Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Same Fish, 2 Different Dish(es)

I am about to blog about a fish which I don't even know its name although I suspect that it is from the threadfin family.
It is a really small fish, about 30 cm in length and probably 6-10 centimetres in diameter.
It's usually fried and you serve them in a bunch (since they're really small) and people like to dip the fish into cencaluk, sambal or homemade chili sauce to enhance the taste while they devour it.
Oh, I have to mention that it is a bony fish...yes, LOTS of bones indeed.
And now I remember, in Hokkien it's called the Chi Ya fish - anyone can tell me the English or scientific name?

I present to you, this little bony fish - in the Assam style done the Penang Nyonya way
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I know, it looks like some burnt or charred fish but seriously, one bite and you will savor the sourish and juicy taste of the little fish.
The practice is that everyone takes a fish each and put it on your plate - so, this is different from other fish. You can actually have the whole fish for your own!~
Not that it's such a big surprise, have I mentioned the fish is really small?:)
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Another more popular version is the conventional fried version - which was the one where you dip in the chili paste sauce or whichever type of sambal you have.
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Really crunchy and crispy (do they exist in the same context?)
The golden brown color was not just colored in physical impression, it actually exude a highly aromatic fishy whiff in the air.

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*Sniff sniff*
Can you smell the fried fish in the air?

Of course, Auntie will never allow any indulgence in fish alone without any vegetables to complete the meal. It must be a balanced thing:)
And we had this vegetables...

I love this, really juicy and crunchy!!~
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Oh, for the love of fish...and 2 dishes of the same fish...
And can someone please please tell me the scientific name of Chi Ya?

P.S.: This fish is not cheap either, seriously, the prices have rocketed up high since the old days!
Scientific name, please?:D


  1. wow, you really love your fish, eh?

    i hardly cook fish...especially with audience just doesnt love it, although i enjoy cleaning up the bones sometimes hehe

    i'll end up eating them alone

  2. I don't mind the burnt-charred look at all, I can tell that it's delicious.

  3. Chi Ya fish is delicious. It's my favorite fish.
    My mum's dish in acar style is absolutely yummy and appetizing. Drooling now thinking about it.

  4. Although the fish skin looks burnt, but the meat looks so tender lo... yummy

  5. email2me10:01 PM

    Fuiyoh! My favourite fish! My mom always curse me when I crave for this fried fish. She's lazy to cut and clean the fish cause it is very small. So I usually volunteer to cut and clean for her.

    When my mom fry the fish, all the neighbor will come and ask what's cooking .... :D

    You make miss my mom's cooking .... this fish you seldom can find in any mix rice stall ....

  6. Hie mocha, yeah...I am a fish person!! I can't believe why people don't like's much better than meat anyway...hehe:D
    If you decide to cook fish, call me and I will help you with it..the finishing part I mean:p

  7. Hey cynthia, haven't seen you in a while..sorry I have been busy too but great to have you back:)

    And yeah, I can tell you, it's a whooping delicious fish:D

    little inbox, it's gone now...hmmm, I can check with auntie whether she still has anymore of the stock:)

    allie, YUMMY in echo!!:D

  8. hey email2me, hahaha...yeah, I have to say that the cooking process exudes the aroma...and I have to agree that I can never find this fish despite it being a common and cheap fish:p's no longer cheap too now:(

  9. Cantonese people call it CHAI YUE ....

    The best part is the tail fins ... that's the first part to bite when you eat this fish ... :P

  10. Hahaha....email2me, I am such a noob then..I only care about the flesh in the middle of a fish most of the time...:p
    Hmmm...sometimes the cheeks are good tooo...but the tummy area...that's..UGH;p

  11. we love fish! delicious!

  12. Wah.. I'm very picky in choosing what type of fish for my plate as I'm scare of them not being too fresh. I fish my own instead. :P

    Chia Ya Fish or Chia Hoo (Longfin Grey Mullet/Belanak Putih) is the best amongst the rest of its family (Mugil) such as Chiam Tao Wa Hoo (Greenback Grey Mullet/Belanak Rapang).

    Chia Hoo occasionally come into the coastal area of Gurney Drive in school of thousands but most people mistaken them from Chiam Tao Wa which have a more pointed head and not so smooth flesh.

    I hope this will answer your doubt? :P

  13. YEAYYY BBO, *Slaps hi-5* :D

  14. Criz, thanks thanks for the lengthy explanation! You're cool:D
    Now I know the name;)