My first submission to Malaysian Food Fest, Melaka Month. Being the organizer, I am commited to submit minimal 3 entries per month. For Melaka, I have prepared 4. Come and join us, it's not only for bloggers. Have some fun recreating something in your own kitchen. Have some "Melaka" at home :)
One of my favourite ways to eat fish is with asam sauce. There are a few types of asam pedas. The method that I normally cook it, is using Johor's method. I only found out it's Johor's method after doing some reading up regarding asam pedas for this event. Northern states like Kedah and Perlis, employs a slightly different method to cook it compared to the southern states.
Gerang asam is a nyonya dish. One can use either mackerel or sting ray, according to Florence Tan. Now, I'm not sure if gerang asam is another type of asam pedas, but it sure is asam (sour) and pedas (spicy). The taste is somewhat rather different, I find. Maybe due to the kaffir lime leaf and the use of galangal for the gravy, something not used in other state's asam pedas. The aroma is just different, in a good way. I don't mind cooking this again and again.
My MIL thought that mackerel usually has a coarse texture and meat is too firm when cooked this way. Maybe because I used low heat to cook the fish for a short period of time, the fish still tasted sweet and tender. Even my sour-hating hubby enjoyed this dish a lot. Thanks to Florence for this recipe.
Ikan Gerang Asam
As Seen on: Anna’s Cooking Recipes
Ingredients halved and method paraphrased by WendyinKK
450gm mackerel (tenggiri)
38gm tamarind pulp + 380ml water
10 young okra, trimmed
2 pcs kaffir lime leaf (original was 1)
6 Tbsp oil (I used 80ml=4 chinese soup spoon)
Grind to a paste
10 dried chilli (10gm), remove the seeds and soak for 10 mins.
9pcs shallots (100gm)
1 big clove garlic (7gm)
2½ candle nut
¼ inch turmeric root (I used 5gm, cleaned weight)
½ inch galangal (I used 10gm cleaned weight)
2 lemongrass (4 inches from the base)
¾ tsp dried shrimp paste (belacan, I used 5gm)
1/3 tsp salt (depends on amount of gravy)
2 tsp sugar
1. Prepare the spice paste. Rub tamarind pulp in water and strain the water, discard the seeds.
2. Heat wok on medium heat, put in oil and then the spice paste. Fry it for a while and lower the heat to medium low and fry until the spice paste looks glossy (takes a few minutes), and reddish oil seems to ooze out.
3. Put in tamarind water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer for 4 minutes. Taste, add seasonings and adjust if needed.
4. Put in fish and kaffir lime leaf (still on low heat). Simmer for 2-3 minutes . Don’t move the fish unnecessarily.
5. Flip the fish and put in okra, simmer for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and dish up.
left: raw ingredients, right: prepared and ready to cook
I tried to follow the original recipe as closely as possible, but I think there might be a typing error. The salt and sugar amount was switched between the two. 2.5 tsp of salt is A LOT, considering the presense of salty belacan, while 1/2 tsp sugar seems too little to balance out the tangy gravy. The amount I used was 1/3 tsp salt and 2 tsp sugar. It sure does look switched in the original recipe, but then again, it could be a matter of taste and personal preference.
I am submitting this to Malaysian Food Fest, Melaka Month
Hosted by Cindy of Yummy Little Cooks
Check out these recipes on the following days
Thursday: Pang Susi
Friday: Durian Cendol
Sunday: Roti John