How to Cook Asam Fish: A Quick and Easy Recipe – Seaco Online
Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

You might like
Promotion
Read more
Seaco-online.com completes revamp of our website to bring you a better seafood buying experience!

How to Cook Asam Fish: A Quick and Easy Recipe

If you're looking to add some zing to your dinner, asam fish is the perfect dish for you.

Asam fish is a spicy and sour fish dish, commonly found in Southeast Asian cuisine. The dish is made by cooking fish in a tangy tamarind-based sauce, which gives it a unique flavour that is both sweet and sour.

A pot simmers with tamarind, chili, and fish. Steam rises as the flavors meld. A chef adds herbs and spices, creating a fragrant dish

To prepare asam fish, you will need fresh fish, tamarind paste, onions, garlic, ginger, chillies, and a variety of spices.

The fish is first marinated in a mixture of tamarind paste, salt, and turmeric before being pan-fried until golden brown.

The sauce is then made by sautéing onions, garlic, and ginger in oil before adding the tamarind paste, chillies, and spices.

The fish is then added to the sauce and simmered until cooked through.

If you're looking for a new and exciting dish to add to your recipe collection, asam fish is a great choice. With its tangy and spicy flavour, it's sure to be a hit with your family and friends. So why not give it a try and see what you think?

Key Takeaways

  • Asam fish is a spicy and sour fish dish commonly found in Southeast Asian cuisine.
  • The dish is made by cooking fish in a tangy tamarind-based sauce, which gives it a unique flavour that is both sweet and sour.
  • To prepare asam fish, you will need fresh fish, tamarind paste, onions, garlic, ginger, chillies, and a variety of spices.

Understanding Asam Fish

A pot simmering with spicy asam fish, surrounded by herbs and spices, emitting a tantalizing aroma

Asam fish, also known as ikan asam pedas, is a popular Malay fish curry dish that is loved for its spicy and sour taste. In this section, you will learn about the origins and cultural significance of asam fish, as well as how to choose the right fish for your dish.

Origins and Cultural Significance

Asam fish is a traditional Malay dish that has been enjoyed for centuries in Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia.

The dish is typically made with tamarind, which gives it its sour taste, and a variety of spices, such as chillies, garlic, and ginger, which give it its spicy flavour.

Asam fish is an important part of Malay cuisine and is often served at special occasions, such as weddings and festivals.

It is also a popular dish in many Malay households, where it is often prepared for family dinners and gatherings.

Choosing the Right Fish

When choosing the right fish for your asam fish dish, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, it is important to choose a fish that is firm and has a mild flavour, such as pomfret, ray, stingray, Spanish mackerel (tenggiri), salmon, cod, or red snapper.

White fish, such as cod or red snapper, are a good choice because they have a mild flavour that pairs well with the sour and spicy flavours of the dish.

Spanish mackerel is another popular choice because it has a firm texture and a slightly oily flavour that works well with the tamarind and spices.

When choosing your fish, make sure it is fresh and has a bright, clear eye, firm flesh, and a clean, fresh smell. If you are not sure which fish to choose, ask your fishmonger for advice.

Preparing and Cooking Asam Fish

A pot simmers with tamarind, chili, and fish. A chef adds spices and stirs, creating a flavorful asam fish dish

If you want to make a delicious asam fish dish, you need to start with the right ingredients and follow the proper cooking process. Here are the steps you need to take to create a tasty asam fish dish:

Creating the Asam Paste

The first step in making asam fish is to create the asam paste.

You can use tamarind paste, tamarind pulp, or tamarind juice to create the sour base for the dish. To balance the sourness, you can add sugar to the mix.

To create the spice paste, you will need to blend together a combination of dried chillies, onion, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, ginger, turmeric powder, belacan, and dried shrimp.

You can also add fresh turmeric for an extra kick of flavour.

The Cooking Process

Once you have created the asam paste, you can start the cooking process.

Heat some cooking oil in a pan and add the asam paste to the pan. Fry the paste until it becomes fragrant.

Next, add in some water and bring the mixture to a simmer.

You can then add in your vegetables, such as okra and tomatoes, and let them cook until they are soft.

Finally, add in your fish and let it cook until it is done.

Serving Suggestions

Asam fish is typically served with steamed rice.

To balance out the sourness, you can add some sweetness to the dish by squeezing in some lime juice.

You can also add some herbs, such as daun kesum, Vietnamese coriander, Vietnamese mint, curry leaves, and cilantro, to enhance the flavour of the dish.

Asam fish is a popular Malay dish that is also commonly found in Singapore and Malacca. It is also known as gulai tumis or spicy tamarind fish.

The key to making a great asam fish dish is to balance the sourness, hotness, and sweetness of the dish. The gravy should be thick and flavourful, and the fish should be cooked just right.

Frequently Asked Questions

A chef adding tamarind paste to a pot of simmering fish, surrounded by various cooking utensils and ingredients

What's the best way to prepare Assam fish in a Chinese style?

If you want to prepare Assam fish in a Chinese style, you can use the same recipe as the traditional Malay Assam fish, but add some Chinese ingredients like ginger, garlic, and soy sauce.

You can also use Chinese cooking techniques like stir-frying or steaming. The result will be a fusion dish that combines the tangy and spicy flavours of Assam fish with the savoury and umami flavours of Chinese cuisine.

Could you share a traditional Nyonya Assam fish recipe?

Yes, here's a traditional Nyonya Assam fish recipe that you can try:

Ingredients:

  • 500g fish (Spanish mackerel, stingray, or pomfret)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Salt to taste

Spice paste:

  • 10 dried chillies, soaked in hot water
  • 5 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced

Instructions:

  1. Blend all the spice paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the spice paste until fragrant.
  3. Add tamarind juice and water to the pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Add fish, onion, and tomatoes to the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
  5. Add sugar and salt to taste.

How do I cook a flavourful Assam Fish Head dish?

To cook a flavourful Assam Fish Head dish, you can follow the same recipe as Assam fish, but use a fish head instead of a whole fish.

Fish head is a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine, and it adds a rich and meaty flavour to the dish.

You can also add some vegetables like okra, eggplant, or long beans to the dish for extra flavour and texture.

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

The essential ingredients for a classic Assam fish curry are tamarind, chillies, shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and fish.

Tamarind is the key ingredient that gives the dish its tangy and sour flavour, while chillies, shallots, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass add the spicy and aromatic flavours.

You can use any type of fish for the dish, but traditionally, Spanish mackerel, stingray, or pomfret are used.

Which type of fish is most suitable for making Assam dishes?

The type of fish that is most suitable for making Assam dishes is a fish that has firm and meaty flesh, and can hold up well in the tangy and spicy gravy.

Some of the popular fish used in Assam dishes are Spanish mackerel, stingray, pomfret, and red snapper.

You can also use other types of fish like salmon, cod, or tilapia, but make sure they are fresh and of good quality.

Can you describe the process for making Asam Pedas Ikan Pari?

Sure, here's the process for making Asam Pedas Ikan Pari:

Ingredients:

  • 500g stingray fish, cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Salt to taste

Spice paste:

  • 10 dried chillies, soaked in hot water
  • 5 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced

Instructions:

  1. Blend all the spice paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the spice paste until fragrant.
  3. Add tamarind juice and water to the pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Add fish, onion, and tomatoes to the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
  5. Add sugar and salt to taste.