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Chủ Nhật, 21 tháng 8, 2011

Kuching 2011 - Ramadan Bazaar at Satok Part I

I still have quite a few posts to go on Bangkok, but it's been a while since I posted on Kuching - my home town. I hope you don't mind this interruption as I bring you some updates on Kuching.



Hari Raya (Muslim New Year) is just around the corner and Muslims everywhere have started their fasting a few weeks back, and are all busy preparing for their new year. Every year without fail a Ramadan Bazaar is set up in Satok, one of the commercial areas in Kuching where there is a large Muslim Population. I always like visiting the Ramadan Bazaar as there is such an endless display of tempting, delicious food. It takes will of steel to be able to resist all that food with an empty stomach and under the blazing heat. I gain tremendous respect for the Muslim community for going through their annual cleansing ritual without any hesitation every time I visit the Bazaar.



This year the Bazaar at Satok seems to be a bit smaller, and the crowd not as thick as in previous years. This may be because several other Ramadan Bazaars have been set up elsewhere in town. There is still a tremendous display of food. One of the main reasons for the Bazaar is that Muslims have to fast from dawn till dusk, and for those who are working full time - having to prepare food for the family after a full day's work is a daunting task. The Bazaars are set up for their convenience where they can just pick up cooked food on their way home from work just in time to break fast. KFCs and other fastfood outlets are also especially busy this time of year.





One of the most popular items at the Ramadan Bazaar is the grilled fish. Over the years they have mastered the skill of grilling fish, and the fish is always tender and moist inside retaining the natural flavour and sweetness. This is usually served with a chili dipping sauce.





Ikan Terubok (Hilsa Kelee or Kelee Shad) is the most popular fish used for grilling. This fish has a lot of small bones, but there is sufficient fat to retain moisture - and the meat is sweet and delicate. A beautiful eating fish which is just as good simply steamed and served with a garlic, chili and vinegar dipping sauce.





Another popular item is grilled chicken. Here they use charcoal for the grilling and the taste is usually quite sensational.





I will have more pictures of the food in Part II of this post. BTW this series of pictures are taken with my new Panasonic Lumix GF-3. I am loving this Micro Four Third camera which is very compact and light. Great for traveling.





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