This is one my favourite recipes from Chef Wan. It seems like the type of dish that needs many different ingredients and complicated preparation, it is actually quite the contrary. One of the main reason that I tried this recipe the first time was because its simplicity, and that should encourage any of us that wants to learn Indonesian-Malaysian cuisines.
The original recipe can be found in cookbook The Best of Chef Wan: Taste of Malaysia called Tuna Curry or Gulai Ikan Tongkol, page 224. Same as last post, this dish is popular in Malaysia and usually eaten with Nasi Dagang (Dagang Rice, white rice cooked with coconut milk and shallots). But if you only have regular white rice, do not worry because this dish is still a great companion.
For this dish we are using Assam Gelugur or Assam Keping. Keping is Malaysian term for coin, because this assam is sliced and resembles a coin. Assam Gelugur is apparently not popular in Indonesian dish, or at least not that I know of. I did my search in many local markets, asked my mom, asked my colleague, but none of them knew. It took me quite a while to get this one ingredient, and at last I found it in this one store exactly when I was not looking for it. On my earlier attempts cooking this dish I substituted it with tamarind juice. Now that I know what Assam Gelugur tastes like, I can tell they are different in taste! Belimbing Wuluh would be a better substitute, and easier to find in Indonesian local markets. Because the assam is really sour, make sure you have a final taste. You might want to balance it out with enough salt and sugar. 😉
I modified a couple of things from the original recipe. The original recipe calls mackerel tuna, but I could not find it on the last minute of grocery shopping. :P….instead I used Tenggiri Fish; any firm white meat fish should be ok, I think. For the coconut milk supposedly use 750ml but I substituted it with 120ml coconut milk diluted with 180ml water. I also lessen the amount of chillies used for the paste; instead I put 4 whole chillies padi.
So here we go:
- 600gr white meat fish
- 4tbs oil
- 120ml coconut milk, diluted with 180ml water. Total 300ml of liquid
- 2-3 assam gelugur
- 4 chillies padi/ bird eye chillies, whole
- 2 green chillies, slice into your liking
- Salt and sugar to taste
- 16 small shallots
- 10cm galangal diameter 2cm
- 1tsp turmeric powder
- 5 red chillies
- 2 green chillies
- Using food processor, mix all the paste paste ingredients.
- Heat the pan, add oil. Cook the paste until fragrant.
- Add in the assam gelugur and coconut milk. Simmer until it bubbles.
- Add in the fish, and cook until the entire pink colour is gone.
- Add in the chillies padi and the green chillies. Final taste, add salt & sugar, cook briefly.