Ikan Terubok (toli shad/Chinese herring), bitter gourd fritters, otak-otak sausage and other delights @ Eddy’s dinner

Dinner Spread

Eddy is my brother, not by something as accidental as blood, but something much stronger – by choice. He’s always been a solid friend ever since I met him in 2008. He’s usually the one picking me up when I fly back to Sibu and this time was no exception. His wife Jona is a great cook and I went over for dinner the other day.

Fried salted ikan terubok (toli shad)

Terubok Fish

This is ikan terubok (also known as toli shad or Chinese herring). It’s a very popular fish in Sarawak. Toli shad is only available here and there are two varieties – the fresh ones and the dried + salted version. You can see the distinctive pattern here coz the scales are not removed (!!!).

Ikan Terubok

You actually deep fry the entire fish and it comes out very crunchy so you can eat the scales and bones. I thought that was very intriguing – I’ve never had it this way before and wanted to get some for my better half to try. It’s sooooo delicious. You can only get this fish in Kuching though.

Meatball soup

Meatball Soup

I didn’t eat this until after I finished all my rice coz I didn’t grow up with soup so it’s not essential to my diet. I know some cultures like Foochow and Cantonese which accords soup a very important (even essential) place on the dinner table. I found the soup to be very flavorful from the meatballs and the texture of the soft vegetables (from boiling) to be quite heartening.

Stewed pig stomach

Stewed Pig Stomach

This is not for the picky eater but I love it. The hog maw is from Golden Happiness Restaurant. I’ve eaten the same dish before during Chinese New Year and they do it really well. It’s a mixture of organs – pig tail, pig ears, and duck.

Steamed vegetables

Steamed Vegetables

This is the healthiest item for the night. Eddy has two Indonesian maids and he treats them really well. We all eat together during buka puasa (the breaking of fast during the month of Ramadan for them, who are Muslims).

Otak-otak sausage

Otak-Otak Sausage

This is something new for me as well. I was quite hungry when I woke up (fell asleep at his place coz I’ve been working late nights during this trip) and had one of the otak-otak sausages before dinner. It’s very spicy and really tastes like otak-otak, although it’s not made of fish. I’m not sure what kind of protein is inside, let’s just say it’s a lip-smacking package of mystery meat in tube form. smirk

Onion omelet

Onion Omelet

A comfort food that most people has grown up with. It’s large Bombay onions chopped and fried with eggs. The sweetness from the onions make this a very familiar and welcome addition to the meal.

Pan-fried lamb chops

Pan-Fried Lamb Chops

I love lamb chops. My mom used to cook them for us when we she was still alive and all of our family like the taste of lamb. I’m particularly fond of unrendered lamb fat – it’s strong tasting and gamey to a lot of people but these very characteristics are the same reason I love the fatty parts.

Bitter gourd fritters

Bitter Gourd Fritters

Bitter gourd chips! This is thinly sliced bitter gourd that’s been battered and fried. It’s crunchy and slightly bitter – pure awesome! I’ve also never had it this way, that’s why I always like eating at Eddy’s house. Jona always comes out with food that I don’t eat often (or at all) so it’s a pleasure to sample these new dishes.

Group Photo

It was a delightful dinner. I’ve always enjoyed eating at Eddy’s place due to the splendid cooking. I tend to overeat and stuff myself but it’s worth it, coz I hardly ever eat here unless I’m back home. There’s always something interesting on the table and the fare is better than most restaurants out there.

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19 thoughts on “Ikan Terubok (toli shad/Chinese herring), bitter gourd fritters, otak-otak sausage and other delights @ Eddy’s dinner

    • It’s my first time eating ikan terubok masin goreng garing. :)

      Awesome stuff! My friend wanted to pass me one but unfortunately I had so much problems with my new e-banking account (the branch didn’t activate it) that I spent the better part of an hour going back and forth (needed my company stamp/chop) and had to check-in by the time I was done.

      Ironically, the flight has been delayed for more than 2 hours.

