What better place to take her than one of my favourite haunts - the Lutong Beach. And this is the bubuk season. Your nose will be the first to notice that there is good catch from the sea .
Indeed we were lucky that a fisherman's family had been selling the day's catch for the whole day...And the beautiful pink bubuk could be seen from far away as you drove up the Piasau Camp/Lutong Beach road.
And embarrassingly there were also more flies in the vicinity. Lots of cars were also seen lining the road side visiting the only stall which was owned by a very friendly and English speaking fisherman.
We did a "from the sea to the restaurant" dinner as we bought some lumek to try.
There were three piles of bubuk - different sizes - very small to medium.
These really look wormy...The Chinese call bubuk by a different name - furry worms..Do they look furry and wormy?
Fresh bubuk is very pinkish and smell of the sea.
The whole family was at work chasing away flies and helping to bag the bubuk for their customers who would be only too happy to buy 4-6 kg each. (the going price these few days is about 3 ringgit per kg on average as it is a good bubuk season).
Family members make their own belacan which requires a series of pounding and drying in the hot sun. The beach is a good place to dry the belacan. This family has made more than 30 kilos of the lovely shrimp paste (belacan). Well known makes of belacan are very much sought after and their reputation spreads far and wide.
A bigger shrimp in Sarawak is called Samuan. These are already boiled and dried in the sun. I have a secret recipe for this remarkable and tasty shrimp. Don't sneeze at them. They are treasures indeed. Belacan is priced at 40 -50 ringgit per kg. nowadays depending on the reputation of the maker.
Our friendly English Speaking fisherman who had lived in Rawang (KL) for three years...showing us the famous almost boneless Lumek (RM8.00 per string)
These are the big mouthed lumek...
More lumek already put in a " string" (this is a good way of selling fish here in Miri and Lutong)..You cannot just buy one or two...Lumek is a very tasty fish - cheap and nice- boiled as a soup or deep fried with KFC flour. . My mother would clean the fish and butterfly them and then crispy and deep fry them in batter. She would then keep them in an airtight tin to be taken out to eat whenever she does not have an appetite. the Foochows call this kind of condiments "buong lok" (to make the rice go down).
We bought some ( one string) and had them cooked in the restaurant (yes in some friendly restaurants the chef can prepare the lumek for you...This is crispy fried 5 spice lumek with a delicious local spicy soy sauce...
One can never be really disappointed by the Lutong Beach - and here goes...Seek and Ye Shall Find....an evening there can give you such tremendous joy.