Yati’s Ramadan Recipes (Part 2): The Rare, Explosive Telur Mayong Asam Pedas

“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).

Highlighted

Half the trick of this dish is to get the sambal perfectly stir-fried. Yati says, don’t rush it but take your time to stir fry the chilli and blended ingredients.
Half the trick of this dish is to get the sambal perfectly stir-fried. Yati says, don’t rush it but take your time to stir fry the chilli and blended ingredients.

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.

(Left) Candlenuts (image credit: AYUSHOLOGY.COM) and Yati’s batch of Telur Mayong which she bought frozen. She does, however say, the eggs taste better fresh. You can buy it from the wet market.
(Left) Candlenuts, as required in the dish (image credit: AYUSHOLOGY.COM) and Yati’s batch of Telur Mayong which she bought frozen. She does, however say, the eggs taste better fresh. You can buy it from the wet market.

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.

Also Read:  4 Smart Fasting Tips For Mums (Pregnant Or Not) This Ramadan
Here is another look at Telur Mayong. Now you know why they are called Pearls of Gold. (Image Credit: Kimie Frozen Seafood) and the fish from where it came. Ikan Mayong is also known as Ikan Duri. (Image Credit: Sea Products.my)
Here is another look at Telur Mayong. Now you know why they are called Pearls of Gold. (Image Credit: Kimie Frozen Seafood) and the fish from where it came. Ikan Mayong is also known as Ikan Duri. (Image Credit: Sea Products.my)

Yati’s Telor Mayong Asam Pedas

Ingredients

  1. Telur Ikan Mayong or Mayong Fish Eggs (all the roe from one fish)
  2. Fresh Kunyit: 3cm
  3. Shallots 15 or Onions: 3
  4. Candle Nuts: 2
  5. Belacan Melaka 1 piece
  6. Kaffir Lime Leaves or Limau Purut Leaves
  7. Ground Chilli or Cili Giling (can be bought anywhere)
  8. Salt
  9. Tamarind or Asam Jawa

Optional

  • Vietnamese Coriander or Daun Kesum
  • Torch Ginger Flower Buds or Bunga Kantan
  • Brinjals or Ladies Fingers
  • Seasoning Granules or Sugar
(From left) Kaffir lime leaves on its branch (Image Credits: By Fatrabbit), Tamarind or Asam Jawa (Image Credits: By Yosri)
(From left) Kaffir lime leaves on its branch (Image Credits: By Fatrabbit), Tamarind or Asam Jawa (Image Credits: By Yosri)

Method

  • 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
(From left) Vietnamese Mint or Coriander or Daun Kesum (Image Credits: By Yosri), and Yati’s Bunga Kantan or Torch Ginger Flower, some of which has bloomed. Sometimes, when not cooked, Yati uses her Torch Ginger Flowers for decoration. They have a lovely scent.
(From left) Vietnamese Mint or Coriander or Daun Kesum (Image Credits: By Yosri) which is available in the supermarket or wet market, and Yati’s home-grown Bunga Kantan or Torch Ginger Flower, some of which has bloomed. Sometimes, when not cooked, Yati uses her Torch Ginger Flowers for decoration. They have a lovely scent.

Let’s Check Out Yati’s Garden

One 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.

Yati grows two types of brinjals in her garden as you can see ─ the usual purple brinjal and the Terung Telunjuk or Yellow Eggplant. The chillies and curry leaves also come from her garden.
Yati grows two types of brinjals in her garden as you can see ─ the usual purple brinjal and the Terung Telunjuk or Yellow Eggplant. The chillies and curry leaves also come from her garden.
asam pedas telur mayong
These are all her chillies. She has so many varieties.
asam pedas
Yati gets her own Ulam from her garden. On the left is her Ulam Raja plant (a herb said to clean out toxicity from the body’s circulation), the centre is a plateful of her Ulam Raja harvest which pairs splendidly with her Telur Mayong Asam Pedas and on the right, is Pegaga or Pennywort, said to be a brain booster and skin repairer.
(All images by Norhayati Abd Aziz unless specifically stated otherwise)
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