Category Archives: fish

Fishy Memories

Two other fishes have slipped off my menu for nearly half-a-century — the Catfish and, the Snakehead.  In my native Penang Hokkien, we called them “Thor Sat” and “Lay Hu” respectively.

I remember the Thor Sat had some venomous spikes in the fins, and so fishmongers used a pair of Pincer Cutter to clip the fins off for safety.  The Thor Sat was best cooked in a curry.

The Lay Hu were usually sold by individuals who carried them about — flipping and alive — in wooden boxes filled with water.  But they could live for quite a long while out of water; so the first thing before cutting them up was to grab them by their tails and smash their heads onto a hard floor, thereby sending them into concussion.

The Lay Hu was best savoured in a simple light soup.

Ikan Kekek Enak, I Like I Like

Haha, my version of the classic childhood song.   Either crispy deep-fried in oil or cooked in simple soup with pieces of ginger, this smallish (about 3 inches x 3 inches) plain-looking fish was a delight, guaranteed to make one polish off an extra plate of rice.

As kids we “fought” over the ultimate prizes — the roe that came in little balls about 1 cm in diameter, slightly flattened.  The poor man’s caviar !

Haiz, I have not seen nor tasted this ikan kekek for at least 3 decades now. Am not sure if it is just not available in Singapore or that it has been hunted to extinction. Maybe I have not searched hard enough.  What to do ?  As consolation, I just go to YouTube and fish out the familiar music – tak dapat makan dengar pun jadi !

Really pathetic lah, I.