Tuesday, July 23, 2013

BFC - Baktao Fried Calamari Recipe

Since my blog is specially named after the famous cuttlefish - baktao, I definitely must have a Calamari recipe right? Hence I'm featuring my special Baktao Fried Calamari recipe with home made tar tar sauce here! The portions are mostly trial and error so adjust the ingredients portion to your own preference!

If you're looking for a simple Calamari recipe to cook your che bak/green eye squid or even baktao/cuttlefish after your Sibu Kelong trip, this is the recipe for you!

Tasty fried calamari!
Batter Recipe (mix batter in a bowl evenly)
2 Cups normal flour
1 tbsp Oregano
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp crushed black pepper
1 tbsp salt or garlic salt to taste

Tar tar Sauce Recipe (mix in a bowl and adjust ingredients according to your personal taste preference)
3 spoons mayo
1 tbsp pickle relish
1 slice lemon juice squeezed
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water

Other ingredients
400g squid rings
1 cup of milk (soak squid rings for 2 hours prior to cooking)

1. Heat oil to 360 degrees
2. Remove squid rings from milk and use a chopsticks to dip them into the beaten egg, followed by coating it with the batter.
3. Use chopsticks to place squid rings on by one into the fryer or frying pan
4. Fry for about 3 minutes and its's ready to serve!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Digging for Clams (lala) at Kranji Beach with Family

Digging for clams (lala and tua tow) the previous round was addictive and after the first time, I was better prepared now as I brought water bottles to collect saltwater and sieve trays for easy sieving of excess sand!

I brought my brother on this trip and I actually consider it a life lesson digging session. Why? Simply because, the value of hard work and not taking money for granted is really put through during the digging. The shellfish that we dug is only worth a few dollars but only through wading in mud, digging, sweating undet the sun did we get our clams. Nothing is free in this world.

Anyway, I'd think my brother had a great time as he was naturally someone who was curious about sea creatures and the sea. The fact that we could see live horshoe crabs roaming around the tidal flats piqued him with great interest. I even saw a barramundi jump! We went barefoot as we waded across the flats although I wouldn't recommend this to kids or women. Barefoot is probably the most natural way of doing it but do watch out for the horshoe crabs!

walking barefoot in the mud and getting down and dirty!

brother looking like he done it all his life
We dug around for two hours before we had enough clams for the whole family! Mom was going to cook up something special that day! Saltwater was collected to soak the clams for them to squirt out sand!

It was a special occasion for me too as I had some bonding time with bro
The clams ready for soaking in seawater

Mom cooking up chinese wine clams!

Curry clams!
I'll be writing up a clam digging guide at Kranji Beach so that readers here can benefit. They will include time to go, equipment to bring, how to make sure they clams spit out sand and so on. If you are interested in some guiding, I will be able to arrange a guided clam diggin tour to Kranji Beach with some basic tools for rental and some basic guidance but do note I will not be responsible for your own safety! Just drop me an Email at nigel.lian@gmail.com if you're keen on something :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Visit to Woodlands Waterfront Park

Here's a very popular and easily accessible fishing spot that fishing newbies can try! It's high on my list of "relaxing yet somewhat can have reasonable catches sometimes" fishing spots! Other fishing spots on this list include East Coast 6 pipes, Sembawang Park, Changi Boardwalk, Labrador Park...

I took a walk down memory lane when I finally visited Woodlands Waterfront park after its opening some time back. This was a place that was opened up for fishing (no live baits) after some renovation and rebuilding works. The former RMN (Royal Malaysian Navy) jetty was now a revamped jetty that was opened to public.

All developed now!
There is alot of controversy surrounding fishing at the jetty as you cannot use live bait and can only fish around certain areas of the jetty. I know this to be frustrating for anglers as the best fishing areas were near the shore where the drop off and rocky formations are! I fished this place regularly with lures before the park was revamped and it often produced wonder catches in the form of record size Barracuda, Barramundi (kbl), Mangrove Jacks, Tenpounders, countless ah sengs on lure! In the past, I even spot a school of a few hundred mixed fishes like Chermin, Pompano, Sicklefish schooling together near the "ramp" area... I remember fondly my first saltwater monster got away at this place as I was naive and used 6lbs braided line without leader! The fight lasted 10 seconds as a monster Barramundi gulped my lure down and I couldn't stop it...

