Bubuk (very tiny shrimps) seasons usually fall in April and September. This year it came early in March.
Growing up in Miri and staying at Brighton Road, my grandpa’s wooden stilt house was just across from the beach. Bubuk seasons (beside every other weekends) were family day for our family of 20 adults and 29 kids of all ages (back then). My grandpa would put up tents, brought lazy chairs and tables to the beach and of course the never ending supply of food to keep us happy (while they played mahjong and wait for bubuk sighting). We would catch bubuk using the netting just like this one in the picture but of smaller version.
Those days you can see bubuk – patches of red on the water surface, then you push your netting and go in for the catch. For us kids the best way to catch the bubuk was to open our mouth!! Yeah, we let the bubuk surround us and we opened our gigantic mouth and hmmm…yup, raw bubuk in our mouth and we could felt those bubuk tingling in our mouth!!! They were so sweet and yummy! The catch from the netting would be dried on zinc sheets that we brought along – the dried bubuk would be made into belacan and the wet bubuk would be made into cincalok. Those were the best childhood days I still remember.
These days in Kuala Baram, Miri fishermen would use their fishing boats to catch bubuk way out in the sea. The bubuk didn’t have the chance to swim near the shore for people like our family to catch anymore.
Thus, our family now get our bubuk from vendors like this. And they were selling it between RM3-6/kg depending on their catch and season.