Friday, July 29, 2011


The Tamu vendor scooping up a plate of fresh water prawns bought by Mak Cik. It was a bargain considering freshness and price. It would cost somewhat double for a similar sized ones in KL

Fresh Water Prawns
(udang galah or the scientific name of macrobrachium rosenbergii)

I was in Kota Kinabalu in early June. I've been told the sojourn isn't complete without a visit to the Tamu. The Tamu is the equivalent to a morning village market where wares are peddled by native villagers. In western palance it would be somewhat like a flea market but confined to wet produce.

It was a gathering of sellers of mainly vegetables, poultry produce, sweets, snacks and fresh water catch. We were brought to the Tamu at Membakut about 5km or so from Bongawan along the Papar road.

Yusuf, Ebby's brother-in-law was kind enough to drive us there. We could buy all kinds of vegetables and fruits, some of which I had not seen before.

What struck me was the abundance of fresh water prawns rarely seen in K. Lumpur pasar tani/ night markets. These were the ones caught the night before at the estuaries of rivers ie fresh water but on salt water fringes. The taste and freshness beats those Tiger prawns caught at sea. The propensity for bargaining was the order of the day. The choice was varied but we get the satisfaction of fresh ones. The price range around RM20 per kilo but the sizes are bigger.

If you missed getting them at the Tamu, you can still purchase them at the KK airport where each are allowed 3kilos within the accompanied luggage limit before boarding. These were the frozen kinds caught at sea and more expensive. There is an outlet within the airport catering for last minute shoppers.


Al-Manar said...

You write about a place I used to be for a few years. Then the place was called Jesselton. Our favoutrite place was Tamu at Tuaran, a small town about 25 miles north. We went often - on Sundays

kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,
Yes, it used to be Jesselton. There were some developments I saw. Given PM Najib's emphasis on this 'fixed deposit' state, it may see accelerated developments in the near future!