Penang Salted Fish Recipe: A Delicious Malaysian Dish – Seaco Online
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Penang Salted Fish Recipe: A Delicious Malaysian Dish

If you're a fan of Malaysian cuisine, you've probably heard of the famous Penang salted fish recipe. This dish is a classic example of the unique blend of flavours that makes Malaysian food so popular. The salty, savoury taste of the fish is perfectly balanced with a variety of spices and vegetables, resulting in a dish that is both comforting and delicious.

A wooden table with various ingredients: fish, salt, and spices. A recipe book open to a page with instructions for making Penang salted fish

To make this dish, you'll need to start by preparing the ingredients. This includes salted fish bones, long beans, brinjal, prawns, soybean puffs, and cabbage. Once you have all the ingredients ready, you can start cooking the dish. The process involves frying the salted fish bones until they are crispy, then adding in the other ingredients and cooking them together in a fragrant curry sauce.

If you're looking for a new recipe to try out, or just want to expand your culinary horizons, the Penang salted fish recipe is definitely worth a try. With its unique blend of flavours and comforting, home-cooked feel, it's sure to become a favourite in your household. So why not give it a go and see what all the fuss is about?

Key Takeaways

  • The Penang salted fish recipe is a classic Malaysian dish that combines salty, savoury fish with a variety of spices and vegetables.
  • To make this dish, you'll need to prepare a variety of ingredients, including salted fish bones, long beans, brinjal, prawns, soybean puffs, and cabbage.
  • The cooking process involves frying the salted fish bones until crispy and then cooking all the ingredients together in a fragrant curry sauce.

Preparing the Ingredients

A wooden cutting board with sliced ginger, garlic, and chilies, alongside chunks of salted fish and a bowl of tamarind paste

Selecting the Salted Fish

When it comes to preparing Penang salted fish recipe, choosing the right salted fish is crucial. You can use any type of salted fish, but the most commonly used ones are Kurau and Tenggiri. When selecting salted fish, make sure to choose fish that is not too dry or too salty. If the salted fish is too dry, it will be tough and difficult to cook. If it is too salty, it will overpower the other flavors in the dish.

Preparing the Vegetables and Herbs

The vegetables and herbs used in Penang salted fish recipe are just as important as the salted fish itself. You will need long beans, brinjal, cabbage, and lemongrass. Make sure to cut the long beans into small segments and the brinjal into pieces. Cut the cabbage into squares and the lemongrass into thin slices. You can also add other vegetables such as carrots, peas, and onions if you like.

Making the Spice Paste

The spice paste is what gives Penang salted fish recipe its unique and delicious flavor. To make the spice paste, you will need garlic, ginger, shallot, chilli, belacan, curry powder, curry leaves, kaffir lime leaves, and turmeric. Peel and chop the garlic, ginger, and shallot. Deseed and chop the chilli. Pound all the ingredients together in a mortar and pestle until you get a smooth paste. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can use a food processor or blender.

Cooking the Dish

A wok sizzles with fragrant spices and chunks of salted fish, as a chef stirs the bubbling mixture over a hot flame

Cooking the Salted Fish

Before you start cooking the Penang Salted Fish Curry, you need to prepare the salted fish. Soak the salted fish in water for about 10-15 minutes to remove excess salt. After soaking, drain the water and pat dry the fish with a clean cloth. Then, pan-fry the fish in vegetable oil until it turns golden brown. Once cooked, set it aside.

Preparing the Curry

To prepare the curry, heat some vegetable oil in a large pot or wok over medium heat. Add chopped onions and fry until they become translucent. Then, add the curry paste and fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Next, add some sugar, pepper, and a pinch of salt to taste. Stir well.

Add coconut milk to the pot and stir continuously to prevent the milk from curdling. Then, add chicken or seafood, depending on your preference. You can use prawns, fish, or any other seafood that you like. Add some water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the chicken or seafood is cooked.

Final Assembly and Serving

Once the chicken or seafood is cooked, add the pan-fried salted fish to the pot. Stir gently to combine the ingredients. Add some santan (coconut cream) for a richer flavour. Let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the curry thickens.

Finally, serve the Penang Salted Fish Curry hot with steamed rice and some vegetables on the side. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

A table with various ingredients and utensils for making Penang salted fish recipe

What's the best way to prepare salted fish in a Penang style?

Salted fish is a staple in many Penang dishes, and the best way to prepare it depends on the recipe you are using. Generally, it is best to soak the salted fish in water for a few hours before cooking to reduce the saltiness. After soaking, you can fry it or add it to curries, stir-fries, or soups for a flavourful kick.

How do you make an Indian-style salted fish dish?

Indian-style salted fish dishes usually involve marinating the fish in a blend of spices and then frying or grilling it. The marination can include ingredients such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, chilli powder, and ginger-garlic paste. Once the fish is cooked, it can be served with rice, bread, or as a side dish.

Is it necessary to soak salted fish before cooking, and if so, for how long?

Soaking salted fish before cooking is recommended to reduce the saltiness and improve the flavour of the dish. The length of time you soak the fish depends on the saltiness of the fish and the recipe you are using. Generally, soaking for a few hours or overnight is sufficient.

Can you share a traditional Chinese recipe for salted fish?

One traditional Chinese recipe for salted fish is to steam it with ginger and scallions. First, soak the fish in water for a few hours to reduce the saltiness. Then, place the fish on a heatproof plate and top it with sliced ginger and scallions. Steam for 10-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Serve with rice or as a side dish.

What's the process for salt curing fish at home?

To salt cure fish at home, you will need fresh fish, salt, and a container with a lid. First, clean and fillet the fish, removing the head and bones. Rub the fish with salt and place it in the container, making sure to cover it completely with salt. Close the lid and refrigerate for a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the fish. Rinse off the salt before using.

Could you list the different varieties of salted fish found in Malaysia?

There are many different varieties of salted fish found in Malaysia, including ikan kurau, ikan tamban, ikan gelama, ikan kembung, and ikan tenggiri. Each type of fish has a unique flavour and texture, and they can be used in a variety of dishes.