For uber Malay comfort food at home, cook up this easy recipe for masak asam rebus ikan, aka hot sour fish curry and serve up with some rice.
Recipe by Rohani Jelani & Photography by Law Soo Pye
Masak Asam Rebus Ikan Recipe
20 g dried chillies
1 cm length turmeric root, sliced
100 g shallots, peeled and sliced
5 g (1 tsp) shrimp paste (belacan)
5 – 6 pieces tamarind slices (asam keping)
700 ml water
5 large sprigs daun kesum (Vietnamese mint)
5 ikan kembung (tropical mackerel), around 700 g, gutted and cleaned
Salt and sugar to taste
1. Snip the chillies into 2-cm lengths and soak in hot water until softened, about 15 minutes. Rinse well and discard most of the seeds.
2. Place the drained chillies, turmeric, shallots and shrimp paste into the jug of an electric blender. Add half cup water and blend finely.
3. Place the blended chilli paste into a saucepan with the tamarind slices and water. Bring to the boil and simmer 10 minutes on medium heat. Add the sprigs of daun kesum and fish. Cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Season to taste with salt and about 1 scant teaspoon of sugar.
Soo Phye cut her teeth in the field of photography in a commercial studio before moving into the publishing line. She was the principal photographer for Blu Inc’s food magazines and recipe books such as Female Appetite, Her World Cookbook and A Taste of Batu Gajah. Over 10 years in the publishing industry, her extensive body of work has appeared in titles such as Going Places, Glam Decor, Her World, Marie Claire, Female, EH, Glam, NuYou, Shape, Men Health and The Peak, among others.
Rohani Jelani is the owner/creator of Bayan Indah. She was trained at the Cordon Bleu in London and on her return, worked in a commercial kitchen, then went into magazine publishing before returning to her passion, culinary development. Since 2009, she teaches cooking classes, hosts eclectic company culinary events at Bayan Indah and also develops original recipes for global corporate clients.