Saturday, February 6, 2010

Asam Pedas for Uncle Lee

My dear Uncle Lee,
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 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!


Lee said...

HOLY SMOKE! That's fair dinkum, Mate!
Where were you when I was handing out my resume? Ha ha...
Cat....words fail me, but terima kaseh seribu.
I have always loved this particular dish....
it also brings back memories....thank you.

As you mentioned 'Yvonne'...yes, the only woman who made me cry.
It was a real deep wound, left a big scar, I cried a river, then build a bridge and crossed over...
then managed a smile as it was once ours, beautiful memories.

And years later a woman came into my life...the only woman I did not use my 'applied Ninjalogy'...instead she used her womanlogy...on me.
And? She invited me home for dinner, she had learned to cook from her Malay and Nyonya well discreetly learned of my favourite dishes....3 of them. (My mom, a Nyonya lady used to cook them)

Ikan masak asam pedas, fish head curry and ikan tenggiri sumbat sambal.

Cat, I thank you for your very warm and kind gesture. I appreciate it. I love this dish!
One of this days you'll get a call at 3AM..."I'm coming"! Ha ha.
G'day Cat, stay beautiful and keep a purrrr in your heart. Lee.

Unknown said...

..and what about those whose heart has been shattered so many times that it has lost its shape..? don't I deserved a teenie slice..? it looks good..

sherry said...


Nak jugakkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Uncle Lee,
I was spot on, wasn't I? Let me tell you, this dish was made with heaps of love too.
Where was I when you were handing out your resume? hahahaha...I wasn't even born yet. Remember, I'm a 3-yr old cat! purrr....meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

PakMat dear,
You're next! We have something special for you in the pipeline...just wait and see, OK? purrr....meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Sherry,
Datang sinilah! Nanti kita boleh main masak-masak. purrr....meow!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

What a thoughtful and kind kitty you are, Angelina! I know your Mama drove you to the market and you sniffed out the freshest biggest fish with your superior cat sense. Uncle Lee must be really touched. You are such a good-hearted kitty. I love you, purr purr!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Have some Barkery goodies on us! purrr....meow!

Pi Bani said...

Alamak, silap timing masuk lah. Tengah lapar...

But never mind, just had asam pedas for lunch yesterday.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Jom kita suapkan...yummmm.... purrr....meow!

Cheqna said...

waaah...only for Uncle Lee? not fair not fair..i luvvvv asam pedas too...tak dengan nasi, cicah dgn roti or biskut tawar pun jadi...hehehe...

next time its mine...(sorry uncle Lee)


p/s - Don't you love the food processor? ~ i agree with u there - by watching other people use it laa - bcos mine, after that 1st time, is back in the box..haha...

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Cheqna dear,
My house is so small so can't invite too many people at one time. This time it's Uncle Lee's turn. Next time we cook something special for you, OK? purrrr....meow!

tireless mom said...

You learn to cook from your mummy eh? Well deserved pat on the shoulder cos I am sure Uncle Lee is dreaming about the asam pedas day and night already, terkilan and terliur!

Next would be tom yam sea food ke?

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Yatt,
Is tom yam your fav food? Hmmm....maybe should open Ristorante Angelina... purrr....meow!

mamasita said...

Waah Cat..Mama you masak or you?? Looks so nice..daun kesum and belimbing buluh pun ada? Fantastic!

anneaziz said...


My favorite! Especially on a hot day!

I'm sure when it's cooked with love for your Uncle, it tastes ten times as good! Lee, you lucky devil. Why are all women having special N3 for you? Your NINJALOGY working even in virtual world! Pandai betul!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Yummy Mummy,
I was the one labouring in the kitchen! Not easy for someone who's only 12 inches tall. We can get most of the stuff in our suburb. You'll be surprised - daun kaduk and daun selom pun ada! purrr....meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Anne,
That's your favourite too? Well, you know-lah...Uncle Lee's got very potent "ilmu". 22 years in Canada pun tak hilang the effect. We should all learn his secrets. purrr....meow!

Unknown said...

Wow! Good with words, humor and a maestro in the kitchen! Well done, sweetie.

Take care and lots of hugs and salam

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Paula,'re so generous. Me shy-lah! Can you see me blushing? purrr....meow!

rizal hashim said...

Uncle Lee you lucky devil have cats meowing and purring for you, whipping up special dishes for you...

the asam pedas looks...ahhh, I'm already full just by looking at the late grandma was from merlimau...a great cook...sadly nobody inherited her talent in the kitchen...

Ezza Aziz said...


oo kat sini CIS tinggal ya....

Yr asam pedas you sangat lah meriah...bau nya pun sampai ke Klang...

My Puteh pun kirim salam sama you..Purr purrr

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Uncle Rizal,
Uncle Lee is not just a lucky devil...he's a meowing one..or should I say "roar"-ing one. Thanks for dropping by. Anytime you feel like having Asam Pedas, give us a tinkle. Melaka style, Nyonya style, Selangor style, Johor style, all can one. purrr....meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Ezza,
Kita selalu mengintai Puteh tapi tak pernah tinggalkan "kesan tapak kaki" lagi. Baunya sampai ke Kelang? Kalau naik kapal, dua minggu sampailah kat Port Klang tu. Tunggu ye? Tapi tak tahulah Kastam kasi lepas ke tak...kita kucing, memanglah suka makan ikan. Kirim peluk kat Puteh ye? Jantan ke betina? Dah kawin ke belum? purrrr....meow!