5 fresh Ikan Kembong (Chubb Mackerel)
1 large Sweet Yellow Onion (sliced thinly)
Assam Pedas Paste:
1 stalk lemongrass (use white portion)
3 cloves garlic
Half inch turmeric (kunyit)
8 to 10 dried chillies (soak in hot water for about 20 minutes and drain)
Half tablespoon Belacan (prawn paste)
Add all the ingredients into a blender to form a paste or in a mortar and pound the paste.
Cleaning the fish
Start the gutting process by slipping the tip of the knife into the vent and slicing upwards away from the fish, and away from the guts — toward the head.
Now complete the cut by forcing the knife through the bony portion that lies between the pelvic fins (the ones that are paired up on the belly of the fish) and on up to the base of the lower jaw.
Remove the guts by reaching in and grabbing them right at the base of the head.
Pinch that spot and pull the whole lot out.
Thereafter scrape out the liver, which is attached to the backbone of the fish, and cut out what remains of the swim bladder, which is a whitish sac that also attaches itself to the cavity.
The fish gills will impart a bitter flavor to your fish so you will need to discard them.
Chubb Mackerel are small fish so its easier to rip them off.
Wash the gutted fish and its ready to cook.
Heat wok with some cooking oil and fry the sliced yellow onion.
Add the assam paste and mix together.
Include one to two tablespoons of tamarind juice and a teaspoon of coarse sugar.
Blend the ingredients together to a boil.
Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Transfer the cooked assam gravy and set aside.
Rub the Ikan Kembong with some sea salt.
Pan fry the Ikan Kembong until they are fully cooked and nice golden brown.
The fish is cooked once the meat turned opaque.
Transfer to a serving plate.
Add the assam pedas gravy on top of the fish.
Garnish with a generous amount of chopped cilantros and serve hot.
Check out here for more interesting fish recipes.
I have specially added shredded Chinese leeks to the ingredients for Kueh Pie Tee for this Chinese New Year.
Serving Chinese leeks is an auspicious symbol of wealth (lots of money to count) in the coming year.
Some may wonder what is “Kueh Pie Tee”.
This is a thin and crispy pastry tart shell filled with shredded vegetables and steamed prawns. A popular Peranakan dish.
An additional ingredient to the Kueh Pie Tee fillings.
Ingredients for preparing Pie Tee moulds
50g plain flour
50g rice flour
100 ml of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for deep frying
Kueh Pie Tee mould
Ingredients for Kueh Pie Tee fillings
2 wholesome medium size turnips (shredded)
2 large size carrots (shredded)
Half kilo fresh small prawns (steamed, deshelled and cut into halves)
Fresh crab meat from balance of Shark Fin Soup
3 stalks Chinese leek (washed and cleaned)
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 tablespoon Taucheo (soya bean paste)
Method for Preparation for Pie Tee moulds
Sift plain and rice flour together in a bowl.
Mix in beaten egg, gradually adding water to make into a smooth batter.
Heat oil in deep frying pan.
Heat Pie Tee mould in oil. When hot remove mould and dip them in batter.
Place mould in oil until the pie tee shell become golden brown and drop from mould.
Remove and drain on paper towel.
When slightly cool, place in airtight plastic containers (Lock and Lock) keeping lid tight in order to maintain the crispiness of the pie tee shells.
Method for Preparing the Fillings for Kueh Pie Tee
Heat up wok and add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil.
When heated, add minced garlic and fry till fragrant.
Add the taucheo (soya bean paste) and fry altogether.
Followed by the shredded turnips, carrots and Chinese leeks.
Add salt and pepper to the mix and cooked until vegetables are soft.
Set aside until required.
Fill each cup of Pie Tee with some fillings.
Place a piece of steamed prawn or crab meat on top of each Kueh Pie Tee.
Garnish with cilantro leaves
Last but not least, the chilli sauce. You can make your own chilli sauce or get the ready made chilli sauce off the counter.
Closer look at the ingredients for the Kueh Pie Tee serving.
Some Pie Tee topped with crab meat fillings and others with steamed prawns.
The inclusion of the shredded Chinese leeks has added more garlicky taste to this dish.
Check out here for more Peranakan cuisines.
Ikan Kekek popularly used for cooking with Assam and Pineapple but no always available in the market.
Another alternative fish are the smaller White Promfrets such as these.
For detailed recipe on the preparation, click https://flofoodventure.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/ikan-kekek-masak-assam-pedas-with-nanas/
Here’s another recipe for fish cooked in tangy sauce.
Pony fish is known locally as Ikan Kekek.
Unique recognition by their compressed and slimy body with small mouth and highly protractile. A pair of lateral elevated bony ridges on top of the head between the eyes.
I was very glad to find such big Ikan Kekek at the market.
How to cook these Ikan Kekek.
The best way is to cook with Sambal Assam (Tamarind) and sweet tangy fresh pineapple slices.
2 large Ikan Kekek
1 large sweet Japanese onion
1 packet of Assam Paste
1 medium size sweet Pineapple
Here are the ingredients for the Assam Paste if you wish to cook from scratch.
Ingredients for Paste:
10 – 12 fresh red chillies (seeds removed) or 2 tablespoons Chilli Paste
1 tablespoon Curry Powder
10 shallots (peeled and chopped)
1 inch Turmeric (peeled and chopped)
3 cm Galangal (peeled and sliced)
2 stalks Lemongrass white portion only (sliced for easier grinding)
3 cloves garlic
2 inch gnger (sliced for easier grinding)
3 pieces Buah Keras (candlenuts)
Method for preparing the Assam Paste from scratch.
