Friday, September 9, 2011

Steamed Threadfin


I ran the fastest 21 km of my life last Sunday at the Army Half Marathon. As with some of the other recent races in Singapore, the actual distance remains controversial. The fact that some of these routes are not IAAF certified questions the standard of professionalism of the organizers. On the other hand, typical GPS watches worn by the runners do not correspond well with elevations. So, who's right and who's wrong? As the blame game continues, I'm just glad that I ended the last of my half marathons this year with a sub 2-hour finish. Although, I am still considering the PJ Half Marathon in October. We'll see. The Army run was the best half marathon that I had participated this year. Rehydration points were aplenty, the cheerleading squads were energetic and there were even street performances along the way! My new Garmin Forerunner 210 (I got it at a good price at Comex just 2 days before the run!) had kept me running at a steady, consistent pace. But darn that killer slope at Fort Canning that had greatly reduced my speed! Towards the last 5 km, I thought I wouldn't be able to achieve a new personal best but I kept going. My mind, thoughtless.

The run started at 5.15 am and by 8.30 am, after gulping a few cans of isotonic drinks and getting a free massage at the Salonpas booth, I was back at home. Surprisingly, I wasn't as tired as I thought and decided to make a quick brunch before sleeping the afternoon away. Ahhh, just the thought of the sound sleep I had that afternoon feels good. There were 2 pieces of threadfin left and I decided to steam them. I know, I should be rewarding myself with something more sinful like char kway teow, KFC or bak chor mee. But I had to clear the fridge before the arrival of a new week, so I settled for a healthier brunch. Dinner was, yes, char kway teow. And Hokkien mee!

I went with the usual Cantonese-style steaming; minced ginger and garlic as topping, with a drizzle of sugared soy sauce. When the fish was cooked, I turned off the heat, added some hua diao wine and sesame oil before spreading the dish with a generous amount of chopped coriander and scallion. And covered the dish for a few minutes.

Threadfins bring back some childhood memories. As a kid, I was fed with a lot of threadfin porridge. The bones are hard and deathly, so I had learnt the art of simultaneously munching the meat and separating the bones in the mouth with my teeth and tongue before swallowing. And after some time, one will also be able to judge if it's an aged fish, from the texture of the thick skin. Back then, this was an upper-class fish. But I didn't have to buy them because I would get a good, unsold supply from my late grandfather. He was a fishmonger in a wet market. Mum being Hakka, would sometimes steam it with some sweet preserved vegetable and ginger. To be honest, I prefer this style because of the slight sweetness that gives a more interesting palate.

Back to my steamed fish, I vaguely remember reading some online articles on steamed fish served with rice noodle. It's a Teochew-style of cooking, I believe. Coincidentally, I'd frozen 2 stacks of carrot noodle that I made the day before. It was an experiment, by adding carrot puree to the dough, to inject some colour and sweetness to my usual handmade noodle. So, I cooked a handful of the carrot noodles and curled them into the steamed dish. By now, the soy sauce was infused with the spiciness of the ginger and garlic, and sweetness of threadfin, making it a tasty dressing for the noodles.

That was truly an enjoyable Sunday. So much so that I'd absolutely forgotten about the 4th anniversary of my blog. Looking at the amount of posts that I'd written this year, it seems like I'm bastardizing my blog. I'm not. I did mention, in one of my anniversary posts, that a blog is like one's child. Because you love it, you'll put in effort to ensure that it's taken care of. I believe my child has grown up. We've reached a level of understanding that infrequent postings do not equate to a love lost. In fact, I enjoy writing more now than, say 2008, because I begin to understand my priorities. So, I spend, whenever I can, more quality time in collecting and expressing my thoughts here rather than churning posts that mean nothing to me. Happy belated 4th anniversary, Black Tie White Lie.

10 comments:

Kar lim said...

Love the Threadfin + Noodles combination. ^^!

Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah said...

Happy belated 4th anniversary, Black Tie, White Lie! :D

My, my, how time flies! And I have to agree very, very strongly with you... it's better to have sporadic posts that mean something to you - the writer, blog-owner - than just to churn out posts for the sake of churning them out.

Also, this way, when I see a new BTWL post in my Google Reader, it's a very nice bonus for me that day! :)

P.S. Had to google to figure out that threadfin is "ma yau yu", hehe. I keep forgetting the English names of Chinese-type fish. :P

P.P.S. Thank you for running marathons and writing about them... cos (1) it's always an interesting read, and (2) so I don't have to run one myself, hahah.

choi yen said...

Oh God, u made ur own noodle!!! It's amazing!

Btw, I know Rawang have this steamed fish + wonton noodle, have you try b4?

rokh said...

hi a long time passive reader coming out to wish you happy 4th anniversary! and i totally agree on the love and understanding part with your own blog :)

as for the running, i have yet to achieve near 2hrs yet for half marathon, mmm been a while since my last one...

oh please do share how to make steamed noodles (with carrot to boot)! slurps

HairyBerry said...

kar lim, thanks for dropping by! glad you like the combo. do give it a try! :)

kenny, thanks so much! time does fly...and now, you are already celebrating your 10th anniversary of blogging! if it was a child, he/she will be taking upsr in 2 years time! haha...
re p.s.: i have the same problem with Japanese fish names! except for maguro, which is my fave..hehe
re p.s.s.: thank you for reading through the paragraphs! i really enjoy writing about my running experiences. and travels, of course. :)

choi yen, maybe it's because i like pan mee. that's why i'm motivated to make my own noodles...haha. oohhhh, i think i remember reading about the restaurant in rawang that serves steamed fish with wanton mee! but i've not tried it yet. wanton mee does sound good with the soy sauce! hmmm, maybe i can buy some and try..hehe...

rokh, thank you so much for the wishes! i really appreciate it! it's funny how we are connected on facebook and blogspot but we've never met! haha. so, you are a runner too? that's awesome! i guess with a few runs, you should be able to recover your previous pace. :) as for the steamed noodles, actually, i made the noodles in advance. it's a generic pan mee recipe but i added some cornstarch and rice flour to the wheat flour and egg mixture. instead of using water for binding, i used carrot puree. i think carrot juice should work too. after thinning the noodles, i blanched them before rolling them into the main dish. i think i want to try green noodles next time. perhaps with spinach! :)

CUMI & CIKI said...

Happy 4th AnniV Black Tie white Lie! and WOW, congrats on ur timing - very impressive!

HairyBerry said...

cumi & ciki, thanks so much! really appreciate it! hey, you guys run so much better and faster than me lah. :)

Holly said...

Yammy I am mad about pasta.That one seems so delicious!

UnkaLeong said...

*aiks* I could have sworn I left a comment earlier :) Congratulations on turning 4 bro, I'm sure you will be regaling us with your tales for many more years to come.

Congrats on setting a new personal best time as well!

HairyBerry said...

holly, thanks for stopping by. :)

unkaleong, no worries, bro. :) and thanks so much for the wishes! Long time no see...too bad you can't make it this weekend. We should catch up soon yo! :)