Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Malay Cuisine: Asam Pedas!!

The way I do it might differ from the conventional way. Asam Pedas literally translates to 'sour hot' which doesn't make sense in English. It is a very healthy dish. No oil is used when cooking it. Normally, Asam pedas is cooked with fish; pomfret/sardines/mackerel/stingray/red mullet. I can find sardines and red mullet in The Netherlands although I'm not sure if other kinds of fishes are suitable for 'asam pedas'. For 2-4 person, here's how I usually do it:

What you need:


10 fresh red chillies/ dried chillies- I'd normally use fresh red chillies
2-5 bird's eye chillies for added spiciness
1 big onion
1 cm ginger
20-25 g shrimp paste/belacan
some water

4-5 whole fish- cleaned and gutted
10-15 okra or ladies finger
2 tomatoes-cut into wedges
20-30 ml of tamarind juice*
curry leaves

Blend ingredient A together. Pour the blended ingredients into a pot above medium heat. Add a cup of water. Add some curry leaves. Let it simmer for a few minutes. When it has started to boil, add the fish and the tamarind juice. Then, lastly add the okras and tomatoes. Don't overcook the okras. Sprinkle some salt. Check for taste. It needs to have some sour and hot element. Add more if insufficient.

Best eaten with rice. Asam pedas is a wholesome dish. Enjoy it while you can!!

*tamarind juice: To make tamarind juice, take a pinch of tamarind paste and dissolve it in water while squishing it with the tips of your finger to dissolve the rest of the paste. Chuck the tamarind pips if there are any.


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