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In Aceh, (on the island of Sumatera) steaks of the fish "bandeng" or "tongkol" can be used, but any white-flesh fish is fine, or if you are vegetarian, you can just use one and a half cups of eggplants. Traditionallly dish is soured by the use of sundried salted "bilimbing", (a type of small sour Starfruit) but it's easier to find tamarind pulp elsewhere in the world.
- 250 g fish, descaled gutted and cleaned
- 1 lemon, juice of, squeezed
- 2 tablespoons oil (for frying)
- 20 red chilies
- 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
- 1⁄2 tablespoon coriander seed
- 1⁄2 garlic clove
- 5 teaspoons tamarind pulp
- 3 shallots
- 1 pandan leaf, ripped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- FISH: Clean the fish, cut it into dessert spoon sized chunks/steaks, and add juice of one lemon and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt.
- PASTE: grind together finely the red chillies, turmeric, ginger, coriander seeds, garlic, tamarind pulp, and the three shallots.
- WOK: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok and drop the single chopped shallot and the ripped pandan leaf and fry til fragrant.
- FRY PASTE: Add to the wok now the spice paste, and fry a minute till fragrant (or until you stop sneezing and wheezing).
- COOK: Add the fish and the water, and slow boil til reduced/cooked. Add salt if needed. Serve with boiled rice.