You can enjoy this dish with some fried buns or with rice/noodle, or basically anything.

Now you know what to do with live crabs! Check out other recipes by yours truly by clicking on the KY Cooks category. :)

A couple weekends ago I had an epiphany. I had garupa fish fillet in the fridge, and a pack of curry powder, so why not put them together and see what happens, right?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you – fried fish fillet with curry powder.

cover the fish with a layer of curry powder before frying
cover the fish with a layer of curry powder before frying

This dish is so easy to make you could  do it in kemahiran hidup and not mess it up.

Ingredients:

  • fish fillet (any type of fish)
  • curry powder
  • salt
  • cooking oil for frying
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • petai (optional)

some garlic and petai for garnish
some garlic and petai for garnish

Cooking instructions:

  • apply salt and curry powder to fish fillet (must be dry)
  • fry fish in medium heat for 7-10 mins each side depending on thickness
  • separately, fry chopped garlic to golden brown
  • fry petai for 2 mintues
  • serve while hot!

fried curry fish fillet with petai and garlic
fried curry fish fillet with petai and garlic

So there you go, a simple recipe anyone can try. Fried curry fish fillet with petai. For more simple home-cook recipes, check the KY cooks section.