It was in Sabah, on a recent visit, that the skies parted after a storm, and the late-afternoon sun shone down on a seaside market, illuminating bright eyes, shiny skin, and iridescent scales. This was the Kota Kinabalu night market coming to life on a dockyard off the South China Sea. It's not a huge fish market, but it's of unparalleled quality. There was tuna; squid of all sizes; multicolored crabs and spiny lobster. Market cooks were busy manning their grills, readying hardwood charcoal fires. When my girlfriend and I could no longer keep our appetites at bay, I chose my grill man. There were several, and I watched mine cut and grill fish, measuring his skills against the others'. I bought an embarrassment of seafood: a lobster was split in half and dropped on the grill, followed by crabs, stingray, a mackerel, giant prawns, and squid. When you happen upon a market like this, you don't hold back. Finally, the meal arrived, the fish and shellfish on plastic plates, on a table anchored by a huge jug. Inside the jug was a chopped-up mix of chiles, shallots, garlic, palm sugar, the tiny limes known as limau kasturi, and fish sauce. We ladled this salty-spicy-sweet condiment over our fish as we tore apart the flesh with our hands. I asked our grill man for some sambal belacan, a chile sauce made with fermented shrimp, and he served us a version that blew my mind.