Tanjung Tualang is a small town in the Kinta District, near towns like Batu Gajah, Malim Nawar, Kampar and my father's hometown, Tronoh. In its heydays, Tanjung Tualang was one of the mining hubs in Perak. In those days, there were about 300 dredges operating around Perak but sadly, the loner that remains afloat (but not in working condition) today is one in Tanjung Tualang. Many of the abandoned tin mines have been converted to freshwater ponds to breed freshwater prawns and fish. And from this, Tanjung Tualang lays claim to another boost of fame - freshwater prawns, resulting in its nickname "Freshwater Prawn Town" or Pekan Udang Galah in Bahasa Malaysia. I had always thought that udang galah means lobsters but I suppose for want of a better word, it can also be used for these big-headed prawns.
For tonight's dinner, Derrick took me to Sun Mee Fong, one of the many seafood restaurants in Tanjung Tualang, all situated around the market. Jason Yeoh or better known as Axian, the famous food show host, has featured this restaurant in one of his food adventure episodes.
To have the best of both worlds, we decided to have our 1 kg of prawns cooked in two ways : pan fried with soya sauce and steamed. I really cannot say which tasted better; they were both finger-licking good.
The prawns that were pan fried with soya sauce were slightly smaller but they were so fresh and the soya sauce complimented the prawns beautifully. Although the sauce was a little oily, I could not resist slathering my rice with it. I believe that one should not act dainty and attempt to peel off the shells with the refined way of using cutlery. It simply kills the joy of getting your hands oily and then licking each oily finger.
The steamed prawns were incredibly fresh, juicy and creamy. They were laid out in a fan shape on a bed of its own juices mixed with a really tasty wine, which I could not help slurping down spoonfuls after spoonfuls. The roe was superb and there was so much of it, with some tucked in between the legs. I was so busy stripping off the shells, sucking the roe, delighting in the sweet meat, that I had no time to dwell on the implications of this cholesterol-laden feast.