Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Grilled Fish - Pelabuhan Ratu, Indonesia

The market for fish is huge. There is a big premium if the fish is fresh. Coastal fishermen that bring in their catch daily are in this category. I used to enjoy these fishes when I am back in Penang. The taste and texture of these fresh fishes are incredible. My wonderful mother-in-law will get them from the market and I will have a gala time feasting on red snapper, grouper and pomfret. Being Cantonese, my father educate me very early on the merits of fresh fish whether it is fresh water or from the sea. If you are in or near Pesta and Bayan Lepas you are in luck. Locals will tell you where to get to these markets.
Years ago a business friend who runs businesses in Indonesia and Philippines commented that if he could export the fresh fish from these archipelagic nations, he will be rich. So far he has not being able to figure out how to bring them home.
Last year I was in Pelabuhan Ratu, Java, Indonesia. It is about 4 ½ - 5 hours drive from Jakarta. Tourists go there for their live seafood. Lobsters, tuna and all types of live seafood are available. We bought a baby lobster, fishes, squid and prawns to be grilled over coconut husks fire.
The other archipelagic nation would be Philippines. The Filipinos love their food grilled over fire. I have lapu-lapu (grouper) in Central Mindanao. When it is fresh cooking it any which way is fine. The other fish will tuna. It comes in big. Almost the height of a adolescent. I have it near Cagayan de Oro, North Mindanao. Huge slices of the chunky meat will be marinated in their special marinate and grilled over fire. The meat flakes off. Peeled it off and eat it flake by flake! The meat is dry and rough tough. The trick is to have a strong marinate.
I will reserve my last comment for their ‘talakito’ or Great Trevally. The meat is succulent, moist and juicy. I think the reason is it was grilled over fire wrapped in banana leaves. It retains its sea taste and with the slight infusion of the green leaves it smells so natural. BTW that fish costs about USD13. I will always associate the Palawan island with the great 'talakito'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.