  1. Otak otak sausage? Spicy? I wonder where he got those – sure would love to try.

    Terubok, I prefer it baked, lightly (or it will become too dry, becomes like cardboard – same with sardines)…or grilled over hot burning charcoal like how they do it in the kampung (must not be overdone as well). However, at Kasturi or Fisherman (Never have this there! It will burn a hole in your pocket so bad you would not know what hit you!!!), they only serve it deep fried. Steamed is good too, the fresh ones.

      • Yeah, it’s salty but I don’t know if it’s brined or salted! :)

        Yup, best thing about it is you can eat the bones and even the scales!

    • Yeah, I’ve never had the fish before! :)

      I thought it was really good served this way – deep fried. I enjoyed eating the scales, it was quite salty but that’s part of the appeal. It’s the salted version so you can eat all the scales and the bones. I don’t think I would have enjoyed picking the bones out in the steamed version although I’ll love to try.

      Hmm…I can’t remember where he got the otak-otak sausages.

  2. wah, very cool meal! i think i’ve tried ikan terubok, but usually it was cooked in a way where it remained quite bony and tricky to eat … so i don’t really have fond memories of it, but this cooking preparation sounds ingeniously perfect! :D

    • Yeah, I think the salted version is better suited to deep frying! :)

      That’s my POV anyway, whatever that’s worth, since it’s my first time tasting this fish. I’ve heard of ikan terubok before and it’s been ordered before (by other people – never ate vegetables or fish until I was in my early 30’s – no joke) but never had it this way, not the salted version anyway. It’s great!

  3. Hello Eddy & Jona!! Invite me over to have this same delicious dinner when I visit okay.
    This otak-otak sausage is really a clever dish and I could imagine its unique taste in the smooth sausages! Yums!

    I can see how brotherly bonds you have with Eddy! I also have 2 buddies who are more brothers than my own blood brother! I could call them for help at wee hours and they would always offer to send me to airport for my trips. They are priceless to me like Eddy to you.

    • Yeah, he’s been a really solid friend to me. :)

      I have two buddies I can count on, Eddy and another in Kuching called Ah Lung. The former is older than me and the latter is younger than me but not by much. I don’t have biological brothers so they are the closest thing I have to brothers, like I said, Eddy is a bro by choice.

      Haha! I don’t think it’s a problem, Eddy and Jona are very nice people, I’m sure they’ll have you over if you ever come to Sibu.

    • Yup, it tasted like a CNY dinner! :)

      I ate here a lot during Chinese New Year too. They cook really delicious food. I was back for Ching Ming as well and ate here too. I haven’t written about a particularly delicious meal that a bunch of us were privy to last time I came back.

    • Yeah, come to think of it I remember having it in Bangsar! :)

      I haven’t eaten it outside of Indian vegetarian restaurants like the banana leaf place in Telawi 2, mamaks don’t usually carry it, not the ones I’ve been to anyway. Thanks for the reminder! I still think this is slightly better than the one I had in Nirwana though.

    • Hmm…I don’t know if you can really call it a salted fish! :)

      I’m not sure how to categorize it. Brined? It looks like normal fish, not dried or dehydrated but it’s definitely salty, and it’s sold in regular fish markets, not dry goods salted fish markets.

  4. The salted Terubok you get at Satok market are no longer local but from Vietnam/Thailand due to cost and availability. Its pretty tough to get fresh local terubok unless you have the connection to fishermen. Ideally 2-3kg (rare) & steam is a heavenly dish though not everyone can savor this fish due to the many bones. My family crave for it!

    And alwiz good to see Mr Puah in such good shape & surrounded with much loves…peace

    • Interesting! Thanks for the info bro! :)

      Yeah, personally I hardly ever see it, I’ve heard of the name before but wasn’t a fish person last time. Eddy brings it in from Kuching, he had one last one that he prepared for me to take back but I had an e-banking problem so he was kind enough to shuttle me around to fix it.

      I’ve never tried the steamed version, I’m sure it’ll be nice but I’m just shuddering when I think about the bones. I’m more of a no-bones kind of person. Haha. Cod and other fish with no pinbones (just the internal one) is ideal coz I don’t like to pick through bones while I’m eating coz I eat really fast and inevitably would swallow a bone. I don’t mind eating it for fun when I’m not hungry though.

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