Thursday, 9 February 2012

Assam Pedas Ikan Patin (Hot-Sour-Spicy Catfish)

I was on MC for two days because of my migraine. So my husband was in charge of the cooking.  Yesterday, Frederick cooked catfish in sour-spicy-hot sauce with okra.  He was trying to "copy" a catfish dish we've tried in Malacca, Malaysia.  We checked the world-wide-web for any recipes on catfish that resembles the dish we had in Malacca and we chanced upon the "assam Pedas pomfret" found at  (please check the original recipe below).  Frederick didn't follow the recipe exactly, he modified it to suit whatever ingredients we have in the kitchen.

So far, my husband didn't disappoint me. His Malay inspired catfish dish was delicious and the fish itself is tender and juicy and fatty-licious.  The sauce is sour but not too hot nor spicy.  It's just right for our Filipino tastebuds.

PS:  don't include the catfish's head when cooking. It smelled and tasted awful :-(


Catfish (Ikan Patin) - 1 whole (almost 1 kg)
Lady Finger (okra)
Tomato, diced – 1 large
Curry Powder for Fish – 2 tbsp
Cooking Oil – 2 tbsp
Brown Sugar
Salt to taste
Water – 1 ½ c

Spice Paste:

Garlic – 3 large cloves
Onion – 1 medium
Lemon Grass powder –  ½  tsp
Fried Shallots – 2 tbsp
Knor Fish bouillon – 1 cube
Red hot chillies – 2

Tamarind paste:

Tamarind Paste – 1 tbsp
Water, warm – ½ c

Cooking Procedure:

1.    Clean the catfish thoroughly by rubbing salt on its skin to remove anything slimy on it.  Cut into serving pieces.  Do not include the head of the catfish when cooking.  Discard it.
2.    Combine the ingredients for the spice paste in a food processor and blend them until they form a paste.
3.    Soak the tamarind paste in the warm water.  Mush it with fork until the seeds are removed and it formed a paste.
4.    Heat oil in a pan and sauté the spice paste in it until it is aromatic.
5.    Add the tamarind paste, curry powder, tomatoes, salt, and sugar and bring them to a boil.
6.    Add the okra and fish and bring it to a boil.  Let it simmer until the fish is cooked and until most of the liquids had evaporated.

Serve with a warm steamed rice.

 © Fresha-licious (09February2012)

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Original Recipe: Assam Pedas Pomfret )

1 pomfret (1/2 pound to 1 pound)
10 small okras
1 tomato (cut into wedges)
1 teaspoon of fish curry powder
2 sprigs of daun kesum (Vietnamese mint/Vietnames coriander)
5 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 tablespoon of palm sugar/sugar
Salt to taste
Spice Paste:
1 clove garlic
1 stalk of lemon grass (white part only)
4 shallots
8-10 dried chillies (depends how spicy you like)
1/2 tablespoon of belacan (prawn paste)
Tamarind Juice:
1 1/4 cup of water
Tamarind pulp (size of a small ping pong ball)
1.     Pound the spice paste with mortar and pestle or grind them in a food processor. Set aside.
2.     Soak the tamarind pulp in warm water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind pulp constantly to extract the flavor into the water. Drain the pulp and save the tamarind juice.
3.     Heat oil and fry the spice paste for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
4.     Add the tamarind juice, fish curry powder and bring to boil.
5.     Add the tomato wedges and okras and bring to boil.
6.     Add the fish, salt, and palm sugar/sugar.
7.     Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
8.     Serve hot.


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