|FRIED IKAN MASIN WITH ONION, CHILLI AND ASSAM|
I was in the northeastern state of Terengganu last week. Besides a healthy tan, I brought back the not quite so healthy seafood snacks, crackers and salted whitebait.
My mother told me to prepare the salted fish or ikan masin by soaking and rinsing in water three times before using, which I did because I normally listen to my mother. I soaked the fish for about 15 minutes each time, but three dunkings in water seem to have rid the fish of all its salty flavour as well. Not quite what I look for in salted fish.
|Ikan masin, soaked (left) and fried|
Anyway, I went ahead and fried the little fish until crisp, then tossed them together with fried onion rings, red chillies, lemongrass and a tamarind sauce.
Together with a quick cabbage stir-fry and rice, lunch was served. Simple, delicious kampung food.
Not quite so kampung food was what we had in the little riverside town of Chukai on our way to our destination – baked crabs at the famous Tong Juan restaurant.
They certainly weren't stingy with the filling in each crab – there was a lot of it and it was very fresh. We had two crab shells each, which was really filling, especially since we had the meal with rice.
Personally, I thought the crab meat needed a boost of something. Terengganu food leans towards the sweet side and I have chilli in my blood, so I added quite a lot of the accompanying chilli sauce to it.