Anyway, I took some pictures of the place and there are still people using live baits there not only for fishing but crabbing. I guess authorities may be closing one eye as many fishermen in general still use baits.

Last time, standing at the ramp to cast and fish will produce miracles especially rubber worked around the dropbox or ramp edge. Popping the mangroves was fun too!

From this point to the start of the jetty, fishing was not allowed! Most of the fishes will be here!

This area of the jetty perhaps if you are skilled enough you may wanna try bottom bouncing rubber for grunters, chermins, ah sengs, red drums.... cast as far as possible

A crazy hot place

These sights still warm me. A son bringing grandpa out for a fish. Hell, that's how I learnt it too - the hard way.... Bringing my barang barang, bringing my catch home all taking stupid buses.

Yup, ah laos fish just under the jetty. Smart move.

Love birds can have some fun smooch smooch. Scenery can be nice at night!

No live baits - doesn't make sense since crabbing and fishing with bait is still popular

A popular place last time for luring and crabbing, in the past, you had to walk with your back to the fence here. There were some areas you could cast a lure. Catches included cudas, MJs, tenpounders, kbl on lure. Now it's all gone!

One popular crabbing place in the past. Does it still have crabs?
There surely are still some very good catches even though the construction of the jetty probably polluted the jetty badly. In the past, Tarpon could be seen cruising near the RMN jetty and you can even find Ang Cho just at the pillar staring at you...Popping near the mangroves at the jetty was fun last time hehehe....

One technique to take note that I suppose works is what seems like live baiting assam fishes on the surface. I felt this was a genius tactic as it not only means your bait lasts long (from crabs) but also means you get predator fishes like cudas and kims! All the ah laos fishing at the jetty was using this method! Interesting! Rig was a simple marker followed by leader. It seems like the trick is to lower your bait only until the water and then loosen your drag and wait for the biggie to come!

Well, I might be wrong though and they could be just waiting for biggies to swim past and then they sight cast? But here's the video anyway!

Anyway there is a restaurant (Rasa Istimewa Waterfront Restaurant ) here as well so love birds can have some fun there! It's afterall a waterfront area!
Rasa Istimewa restaurant
Here's how to get to Woodlands Waterfront Park - take 856! Google map is a little outdated I guess!

View Larger Map

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fishing with Ah Ho on his New Boat (Venessa)

Fishing with Ah Ho (Henry) was always going to be fun as Ah Ho was a proper "Fishing Charter Captain" in the sense that he knew where the fish were and he really knew how to get them! There are many "Boatman" who just bring customers to fish blindly at blind spots these days!

Fishing at Southern Islands middle of the year was always fun as the pelagic species like Sagai, Golden Trevally, GT come out to play... This trip was no exception but the wind played a joke on us and we could only fish the inner islands than go out to the deeper waters for the big fishes! Nevertheless, I had a special guest on this trip.

My fears were gone when I boarded Ah Ho's new boat - Aircon Cabin, Speakers blasting music and a comfy rest area! What seasick?!

As the day went by, did fine and even managed to get some fishes herself! The crew made up of first timers to Ah Ho's style were caught by surprise when they were told to use sabikis! But they got the hang of it at the sagai spot as they brought up hard tail scads (Chencaru/Torpedo Scad) and Sagai! I myself had something huge take my storm thunder micro jig only to come off the hook!

Micro Jigging is getting more popular in Singapore these days and shops have even come up with custom micro jigging rods! But the good old fashioned Sabiki will produce wonders when you do it correctly as a group! It definitely beats micro jigging hands down in terms of quantity!

During lunch we dropped by Pulau Hantu and it was here that I even spotted a huge GT chasing baitfish around the jetty area!

Well, the total catch picture to end the trip as always... not that fantastic but still some fishes for everyone! And to cap it off, Ah Ho's "Kung Fu" Fishing pose!