Assam Fish Head Singapore Recipe: A Delicious and Spicy Dish – Seaco Online
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Assam Fish Head Singapore Recipe: A Delicious and Spicy Dish

If you're looking for a dish that's full of flavour and unique to Singapore, then Assam Fish Head is the perfect choice.

This popular Singaporean recipe is a spicy and sour curry made with fish head, tamarind, and a mix of other spices. The dish is known for its tangy flavour and rich aroma, and it's often served with steamed rice.

A steaming pot of Assam fish head curry simmering with aromatic spices and tangy tamarind, surrounded by vibrant vegetables and herbs

To make Assam Fish Head, you'll need a few key ingredients, including fish head, tamarind paste, and a blend of spices.

The fish head is first steamed and then added to the curry, along with the tamarind paste and other spices. The dish is then simmered until the fish is cooked through and the curry has thickened.

Once ready, the dish is served hot and garnished with fresh herbs like laksa leaves and torch ginger flower.

If you're new to cooking Singaporean cuisine, don't worry - Assam Fish Head is a relatively easy dish to make.

With a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can create a delicious and authentic Singaporean meal right in your own kitchen.

So why not give it a try and experience the unique flavours of Assam Fish Head for yourself?

Key Takeaways

  • Assam Fish Head is a popular Singaporean recipe that's known for its tangy flavour and rich aroma.
  • To make Assam Fish Head, you'll need fish head, tamarind paste, and a blend of spices.
  • This dish is relatively easy to make and is often served with steamed rice.

Ingredients and Preparation

A large fish head sits on a cutting board surrounded by fresh herbs, spices, and condiments. A chef's knife is poised to begin the preparation process

If you're looking for a spicy and flavourful dish to impress your guests, Assam Fish Head is the perfect recipe for you.

This traditional Singaporean dish is made with snapper fish head in a sour and spicy coconut gravy. Here's what you'll need to make it:

Key Ingredients

  • Snapper fish head (you can get this at your local wet market or fishmonger)
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Tomato
  • Ginger
  • Spices (such as fish curry powder, sugar, and tamarind)
  • Coconut cream
  • Garlic
  • Spice paste (also known as rempah in Malay) made with dried chillies, shallots, lemongrass, turmeric, belacan, and tamarind paste
  • Sambal (a spicy chilli paste)
  • Lady's fingers
  • Brinjal (also known as eggplant)
  • Tamarind juice
  • Ikan bilis stock (fish stock made with anchovies)
  • Curry paste
  • Torch ginger flower (optional)

Creating the Spice Blend

To create the spice blend for the Assam Fish Head, you'll need to make a rempah.

Start by blending together dried chillies, shallots, lemongrass, turmeric, belacan, and tamarind paste. You can also add in other spices such as mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds if you like.

Marinating the Fish Head

Before cooking the fish head, you'll need to marinate it in a mixture of salt, turmeric powder, and chili powder.

Let it sit for about 30 minutes in warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Once the fish head is marinated, heat up some oil in a pan and fry it until it's golden brown. Remove the fish head from the pan and set it aside.

Cooking the Assam Fish Head

In the same pan, add in the spice paste and fry it until fragrant.

Then, add in the curry paste, sambal, and torch ginger flower (if using) and fry for another minute.

Next, add in the vegetables (tomatoes, lady's fingers, and brinjal) and fry for a few minutes until they're slightly softened.

Then, add in the ikan bilis stock, tamarind juice, and coconut cream and bring it to a boil.

Finally, add in the fried fish head and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the gravy has thickened. Before serving, garnish with some daun kesum (also known as laksa leaves) and lime juice.

Cooking and Serving

A steaming pot of Assam fish head curry is being served on a banana leaf, surrounded by aromatic spices and ingredients

Simmering the Assam Gravy

To make the Assam gravy, start by heating up some cooking oil in a pot.

Once the oil is hot, add in the spice paste, which is made up of dried chillies, shallots, lemongrass, turmeric, belacan, and ikan bilis stock.

Fry the paste until fragrant and the oil starts to separate from the mixture.

Next, add in the tamarind juice, coconut cream, and sugar, and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes.

Then, add in the assam paste, curry leaves, and torch ginger flower, and let the gravy simmer until it has thickened and the flavours have melded together.

Serving Suggestions

Once the gravy is ready, it's time to add in the fish head and vegetables.

Popular choices of fish for this dish include red snapper, sea bass, Spanish mackerel, and threadfin.

Cut the fish head into pieces and add it to the pot, along with some lady's fingers and brinjal.

Let the fish and vegetables cook in the gravy until they are tender and fully cooked.

Finally, add in some lime juice and serve the dish hot with steamed rice and other side dishes.

Some popular side dishes to serve with assam fish head include pickled vegetables, sambal, and crispy fried anchovies.

You can also garnish the dish with some daun kesum and tomato wedges for added flavour and presentation.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming pot of Assam fish head soup, surrounded by assorted spices and ingredients, with a bowl of rice and a pair of chopsticks on the side

How can I make Assam fish head curry with coconut milk?

If you prefer a creamier version of Assam fish head curry, you can add coconut milk to the recipe.

After cooking the curry paste, add one cup of coconut milk and bring it to a boil. Then, add the fish head and vegetables and simmer until the fish is cooked through.

The coconut milk adds a rich and creamy texture to the curry, but it also mellows out the sourness.

What's the simplest way to prepare Assam fish head curry?

The simplest way to prepare Assam fish head curry is to use a ready-made Assam fish curry paste. You can find it in most supermarkets in Singapore.

Heat up some oil in a pot or wok, add the curry paste, and fry it until fragrant. Then, add water, tamarind pulp, and sugar to the pot, and bring it to a boil. Add the fish head and vegetables, and simmer until the fish is cooked through.

Can you suggest a Chinese-style variation for Assam fish curry?

For a Chinese-style variation of Assam fish curry, you can add some sliced ginger, garlic, and scallions to the curry paste.

You can also add some Shaoxing wine and soy sauce to the curry to give it a Chinese flavour. You can serve it with steamed rice or noodles.

What are the essential ingredients for a traditional Assam fish curry?

The essential ingredients for a traditional Assam fish curry are tamarind pulp, lemongrass, galangal, dried chillies, shallots, garlic, belacan (shrimp paste), and salt.

These ingredients are used to make the curry paste, which is the base of the curry. You can also add vegetables like okra, eggplant, and tomatoes to the curry.

Which type of fish is most suitable for making Assam fish head curry?

The most suitable fish for making Assam fish head curry is a firm white fish with a mild flavour.

Some popular choices are red snapper, grouper, and sea bass. You can use the head of the fish for the curry, as it has a lot of flavour and is perfect for slow cooking.

Is there a healthier version of curry fish head that still tastes authentic?

Yes, there is a healthier version of curry fish head that still tastes authentic. Instead of using coconut milk, you can use low-fat yoghurt or evaporated milk to give the curry a creamy texture.

You can also use less oil and sugar in the recipe to make it healthier. Adding more vegetables and using leaner cuts of fish can also make the curry healthier.