This one's for you. I was sad when I read your heart-wrenching story about Yvonne. Of trust broken and love shattered. So, I've decided to cook a special dish for you. As I'm a cat, it has to be something "fishy" too. Thus, we can kill two birds with one stone, OK?
I hope you'll like my version of Asam Pedas Ikan Tenggiri with Belimbing. Please tell Mrs Lee to set the table, she's invited for dinner too. Though, can she stand seeing me being cuddly cuddly with you? I'm not just a cat but a very sexy puttytat....an SYT (in your books). teeheehee...
What do you think? I managed to get the largest piece of Spanish Mackerel at the market for you. Yummy?
Ingredients: (to serve 2)
2 pieces Spanish Mackerel cutlets
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 pcs of Spanish onion, peeled and sliced thinly
Spanish onions for Spanish Mackerel...get it? Anyway, the red onions are tastier than the brown or white variety.
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled
2.5cm piece galangal
0.5cm piece turmeric root
1 bunch of daun kesum (laksa leaves or Vietnamese mint)
We got this bunch of Vietnamese mint from Aunty H's garden. Ours died last winter and we haven't replanted.
10 pcs dried red chilli (I use Kashmiri chili), cut and soaked in hot water
2.5cm piece of belacan (shrimp paste)
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 lemongrass, green part discarded
2 pcs coriander root (from 2 bunches of fresh coriander)
5 bilimbi (belimbing buluh)
I couldn't get fresh bilimbi but these frozen ones (right - light green) should do fine. Oh, they're imported from the Philippines. Those are coriander roots (middle), widely used in Thai cooking too.
3 small eggplants, peeled, cut into pieces and soak in water (room temperature)
10 okra (ladies' fingers), cut off heads and tails
7 cherry tomatoes
I love to put heaps of vegetables in my Asam Pedas. Saves the trouble of preparing another vege dish actually.
salt and palm sugar to taste
1. Put the garlic, ginger, galangal, turmeric root, coriander root and dry chili in food processor. Press the button and make sure everything binds into a smooth paste.
Don't you love the food processor? It makes kitchen work a breeze.
2. Heat the cooking vessel, I prefer to use a claypot for this dish. Pour oil once pot is heated through.
3. Fry onion in hot oil, until caramelised, then put in the shrimp paste. Fry for about 1 minute.
4. Next, pour the paste from the food processor into the pot. Mix and stir fry until fragrant.
5. When the mixture is somewhat dry and cooked (the Malaysian term is "pecah minyak"), put in the fish cutlets.
6. Mix tamarind paste with a cup of water and pour mixture on fish. Crush lemongrass with mortar and throw into pot too. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, add a bit more water if the gravy dries up.
7. When fish is almost cooked (tender but not flaky), throw in the accompanying vegetables.
8. Put in about 1 tsp salt and 3 tsp brown or palm sugar.
9. Let simmer until vegetables are soft and fish is fully cooked. Remove from heat and serve.
Best served with rice. Bon appetit!
Unfortunately, the Canadian customs confiscated the parcel containing this dish that we couriered to you, Uncle Lee. So, you going to have to buy that ticket and come here.
We'll have dinner at my place. It's OK, Prince William has gone back to England. purrr.....meow!