November 20, 2017

Sarawakian Local Delights : Fresh Terubok from Lingga

According to local legends the male terubok can change sex from male to female. Kids used to say that the terubok caught in the sea is male, but when caught in the river it is a female.
And today, Scientific studies have shown that the male Terubuk or big-mouthed shad, aka tenualosa toli, can change into a female when it reaches maturity.
Scientifically the terubok is thus a pro­tandous hermaphrodite, which means the male can evolve into a female when it reaches maturity.
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Photo by Sarawakiana. Terubok at Lingga, Sarawak.
There are two breeding seasons per year and terubok is found in abundance at the estuaries of Batang Lupar, Batang Lassa.
Lingga a small town in Sarawak has adopted the terubok as its town symbol.
Terubok is valued by Sarawakians for its roe which is highly prized and priced. Its roe is sold separately and in the salted form usually. Tourists and locals alike buy the roe as gits for their loved ones. It is also commonly believed that the roes have aphrodisiac properties.
There are many ways of cooking fresh terubok : steaming with a lot of ginger and chillies, deep frying, shallow frying, and barbequing. Wrapped in leaves and cooked over a slow fire is a great way of eating the bony but sweet fish is probably the best way.


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