when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs
i’m thankful that i had the chance to experience life in the kampung during my much younger years.. my late great grandparents from my mom’s branch of the family were part of the Peranakan Chinese community in Kampung Tirok, Terengganu.. i spent parts of my school holidays staying over at my late great grandparents’ traditional kampung house in Kampung Tirok back in then.. falling asleep to the sound of jungle cicadas buzzing non-stop throughout the night.. waking up to the cool and quiet morning air void of any city bustle.. chasing the chickens around the house.. being playfully chased by the neighbors’ dogs.. helping the elders collect duku fruit in the orchard.. throwing pieces of bread and crackers into the pond behind the house to feed my late great grandfather’s tilapias.. it was a blast~
one of the dishes i grew up eating is very much loved in Terengganu.. it’s prepared quite often, at least once a week, in our household at least, but i’m pretty sure it’s the same everywhere else that you can probably say that it’s a staple dish in most homes in my hometown.. ikan singgang, or fish in hot and sour soup, is one of Terengganu’s signature specialties..
i like to slurp spoonfuls of the piping hot soup while dipping pieces of the fish meat in budu (salty fermented anchovies paste mixed with crushed bird eye chillies) and have it with white rice.. hubs is not much of a budu fan, so sometimes i prepare a kicap pedas dip (sweet thick soy sauce mixed with minced bird eye chillies) instead..
ikan singgang is usually cooked using ikan kembung (mackerel) or ikan selar (yellow striped scad) but other fish can be used as well.. galangal and turmeric gives the soup its distinctive aroma, as well as flavor and color.. bird eye chilli is an optional ingredient, add it if you like some heat in your soup..