A classic Malay dish, Assam Pedas. It has everything, spicy, sour, sweet, savory and I can eat my rice just with this dish alone. Make sure to cook extra rice because you might even have a second helping of rice! It is that good.
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For the spice paste:
- 5 to 10 dried chilli (add more if you want it spicier)
- 2 lemongrass
- 4 shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 inch galangal
- 1/2 inch fresh turmeric or 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 to 2 teaspoon shrimp paste/ belacan
- 2 whole white fish, (red snapper, sea bass)
- 1 to 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon tamarind pulp, Soak tamarind pulp in warm water for 10 minutes.
- 3 to 4 asam keping
- 2 to 3 kaffir leaves
- 1 bunga kiantan/ ginger torch flower (if available)
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon palm sugar
For the vegetables:
- 3 to 4 Indian Auvergne, cut in quarters
- 5 to 6 ladies fingers, cut in half
- 3 to 4 tomatoes, cut in quarters
For the garnish:
- Handful fresh coriander
1. In a food processor. blend the spice ingredients until it becomes a paste.
2. Heat oil over medium heat, add the paste and sauté until fragrant. Once the oil separates add kaffir leaves, tamarind juice, water and ginger torch flower (if available). Continue to saute for another 45 seconds or until fragrant.
3. Once the sauce begins to boil, add the fish and let it cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Add sugar and salt to taste. Then add the vegetables and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the fish.
4. Garnish with coriander. Served immediately with steamed rice.
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