Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Local Living in Pangkor

Pangkor Island is located at the west side of the peninsular of Malaysia in the state of Perak. It is a 20 minutes ferry ride away from Lumut where the jetty is at. Pangkor had 2 main mini towns where all the island hustle and bustle happens. One of them is Pekan Pangkor, located just beside of the main Pangkor jetty.

Let me take you on a blog walk through Pekan Pangkor. Like any small towns, everyone knows everyone, and everyone is friendly. Food is good and always fresh. Food in Pangkor is always never mass produced (except for dried seafood) so the quality of what you get in every dish or product is maintained.

Homemade mee suah. If you come across any of this mee suah in any shops in Pangkor, be sure to buy one and try. This is the same type of noodles used for the Red Rice Wine Noodles aka Ang Chiu Mee Swa (see Eating journey to the Mid North Malaysia for more info).

The noodles will also taste great with chicken, ikan bilis (anchovies) or rice wine soup!

Since majority of the chinese in Pangkore are Hokkien's, many Hokkien dishes and food stuff can be easily found, such as the Hokkien Mee Tiau. This is actually just noodles made from flour (not too sure what kind of flour is used). It's not commonly found in KL, but there are shops that sell this if you really hunt for it.

Kueh and desert stalls can be found everywhere. A lot of them sells really good Ikan Nasi Lemak because fish is ample and cheep in Pangkor. If you come across Otak Otak (steamed fish with herbs and eggs wrapped in banana leafs), you have go to try one of those because even the yuckiest of the Otak Otak is really good because of the fresh fished used in it. And just for your information, these Otak Otak are the authentic Otak Otak aren't like the imitation fishball like paste Otak Otak you find in the KL's night market. During the late evenings and nights, there are also stalls selling Chinese cakes and traditional delicacies like the 'fat kou', Hokkien 'chai kueh', Yam cakes and many more.

Shops selling seafood products such as dried salted fish, dried shrimps 'heh bee', satay fish, satay jelly fish and dried anchovies 'ikan bilis' guaranties you the freshes of these dried products. However, these shops tend to charge the non-local more. (But still cheaper and more fresh compared to the ones you get in the city) Some seafood stuff can't be bought from these kind of shops. The locals in Pangkor usually would go to the place they manufacture the foodstuff (usually a small hut or even homes). It's a good idea to ask the locals of these locations for more unique seafood tidbits

Since Pangkor is a fishing island village, fish stalls like this are commonly found is Pangkor. Fresh sea harvest from the sea to the boat to land.

You can ask for your fish to be de-scale and the internals removed for free. Also ask them for tips on how to keep your fish fresh.

Here's a few tips for keeping your seafood fresh.
1# When buying fresh (and I mean really fresh) fish, removing the scales and internal is ok, but do not wash the wish with clean water. It is a good idea to freeze the fish that way and only wash it when you want to cook it. The sea water actually keeps the fish fresher, and the meat sweeter.
2# Kill, clean and cook crab immediately. Keeping crab meat over night spoils the meat.
3# If you have frozen fish to transport but don't have an ice box, just wrap it in thick layers of newspaper. You fish will still stay cold if not frozen for up to 8 hours. (And that is more than enough time to travel from Singapore's Senoko fish farm to Alor Setar!)
4# Keep shellfish in their shells until cooking.

Fresh sotong! (see sambal cincalok sotong for recipe)

Vegetables and fruits are a little more expansive in Pangkor. If you do find them, I believe most are brought in from the Peninsular, only a minority are organically grown in the island itself.

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2 pieces of worms:

Dragon City

nice place to leave...I haven't been there b4..must go there one day. ^_^


dragon city: small town.. can get boring once u stay there too long tho

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