The nth food post

In keeping with the Sang Jati theme, here is a blog post about a Sang Jati meal we had last night. It was my Uncle’s belated birthday meal and he insisted that my mum cooks.

Obviously, since this is a Danau meal, we had a lot of fish dishes, namely, lawar!


The before picture: freshly cut and deboned temanong fish: ready to be acidified into deliciousness.

The after picture like the one you’ve seen here.

This is a favorite dish of our Uncle’s. I’m sorry I don’t have a better picture. We call this “Sada Lempa’an“, literally means “clear fish broth”. Whenever my Uncle comes to dinner, we always always have this dish ready. It’s a delicious marriage of simple spices, asam for sourness, and fresh fish. The yellow tint is owed to turmeric, added in the beginning.

This is simply fried fish. Every family in Brunei has a version or other of how to make this. Ours use a simple marinade of asam jawa or tamarind as we call it, and salt. Other people might add curry powder, chilli, turmeric, or other spices depending on their personal tastes.

This is spinach, cooked in the visibly obvious garlic, chillies and shallots. The secret ingredient that makes the simple spinach dish irresistable is called the sapak, usually in the form of either dried prawns or dried anchovies.

A fresh green vegetable (which is not very fresh hehe) which is delicious when accompanied by the lawar is the kacang sirik. But I don’t really like it though. The rest of my family just loves it!

A simple omelette for the kids.

All this is eaten with hefty helpings of rice between stories, anecdotes, chomping sounds and loud bursts of laughter from everyone.

7 thoughts on “The nth food post

  1. Lawar is also otherwise known as Umai… me thinks. Well at least from your description it certainly reads very much like how I would prepare umai. The only difference is that I prefer to use tenggiri rather than temanung but I’m adventurous so won’t mind trying it out one day.

    Another thing is that you can find people selling umai a lot especially in Miri…allegedly. I can’t verify this but friends have admitted to this. Maybe you can check this one out if you happen to be there…



  2. Alex, as I’ve mentioned in my last lawar post (comments section), a few interviews to those who have experienced umai has confirmed that there is actually a difference between the two dishes where umai uses vinegar rather than kasturi lime.

    but i have yet to see this on my own. hee.

    oh and regarding tenggiri, yes my uncle prepares the dish using tengiri once. the difference was in the texture. temanung had more bite as the flesh was firm and that complemented the shallots perfectly. but the tengiri was uber fresh at the time so it was nice. freshness trumps texture! πŸ™‚


  3. Mau, nya my mom, the umai recipe that she got from her mum comes with kasturi as well, Sarawak umai.
    By the way, ambuyatnya mana? Hehe. In my dad’s side of the family, though rice is served, the ambuyat is the one that everybody rushes for, then they go for the rice.
    My dad, brother, an uncle and I, though, will still eat the ambuyat when everybody else is eating rice already.


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