Mukah folk flock to wet market for umai fix

Umai campur ready to be prepared before eating is the attraction at the Mukah bazaar every day.

KUCHING: Umai, a traditional exotic native dish of the Melanau, is popular not only in Mukah – home to the Melanau community – but also statewide.

At times demand can outstrip supply but at the moment supply is considered normal even though the popular ikan empirang used to prepare the dish is said to be in short supply as other types of fish like ikan yu and ikan tenggiri can be used as substitutes.

The umai makers at the Mukah Riverside Wet Market supply to customers.

The Umai makers at the Tebingan Sungai Mukah wet market assured that the supply of Umai is still aplenty. Ikan empirang is the preferred fish among their customers because it tastes good and sweet and is most suited for umai. Eaten with sambal, it’s simply divine.

The price of fresh umai slices is RM10 per box, mixed sambal is RM3 while pocket sambal is RM5.

According to Abdul Rani, one of the more than 20 umai makers at the wet market, the average price of a box containing fresh umai slices is still RM10, while those mixed with sambal is between RM3 and RM5.

He said that in that past two months, there have been a steady stream of customers to the wet market for the umai.

“There is no other place other than in Mukah that provides fresh and delicious umai food.

“The price of a 300-gm packet of umai is reasonable here,” he said.

Umai is usually prepared with a mixture of onions, chillies, vinegar, salt and lime juice.

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