Don't be fooled, those unappetising looking black chunks on rice are delicious tender flesh that will smother your taste buds into sweet submission with irresistible flavours. No kidding.
I am an ardent fan of the Malaysian river catfish.
Catfish is used in many delicious Malaysian dishes as it's fatty,
One of my favourites is Restoran How Inn's 好運 signature catfish braised in a clay pot.
When the dish arrived at the table, the gummy, gooey pieces of sauce blackened fish scattered in a clay pot, looked rather unappealing - don't you agree?
However, besides it's reputation (I've heard a lot of good things about this dish), the aromas emanating from the sizzling contents suggested that there was going to be more than what meets the eyes.
Sure enough, when the first morsel from the blackened mess of fish pieces entered my mouth, I was instantly delighted.
The catfish was absolutely fresh and the tacky sauce, loaded with flavour. The gravy was made from dark soy sauce cooked with lots of ginger shreds, dried chili peppers, and a blend of other condiments. The flesh absorbed the complex sweet, savoury and spicy flavours very well.
There was not even the slightest hint of muddy river taste.
The richly flavoured fish meat went very well with plain boiled white rice.
The fish was cooked with the fats and skin on. Cooking in a clay pot keeps the fats and skin tender, making it a tasty treat. The skin was smooth, fragrant and slightly firmer than the flesh. It's texture (smoother and softer than braised pig skin) enhances the enjoyment of the whole dish.
This clay pot catfish treat costs RM8 (Jan 2012).
This is one of my favourite catfish dishes. I will definitely return for more.
->> Unique, delicious savoury sweet spicy river catfish dish to try in JB which I have not seen outside of Johor.
Restaurant name: Restoran How Inn 好運
Address: 1, Jalan Dedap 6, Taman Johor Jaya, 81100 Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.540829,103.805759 / 1°32'27.0"N 103°48'20.7"E
Hours: 10:00am to 10:00pm (closed on Mondays)
Date visited: 15 Jan 2012
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