It was a nice cloudy Monday and the very famous former SMRT blogger Gintai (Alan Tang) asked me if I would like to join his friend Freddie and Alan (his neighbour by the same name) on a seafood shopping trip to Kampung Pendas in Johor.
We took a slow drive, crossed the Second Link and made a U-turn into Kampung Penda, a real, living, fishing village.
You can see a whole variety of fish here and virtually tonnes of flower crab. My 1.5kg grouper cost be RM70. The flower crab cost RM20 per kg. Gintai gave me some to try out. I’d certainly buy a few kgs the next time I go there.
For the flower crab, I wash them, put everything into a pot, drench them with Chinese cooking wine, place a few slices of ginger and then turn on the heat. At high heat, it takes only 5 minutes.
The fish is a bit trickier. I have never cooked such a big fish. In retrospect, I should have asked for it to be cut into several pieces and cooked a couple of pieces at a time.
Anyway, I decided to do something much more heroic. I cooked the whole fish. The only practical way of doing it is doing it Teochew style. I’ve got my kiam chye, mushrooms, tomatoes, ginger and sour plum in the broth. For this, I recommend 10 mins on each side.
It’s difficult to cook the fish evenly this way. The best that you can do is to scrape out the parts that cook faster (near the tail) before they overcook. The best thing to do is to get them to cut up or fillet the fish. Regardless, the taste of the “soup” is phenomenal.