Assam Pedas literally means sour spicy. It is a classic Malay dish which is popular in both Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Traditionally, Assam Pedas calls for ikan tenggiri (Spanish mackerel) or ikan pari (stingray), but I used red snapper fillet instead. It is a very appetising dish as the gravy has the perfect balance of spiciness, sweetness and sourness that goes very well with steamed rice.
Personally, this is a perfect one dish meal as various vegetables such as okra, tomatoes and/or brinjal/eggplants and pineapples may be added to the Assam Pedas.
Making the spices/rempah from scratch was a tedious process but it was worth every minute of my time. The taste of the Assam Pedas still lingers in my mouth as I am penning down this post. Yummy!!
If you like this recipe, we hope that you could provide us with some feedback/comments via our blog. We would also like to welcome you to join our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group for food lovers like you newbies or veterans. You can like us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page or subscribe to our blog to get the latest updates.
Serves 4 persons
3 slices of fish fillet (any fish of your choice)
1 big onion, cut into four
10 lady fingers/okra
2 tomatoes, cut into four
1 Bunga Kantan/Torch Ginger Flower, cut into half remove the stalk and slice thinly.
3 sprigs of Daun Kesum (Vietnamese mint)
3 tablespoons tamarind, add 5 tablespoons of warm water and squeeze the juice
Some fresh/canned pineapple, optional
Some cooking oil
3 to 4 cups water
2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar or to taste
Some salt to taste
Lime juice of 1 lime
5 garlic cloves
2 stalks lemon grass (white part only), finely sliced
1½ inches Lengkuas/Galangal, cut into small pieces
2 inches kunyit/fresh turmeric, cut into small pieces
7 fresh red chillies
10 dried chillies, soak with hot water (depends on how spicy you like)
1½ cm toasted belacan, grind into powder or 2 tablespoons prawn paste
- Ground the spices in a blender with a little water.
- In a wok or pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add in the ground spice paste and fry until fragrant.
- Add bunga kantan, onions, tomatoes, and pineapple. Mix them well with the paste.
- Then add in the daun kesom and the tamarind juice. Stir and cook for a short while.
- Add in brown sugar, salt, and lime juice then give it a stir.
- Add some water and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add in the fish and addition water if necessary. Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
- Halfway through the cooking, add in the lady fingers. Cover and simmer.
- Adjust the taste accordingly.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.
- The amount of water you use will depend on the consistency you like.
- You may cut the okra into half.
- If you want it spicier, add more dry chilli. If you want it less spicy, remove the seeds of the chilli.