August 3, 2015

Sibu Tales : Ikan Gonjeng or Hong Boi 凤尾魚

My maternal grandmother was a very frugal house wife from the rubber tapping days of Sibu. She had come from a very poor background in China and was in fact sold off as a child bride.

Because of her early childhoold background, she was very careful with whatever money she had and she worked very hard for herself and for her children. When freshly bought, and the eyes were so glistening and bright, my grandma would say, "Just like in Dong Shan, where we obtained fresh fish..." and she would steam them too for the evening meal.

Sometimes she would deep fry the fish if she had extra cooking oil

At times she would have extra of the fish, she would squirt some soy sauce onto the fish , add a bit of sugar. These little fish would be served at every meal, until they were finished. I remember her eating them lovingly, tail and heads and everything.

She would exclaim, " Even the bones were good for chewing. How clever God was as a Creator...."

My mother still loves to deep the gonjeng or Hung Mui Ngii. This is her small plate of the fish we could hardly find nowadays in the fresh fish market. But when we get them we would always buy for her.

Sibu Tales : Making Bah Gui from Scratch

The pioneering families of Sibu Foochows continued to practise the  adoption of girls from poor families who become their maids (slaves). ...