Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Raw fish for dinner

The famous Bintulu Melanau raw fish dish called 'Umai'

 It is one of my favourite local dish, something akin to the famous Japanese  'sushi' but in Bintulu is called 'Umai'.  The main ingredients for Umai are as follow:-
1) Fresh 'Ikan Gelama' ( Ha, Ha, ...Google for more images of this fish)
2) 'Kiam Chai' (Chinese to mean salted vegetable)
3) Limau Nipis (Malay to mean lime)
4) Chillies
5) Big onions
6) Ginger
The ingredients are shown at the inset and below:
 This dish is very simple to do as it involves no 'cooking' in the sense that the fish is neither fried nor grilled or boiled but instead eaten raw after all the above ingredients are sliced and mixed well with the fine slices of the 'Gelama' fish.  Of course other kind of fishes can be used as well depending on your budget and taste.  Among the preferred fishes for Umai are the 'Ikan Bawal' or Pomfret, 'Ikan Tenggiri' and  'Ikan Perang'. For the Gelama and especially the Perang fish you need to do a little bit of extra work to remove the small bones.  This is done by cutting the fish into fillet-size  as shown below.  Once removed of the tiny bones the meat can be sliced further into smaller bite  pieces.

Sliced the Gelama fish into fillet, before slicing them further into bite pieces.

Bite pieces of the Gelama fish ready to receive other ingredients.  Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and leave for about 15 minutes minimum before eating the dish.  The completed preparation is shown below.  It is traditional to eat the Umai dish with sago pellets.
Raw fish or Umai for Dinner anyone?

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