“It’s not everyday that you can get Telur Mayong,” says Yati Aziz of her unusual recipe that features what looks like a cluster of grapes cooked in spicy, sour sauce.
Apparently, Telur Mayong is a rare commodity not easily attainable when you want it. You may need to book your order from the wet market or seafood dealer at least three days beforehand, and even then, it will depend on the catch of the day.
But it’s an intriguing dish alright ─ one that makes you cock your head, peer closely and ask: “What’s that?”
And with Ramadan’s arrival, Telur Mayong Asam Pedas may be the zing to add to your Buka Puasa or Sahur spread ─ at least according to Norhayati Abd Aziz or Yati (as she is affectionately known), who has been contributing her true-blue Malay cooking styles to Motherhood’s recipe column. (See Yati’s Refreshing Aloe Vera Dessert and Sahur Pick-Me-Up).
The Mystery of Telur Mayong Solved
So what is Telur Mayong? Well, they are not grapes for sure but fish roe from Malaysia’s own sea fish called Ikan Mayong ─ a specie that looks like a cross between a small shark and a cat fish.
Ikan Mayong itself tastes great in curry or asam pedas or gulai masak lemak but what is even more prized is its eggs. Sometimes described as Pearls of Gold, the large roe spheres glisten with an amber hue, (not unlike Salmon roe), and with every bite ─ the eggs burst in your mouth releasing its rich and creamy juice onto your tongue. Some describe the sensation as heaven and mixed with the sharp hot tang of the asam pedas sauce, the combination is like ─ Da Bomb!
No wonder Telur Mayong Asam Pedas is such a sought-after dish. Some restaurants and cafeterias serve it, if you can find them that is, but since it’s such a rarity, why not cook it yourself especially when Yati is sharing it here.
High in Omega-3 Fats, Good for Health
Fish eggs are considered a delicacy. Some people call them caviar (especially if they come from Sturgeon) and all of them are laden with very high anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids which are good for health.
Yati’s Telor Mayong Asam Pedas
- Telur Ikan Mayong or Mayong Fish Eggs (all the roe from one fish)
- Fresh Kunyit: 3cm
- Shallots 15 or Onions: 3
- Candle Nuts: 2
- Belacan Melaka 1 piece
- Kaffir Lime Leaves or Limau Purut Leaves
- Ground Chilli or Cili Giling (can be bought anywhere)
- Tamarind or Asam Jawa
- Vietnamese Coriander or Daun Kesum
- Torch Ginger Flower Buds or Bunga Kantan
- Brinjals or Ladies Fingers
- Seasoning Granules or Sugar
- Blend 2,3,4 and 5 in a blender
- Stir fry the above-blended ingredients with sufficient oil and throw in 2 pieces of Kaffir lime leaves (limau purut) with salt until it is aromatic
- Keep stir frying and take your time to stir fry until the chilli is crispy and attains the right, thick constituency
- Pour in 1 ½ cup of Tamarind or Asam Jawa water derived from squeezing the peeled fruit in the water. (“Don’t put in too much Asam,” advices Yati. “Only add more asam if the gravy is not sour enough but not before then.”)
- Allow to simmer for a while
- Put in the Telur Mayong
- Put in Daun Kesum and Bunga Kantan if you like
- Add in Seasoning Granules or a pinch of Sugar to heighten the flavour of the dish
Let’s Check Out Yati’s GardenOne of the reasons why Yati’s dishes have oomph is because a lot of the ingredients come from her own garden. Yati Aziz is an avid gardener with enviable green fingers; everything she grows tends to turn out successful. Hence the chillies, brinjals, ginger flowers and a lot of her herbs are organically grown and are often harvested to be eaten raw as Ulam (Malay salad).
Let’s take a look at what she’s got growing.