Pasar Malam: Debunking the Myth

Who among us have never bought anything from the Pasar Malam (Night Market) in Gadong? Lately there has been some “noise” that people who sell food at Pasar Malam actually buy the oil they used for deep frying from big establishments, such as perhaps KFC, or Ayamku, or whatever, who have already overused the oil for frying stuff, to keep their profit margin as wide as possible.

Now, used oil is really urgh, for reasons which are stated below:

  1. Saturated with cholestrol from previous fried item
  2. Can be toxic
  3. Carcinogenic
  4. Do I really need to go on after stating the third one?

For more information, do read here.

However, callous businessmen (in the food and catering industry), possibly like them, because, they are cheap. CHEAP!

But how far is the rumour true? If it is true, then is it ethically sound to use such oil for deep frying just so that they could increase their profits? Should we actually be demanding so much from Pasar Malam foods? But then again, is asking for “fresh” oil, demanding too much?

Mr. Beard.

Onlookers are “censored”. Note the subtle insertion of the Mall in the picture. Wahey! two hobbies in one picture! How do I manage!

Therefore, with so many questions, me and my sidekick, Mister Beard (above), also known as that man who gave me my camera, decided it would be best, before we jump to conclusions, to actually check out the site. You know, do some “research”, and get some snacks.


(of inferior quality I’m afraid due to bad lighting and the fact that I was very conscious of people staring, hehe)

Wooh, lady happened to turn around.

So we decided too rule out the Kebab and Burger stands, because they use… butter. Or at least, something pretending to be butter (Planta).

We also ruled out… pre-packed goodies such as these:

Other things we ruled out were, sweets, such as chakoi, cucur, and such.

And so, we set off to peek into the deep fryers of every single stall in Gadong’s Pasar Malam. And their outcomes. We were basically looking for, brown, and murky oil, which is giving out smoke (signs of overused oil) and dark coloured fried items with dark brown deposits (signs of being fried with overused oil).

In general, the oil, by the time we arrived at their stalls, looked like this:


The colour of the oils were not really that bad, which were a good sign. They were a shade of.. amber, instead of being murky brown.

The fried items also came out okay. This was the darkest coloured item of them all. However, I attributed the dark colour to… carelessness (hangus), instead of the oil, because the batch after this (from the same deep fryer), came out lighter.

So that leaves us with those cooked on the grills, such as this:

But since most stalls actually prepared their marinade early from home, I cannot actually confirm what kind of oil they are using. Anyone knows?

Anyway, so basically, for now, the myth that the Pasar Malam uses overused oil for deep frying, is in the simplest of terms, a myth. But don’t take my word for it! Just go down there yourself to witness the colours of their oil. Hehe. Research is delicious!

12 thoughts on “Pasar Malam: Debunking the Myth

  1. I went to this pasar malam when I was in Brunei last month. I love it! It’s better than the pasar malam,here in Singapore. Much,much cheaper.

    And I am glad that the myth is myth.=)


  2. TUNGKING!!! i want i want i want!!! and baga spesil~~ and lekor and and papa john!! and and pais daging!!! omg!!!! *drool*


  3. wohahahah! si memie ah, sebenarnya kan mau bejumpa yang BLONDE atu, tau jua org! jan eksen. ani si sulhi ani NAPSU ni eh. ngalahkan mayat bangkit.


  4. I miss miss miss Pasar malam Gadong. Can walk around with $10 and shop like no tomorrow!

    I go for panggang stuff rather than deep fried food too. Those oil scares me away.


  5. hehehe i tot RBC n d likes used the murky brown oil.. for making the gravy for mashed potatoes no??? ehehehe thats what i heard~~.. 🙂


  6. ohhh yummy tungking. Good sleuthing its safe to for Bruneians to eat em fried things w/out worry.

    ps: good luck with exams. Aku nunggu kau abis exam barutah ku kacau kau dang ahhh? Can ahh? Can?


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