Homemade Asam Pedas Muar @ 麻坡亚参鱼

Asam pedas is another famous dish to be served in most restaurants and food stalls in Muar, other than otak-otak. The colour of this dish may scared you away but its actually not very HOT. Its more to sweet and sourish in between with a little spicyness. Frankly, I haven't been making this for ages. Suddenly, craving for this asam gravy so much and thought of making it again.  Bet you going to love it too ! Please read on for more.
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Ladyfingers is the best veggie to cook with this dish but not eggplant, unlike curry. Yeap, just be very careful with your choices.

Ingredients :
2 pcs  large fish slices
5 stalk  daun kesum/Vietnamese mint
9-10 pcs  ladyfingers
1 tspn  salt or to your taste
3 TB  brown sugar
1 tspn  granules
2 pcs  asam keping/slices
100gm  asam jawa/tamarind paste
3 cups  water
1-1/2 cups  hot water
2 TB  lime juice

Ingredients for blended paste :
30pcs  dried red chilies, washed & halved
5 shallots, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1/2" ginger
3 stalk  lemongrass, sliced
(take only the white bottom part)
1 inche  belacan / shrimp paste
(combine all ingredients and grind into paste with some water)

Method :
(1)  let dried chilies to cook in boiling water for 5 minutes then off the heat and set aside to rest for 20 minutes. Drained and discharge seeds. Finally, grind with other ingredients.
(2)  add hot water into asam jawa to rest for 10 minutes then squeeze out the juice, discharge seeds and some excess items from the juice.
(3)  trim daun kesum and roughly smashed the edge of ladyfingers, as picture shown the above.

(4)  preheat a wok with 1/2 cup cooking oil, then saute the blended paste till thick and fragrant.
(5)  add in both water and asam water then let to boil for 10 minutes.

(6)  when ready, add daun kesum and ladyfingers into boiling asam sauce, let to cook for 5 minutes.
(7)  finally, add in the remaining seasoning and fish, let to boil over medium heat for another 15 minutes. Off the heat and stir in lime juice.

This is a very appetizing dish and yet very easy to prepare. My personal opinion is never add tomato into this asam fish version. It will never be the same.


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