Friday, December 14, 2012

Ikan Asam Pedas (Fish in Sour Spicy Gravy)

Writing up this recipe brings back memories of my growing up years surrounded by Malay neighbours. Dad worked in the government. Obviously we stayed at government quarters and we used to roam openly in and out of our immediate Malay neighbour's house. In fact we were so close with pakcik, makcik, kakak and abang that we spoke fluent Bahasa Malaysia and practically every meal was in their house. I for once eat more petai, jering, sambal belacan, tempoyak, budu and masak lemak compared to my two brothers.

From there on, food for me must be those true typical Malay dishes. Asam pedas became my favourite which until today I cherish. Anyway sad that we somehow lost touch with our neighbour but glad that every time I made asam pedas, the memory still lingers on. Here the asam pedas - a tempting Malaysian dish with tender fish in a spicy tangy and divinely delicious gravy.     

500g (one medium size) bawal hitam/pomfret – scale, gut and cut into pieces (or any other firm fish).
2 pcs asam keping/dried tamarind
3-4 Chinese brinjals – cut lengthwise (or bendi/okra)
1 bunga kantan/torch ginger bud – shredded
10 cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato –cut into eight pieces
½ cup oil
1 ½ tsp sugar
Salt for taste

Rempah/Spices (blend/ground to a thick smooth paste)
½ inch ginger
5 garlic
5 shallots
1 lemongrass/serai
10 dried red chilies (or as per taste)
1 inch kunyit hidup/fresh turmeric
1 inch lengkuas/galangal
When oil is heated, fry spices till aromatic and oils splits.
Add ½ liter of water and put in tomatoes, brinjals, asam, salt and sugar.
Stir and simmer.
When gravy is heated through, gently drop in fish. 
Continue to simmer until fish is cooked.
Stir in bunga kantan and remove from heat.
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  1. Life in the good old days was always fun,
    i live with malay and indian neighbors.

  2. What a beautiful exotic curry :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. I hope you find them all! What a lovely life :)

    And this fish looks faaaaabulous!

  4. I can never make such beautiful fish curries. Nava you cook great seafood.

  5. yummy ms.nava been looking all over your past entry for asam pedas recipe, even cross the mind to request from you to make asam pedas post but i was so shy to said it haha.. but finally you had it posted now ms.nava =D im gonna try this recipe one day for sure..thank u for sharing..

  6. hi nava, like you enjoy malay cooking, i also like a lot of indian foods like roti canai, capati, tosei, naan, chicken tikka, biryani , mutton curry, chutneys etc etc ..hey, never relised there so many more :) neans i like spicy food very much..
    the veggies combination for your asam pedas if perfect for my taste buds.. something new for me> will try black pomfret next time, so far been using stingray/ ikan parang/ senangin.

  7. This is one of my fave dishes guaranteed to have me eating 2 days worth of rice in one sitting.

  8. My mouth turns sourish just by looking at this assam fish. This is one of my hubby's fave dish & yours is certainly appetizing. I'm back from my vacation. Have u been shopping & eating like me?? Hahaha!

  9. This looks so appetizing Nava! Can't help drooling!


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