Blend all the above ingredients into a fine paste.
Heat cooking oil in a wok and fry the paste until fragrant.
Add the tamarind juice.
Stir to mix and bring to a simmer.
Add water and bring to boil.
Season with coarse sugar and sea salt.
Method for preparing ready made Assam Paste:
Cut and trim the pineapple and cut into chunks.
Clean, cut and wash fish. Pat fry.
In a wok, add some cooking oil and fry the sliced sweet onion until fragrant.
Add the packet of Assam Paste and mix thoroughly.
As the paste bubbles, add one bowl of water to mix.
Now add the pineapple chunks and stir thoroughly.
Taste and adjust to your likeness, whether to add some sugar if its too sour etc.
You can either steam the Ikan Kekek or add the Kekek into the wok and cook together.
Rub a little sea salt over the entire fish and cut a slit running across the top to the side of the fish for faster cooking process.
Turn off the heat once the fish meat turned opaque.
Dish into a large serving bowl and serve immediately.
This tangy sweet gravy is so irresistible that I had additional rice.
1 ripe pineapple
2 small cucumbers
Cooking honey for taste
Clean the pineapple and cucumber and chop them finely.
In a mixing bowl, add the chopped pineapple and cucumber together with a tablespoon of sambal belachan and cooking honey.
Taste and adjust to your taste bud.
You can also add boiled Sam Chan Bak to this rojak.
Interested to dish up a plate of grilled tofu puffed with vegetable stuffing for afternoon tea?
Check out here.
Peranakan dishes with its distinct, rich flavouring and variety of ingredients is something you can easily find at hawker’s centres or normal restaurants.
What makes the difference with other noodles recipes it the nutty saltiness of “taucheo” also known as fermented bean paste gravy added to the noodles.
1 packet Egg Noodles (replacing the traditional Chinese yellow noodles)
Half dozen meaty Crayfish tails (replacing fresh crab meat)
5 tablespoons Taugay (Bean sprouts)
2 strips Sam Chan Bak (three layer pork belly)
10 – 12 fresh Sea Prawns
2 tablespoons Taucheo (yellow bean paste)
2 bowls Stock
Seasoning to taste
2 beaten eggs (for omelette)
Few stalks of chopped cilantros
2 small cucumbers (shredded)
De shelled the crayfish and extract the crayfish tail and set aside.
De shelled the prawns, deveined and set aside.
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and put in the cleaned pork and cooked.
Remove the pork and keep the stock for the gravy.
Skin the pork and slice them into strips and set aside.
Heat the wok with a tablespoon of cooking oil and fry prawn shells with minced garlic.
Removed the prawn shells and set aside the stock.
Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and fry 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and tau cheo (yellow bean paste) till the mixture gives out an aroma.
Add the stock (pork and prawn) and sea salt.
I have added 1.1/2 tablespoons of Superior Dark Soy Sauce for a nicer colour gravy.
Leave it to boil for 5 minutes.
If you prefer thicker gravy, you can include a tablespoon of cornflour mixture.
Beat the two eggs and fry as omelette. Cut into strips as garnishing.
In a clean non stick wok, fry the prawns and crayfish until cooked.
Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the egg noodles and beansprouts (taugay).
Drain the noodles over tap water to prevent them sticking together.
In a serving plate, place the cooked egg noodles, add some prawns and crayfish and the sam chan pork.
Pour the hot gravy over the ingredients.
Garnished the Nyonya Mee with shredded cucumbers, beansprouts, cilantros and diced fresh red chillies.
Topped with omelette strips and fried shallots.
You can also include some sambal belachan to go along with the Nyonya Mee.
Traditionally “Rojak Chinchang” are served with this Nyonya Mee.
If you wish to find out how to prepare the simple salad.
Click here for details.
1 kilo Prime Pork Ribs
20 – 25 shallots (peeled and blend into a paste)
3 tablespoons Coriander Powder
2 tablespoons concentrated Tamarind Pulp (soaked in 400 ml water)
2 tablespoon Gula Melaka (brown sugar) chopped finely
3 tablespoons Superior Dark Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Apple Vinegar
1 tablespoon Coarse Sugar
Home chicken broth (optional) for better taste
Sea salt and grounded white pepper to taste
Marinate the prime pork ribs with the grounded coriander powder for about an hour in a mixing bowl.
In an earthen pot, add some cooking oil over medium high and fry the shallot paste until fragrant.
Add the marinated prime pork ribs and tamarind juice. Stir in one direction.
After five minutes, add the dark soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and coarse sugar and mix thoroughly.
For seasoning, add a pinch of sea salt and grounded white pepper.
Once the prime ribs are evenly coated, add home prepared chicken broth (optional) or water to cover all the ingredients.
Lower the fire to medium low.
Leave it to cook for about 45 minutes (depending on the quantity of ribs) or to your own doneness.
Check the water consistency and add more water when needed.
Taste and adjust accordingly to your likeness.
Garnished with some chopped cilantros.
Preparing Basmatic Rice
2 rice cups of Basmatic Rice
(for every rice cup you require to add one and half cup of water)
2 slices of unsalted butter
Sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons of Biriyani Masala Powder Mix
Stir thoroughly the mixture and steam until the rice is fully cooked.
Before the rice is fully steamed, stir once for a good mix.
For the tingkat party, I have stored this yummilicious dish in the traditional Peranakan carrier.
Interested to know how to prepare Prime Ribs with Hoisin Sauce?