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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Asam Fish

I used to go to the wet market with my mom.

Sometimes, we’d approach the fish supplier and he'd tell us he's run out!
But there were still plenty of fish lying on the table!

Does that mean that those fish are not fresh?
No. It's because what my mum expected was fish of higher quality,
and she'd rather go home empty-handed.

She told me if the fish is really fresh, you won't get an awful smell when you rinse it.
There would be a slight fragrance instead.

And I now know that what she said is true.

So… Have you ever seen a live fish?

 Asam Fish (Malay: Ikan Asam Pedas) is a Malaysian fish stew where fish is cooked in tamarind (asam) fruit juice.

The cooking process involves soaking the pulp of the fruit until it is soft and then squeezing out
the juice for cooking the fish. Asam paste could be substituted for convenience.

Various vegetables such as lady finger, eggplant and tomato are added.


Ginger torch and daun kesum is an essential ingredient for making asam laksa or asam fish.

Ingredients A
3 kembong fish (500gm)  |  6 lady finger   |  1 tomato (cut into wedges)  | 
1 onion (cut into wedges)  |  3 sprigs of daun kesum  |  400ml water  | 
100g tamarind paste |

Ingredients B (Grind into paste)
40g shallots  |  2 stalks lemon grass  | 1 ginger torch
20g old ginger  |  20g garlic cloves  |  20g fresh galangal  | 
3 table spoons Chili paste  |  6 chili padi  |  10g belacan (baked)


1/2 tablespoon salt  |  60g gula Melaka  |  1 tablespoon sour prune sauce

100g tamarind paste, mixed with 400ml water and strained.

Heat up 3 tablespoons oil and and fry Ingredient B for 10 minutes until fragrant.

Add in tamarind juice to boil. Add in kembong fish, daun kesam, salt  and gula melaka
simmer with lowest heat for 2 minutes. 

Add in lady finger, tomato and onion simmer for another 8 minutes.

Dish out and serve with steam rice.