Monday, July 12, 2010

Assam Pedas, Hot And Sour Fish Stew With Eggplant & Okra "Malaysian Monday 3"

The Malay name of this dish - Assam pedas translates literally into "sour hot". This hot, fragrant and sour fish stew has a very special place in my heart since it is the very first Malay dish that I learnt to cook at the age of 11. Sadly this simple and very sophisticated dish don't often make it to the restaurant menu unlike the curry version - Gulai ikan. I think this is a wonderful alternative to a fish curry when you want something a little lighter and healthier without resorting to anything that is plain and boring. I hope you have enjoyed all the Malaysian recipes posted for the last one week and are all inspired to try cooking some beautiful Malaysian food at home. 
P.S My laptop hasn't been working for the past week and that is the reason for my erratic posting pattern. 

serves 4 to 6 as part of a Malaysian meal
you'll need;
1 kg of red snapper fillets or spanish mackeral cutlets
15 okras (choose young and tender ones)
2 eggplants, cut into pieces to match the okra
1 bunch of Vietnamese mint
3 assam keping (tamarin peel)
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1.5 L of water or stock
sugar to taste
salt to taste
cooking oil

for the spice paste;
1.5 brown onions, chopped
2" piece of fresh turmeric, chopped
2" piece of galangal, chopped
2" piece of ginger, chopped
20 dried chillies, snipped, removed seeds and boiled to soften 
3 long red chillies, chopped
2 lemongrass (white part only) finely sliced
1 tbs of toasted shrimp paste
a pinch of salt
Pound or blend to a fine paste

Prepare the ingredients.

Prepare the spice paste.

Fry spice paste with 4 tbs of cooking oil for a few minutes til fragrant and oil starts to split.

Add water or stock, tamarind peel and half of the Vietnamese mint. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove Vietnamese mint.

Add eggplants follow by okras and seasonings. 

Add fish  and tomato when the vegetables are almost done, check for seasonings and finally add in the rest of the picked Vietnamese mint.

Serve immediately as part of a Malaysian meal. You will need plenty of rice with this.

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  1. I have been enjoying your Malaysian dishes indeed. Glad you are cooking some less known dishes too, this stew looks fantastic!

  2. I love what goes into the stew. It must tastes really amazing with all the spices and herbs!

  3. tak boleh tahan already! So........ nice...
    Really enjoy reading ur blog. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Fabulous! Look like it is time to make a trip to Victoria Street soon!

  5. tummyy... saya suka sangat asam pedass! ada ikan nih! macam nak buat juga.. hihi

  6. favourite. I cooked assam fish too yesterday. At least I don't suffer so much now looking at yours. But still suffer though cos I want to eat again...haha

  7. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you with this comment. We'd like to offer you to be included on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Jen

  8. asam pedas kegemaran makcik ni:) sedap dimakan bila dibiarkan satu malam..panaskan..sedap tau:) ok jumpa lagi hari sabtu ya!

  9. Oh my, that is making my mouth water! Can't remember the last time I made assam fish, have to remedy immediately. (Sorry to hear about the laptop)

  10. This looks delicious buddy. We got ingredients for the rendang, should be enough spices left for this dish!

  11. CW ,
    Thank you! I am glad to hear that!

    Yasmin ,
    Thank you! I hope you will try it!

    Jane ,
    Haha thank you very much! Masaklah!

    love to eat ,
    Thank you very much! Stock up on the spices!

    hana ,
    Haha saya baru habis makan, mungkin nak masak lagi esok.

    MaryMoh ,
    Oh what a coincidence! I bet your version is very nice!

    Jen Archer ,
    Thank you!

    makcikmanggis ,
    Makcik memang benar dengan leftover tu. Selamat bercuti, jumpa lagi hari Sabtu!

    Oh you must cook some soon! :) I'm getting it fixed so hopefully I 'll get it back soon.

    Thank you very much! Good luck with the rendang!

  12. With vegetables and fish this sure is a great dish :D

  13. hi tummy..asam pedas ikan..makcik suka sebab tak pakai santan..nampaknya tummy ni all rounderlah tentang masak memasak ni..tak lama lagi bulan puasa..mesti makcik buat untuk berbuka n sahur nanti..

  14. Love this especially because of the eggplant, okra and the great spice combo. It looks incredibly delicious!

  15. I love everything about this dish. The combo of fish and okra. Digging your mortar and pestle. Look gorgeous - both the dish and the tool.

  16. Looks amazing! and I love food with assam which makes food so appetising!

  17. Mmmm, I can just imagine how good this smell! I do enjoy seeing all the regional dishes that you prepare! I am trying as many as I can! :)

  18. Looks delicious and fab tempting

  19. Oh..this looks spicy delicious and definitely my favorite.

  20. I always enjoy okra in my fish curry...sometimes they are just not there :(

  21. You cook the most amazing foods dear...! Thanxs for sharing your delicious recipes...

  22. I love assam pedas and you have made a very mean one! Leaning this dish at 11, that is amazing!

  23. I love okra! anyway and anyhow! especially fried! This looks delicious! And I love hot and spicy in really hot weather!and we are burning up here in America!

  24. This looks spicy and delicious! Love the fact that you prepare all the ingredients from scratch...very hardworking:D

  25. Looks great! Happy Monday! :-)

  26. Look at those amazing colors in your stew. Beautiful.

  27. This malayasian stew is making me weak at the knees...bookmarked!

  28. Wow this looks fantastic! I might need to cut down on the chillies thought lol

  29. Wonderful looking dish! One question, can I substitute tamarind peel with tamarind paste?

  30. Great looking dish. Looks incredibly flavorful.

  31. I can almost smell it!
    It looks gorgeous!
    You make every dish a triumph!

    Big hugs!
    B xx

    P.S. I'm back :)

  32. Love both this and the curry version. This has moved up the list lol

  33. Yasmeen ,
    Thank you very much! :)

    mohdandmeriam ,
    Terima kasih makcik. Kalau di luar negeri haruslah berlajar apa jua jenis masakan :) Bila bulan puasa?

    Thank you very much! Try it soon!

    Cool Lassi(e) ,
    Thank you very much! It is one of my favourite kitchen utensils :)

    Thank you! :)

    Lyndsey ,
    Thank you very much! DO let me know if you try any of them.

    Thank you very much!

    Thank you very much! It is mine too.

    Thats why I put quite a lot in it :)

    Ren- Lady Of The Arts ,
    Thank you! Your Malay is very good!

    Thank you! I hope you will try it soon.

    KL girl in MELB,
    Thank you very much! :)

    natural selection,
    This is perfect for you then! Keep cool!

    Jeannie ,
    Thank you very much! It just taste so much better that way :)

    Michael ,
    Thank you very much! You too!

    Thank you very much!

    Jhonny walker ,
    Thank you and try it soon!

    LMH ,
    Thank you! It is not that hot, cut it down to suit your taste of course!

    Tricia F ,
    Thank you! Yes you can substitute with tamarind paste, just start with 3 tbs and adjust accordingly.

    Bo ,
    Thank you very much! Try it soon!

    Welcome back! Thank you very much! xxx

    Thank you very much!

    darren ,
    Thank you! I am very glad to hear that!

  34. So good, just this and a bowl of rice will be enough for me.. ;)

  35. hi 3 hungry tummies,

    im a big fan of your blog, i think the thai mint on this picture is actually vietnamese coriander or DAUN KESOM (at least it looks like one ;) ).. im from melaka and im so happy that u included asam pedas recipe here..




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