Friday, May 16, 2008

Fugu from Sarawak

As I was blogging last night, babe said why don't you blog about Sarawak blowfish? Yup, you read correctly and it is not a typing error either, FUGU FROM SARAWAK! Actually, I never knew we have fugu until I went with babe to Sri Aman once. One of the first thing that we did when we go there is to go to the local wet market. That is where I saw babe goes to the salted fish stalls and choose a few packets of ugly and thorny looking salted fish. It is the ugliest thing that I ever seen and I will definitely not imagine myself buying or eating it! But let me tell you, there is no other salted fish like salted fugu! The fish is basically cut open, flatten, salted and dried. The same way to make any other kind of salted fish.

Sarawak fugu is also exotic even in Sarawak. Alot of Sarawakian does not even know such fish exist. Actually it is found mostly can be found in Sri Aman and along the way from Kuching to Sri Aman. Eventhough there is a small fishing village that is famous for blowfish on the way from Sri Aman to Bintangor, it is hard to find anyone selling them along the way. I find it rather surprising actually. I wonder if the blowfish is really being commercialise, what will happen? Then fugu will not only be famous in Japan.

But before it can go through the curing process, need to remove the poison from the fish first. I am not sure how they did this as I have never seen the fresh kind before. Only the salted ones. Apparently, on the way to Bintangor, there is village on the way that specialised in producing salted fugu. I guess this is one of my to-do list when I managed to get back to Kuching next time. I wonder how fresh Sarawak fugu will taste like. I bet it will be very very silky and delicious! Dip in batter and fry to golden crispy perfection. (MORE DROOL!!!)

I am a fish eggs lover (yar yar high cholesterol!) and I have actually eaten salted Sarawak fugu egg once. And let me warn you, this is not for the faint hearted. The first bite, you will be able to feel tingling on your tongue. At first, I thought this is because of too much salt on the eggs. On 2nd bite, the tingling starts to feel sharper. And after eating more than 3pcs, basically, the tongue goes slightly numb and lightheaded. Of course, the sensation goes away after awhile. Again, I am swallowing my saliva while describing it to you! DROOL!!

So, how do you cook the salted fish. So, usually we will cut it into about the size of two fingers and clean with water. Well, the trick is to fry it as crispy as possible without burning it. This is essential as the best part of the fish is the skin! Yup, the sharp thorny skin.

Whole salted Sarawak fugu. 1 pack of 2-3 salted fugu cost
between RM5-10 depending on the size.

Close up of the fugu. See the sharp thorns?


twosuperheroes said...

wow....interesting woh..Fugu fish eh.. How does it taste like, I mean besides the tingling sensation and all... :p

Jen's Place said...

Hi Superheroes,
The flesh dont give you tingling feeling on the tongue. It taste fantastic and smells even better! I used to soak them in water long long long time to get rid of the salty taste and then fry them. Taste like keropok!!! yum yum...DROOL!