Tuesday, May 09, 2006

West Africa

This started off as a blog on local Malaysian food (and my dodgy cooking!) but in recent times, I travelled a bit and I found the blog starting to take a life of its own as food from my various travels started to make its debut.

One of my trips took me to one of the countries in West Africa. As West Africa's mainly French-speaking, the food we ate was mostly Western in the hotels and didn't seem too different from the Western food here. It being a landlocked country, they only got their fish from the Niger River which ran just in front of our hotel.

Every morning, the stillness of the morning would be broken by the boats of the fisherman on the Niger. It was a primitive style of fishing. All they had were nets and their long poles to guide and push their boats. They caught mainly Nile Perch or capitaine (in French) which was the fish that was always featured on our menu.

Capitaine was usually served grilled or stewed. It's a thick, white, firm-fleshed fish. It seemed a bit on the oily side but soaked up the flavours well. Sometimes, I thought I detected a hint of muddiness that's prevalent in our river fish but it wasn't overwhelming.

This was one of the local dishes I tried. It was chunks of lightly browned capitaine stewed in a chunky tomato stew with a sprinkling of herbs. It arrived at the table piping hot and I burnt my mouth in my eagerness to try it. It was delicious! The tomatoes made the stew slightly sour but it was thick, chunky and full of large pieces of fish to savour. I do miss it...maybe I should try my hand at cooking it!


tuktoyaktuk said...

Does it smell like patin? *turns up nose at patin*

Sue said...

No la...it didn't have much smell but a bit oily. Had a bit of indigestion after eating it :p

babe_kl said...

*hugz* welcome back!!! wat a lovely makeover. wished i could do the same!

Sue said...

Hi Babe :) Thanks *hugs back* Gotta thank Eternity for the fantastic layout :)

boo_licious said...

Welcome Back! Love the new look. You think Eternity can do one for me???

Sue said...

Hi Boo, thanks :) You could try asking her! :)