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.
Out in the village near Bireuen in Aceh, Indonesia, this is one of my favorite recipies the my neighbour taught me. It is also nice to use this 'pemp' spice paste with a medly of green eggplants and pea-eggplants.
Spices in Aceh are ground on a flat grind stone, which achieves a very finely ground paste. Using a mortar and pestle, or a blender will have a less refined paste.
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