Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Asam (Tamarind) Fish Soup


The heat of the summer is really cruel, 45C yesterday!!!! Make me almost melt in the air. LOL!!

I was looking for something sour and spicy to open up my appetite. If I were still in Malaysia, I could simply get a bowl of Asam Laksa anywhere. Here, you've got to be hands on for everything. No choice, "tham chiak" - greedy for food - is my character, I would do everything possible I can just to stop my craving. :-p

My friend gave me 2 bags of fresh caught trout from her camping trip, and I immediately thought of making Asam Fish soup, because one of the major factors to make the sou taste good is the freshness of the fish, I couldn't get fresh "kembong" fish here, live Tilapia just cost too much!!


I can get almost every ingredient for Asam Fish here except the tamarind skin and bunga kantan (ginger flower), so, I substituted the tamarind skin with tamarind paste and omitted ginger flower, it tasted good too...yumyum!!!

Tom didn't like it the first time I made this soup for him few years ago, it was too fishy for him because he is from Ohio, middle part of the states, never had a chance to eat seafood until he was 34 years old. Now -- he loves it. Yay!!!

Here's my recipe and steps, the spiciness and sourness are adjustable according to personal desire.

1. 300g fresh trout (body about 5~6" long) - (use "kembong" fish it it is available)
2. 900~1000ml water.
3. 1 bunch (about 50g) "kesom" leaf (some people call it Vietnamese coriender or Vietnamese Cilantro) - can be easily found in Asian supermarket here.
4. 25~30 pearl onion (small onion) coarsely sliced.
5. 6~8 dried chili - unseeded.
6. 2~3 frese chili padi - smashed.
7. 1 tsp of tamarind paste - or as desired.
8. 1/2 tsp pre-fried belancan.
9. 1~2 tsp fish sauce - optional.
10. Salt to taste.

Steps :

1. Boil the water, add in ingredients #3~6.
2. Return to boil, simmer for about 30 minutes.
3. Add in tamarind paste and belacan, simmer for another 10 minutes.
4. Add in fishes, fish sauce. Return to boil and cook until the fishes are done. (Don't over cook the fishes for best texture.
5. Salt to taste.
6. Serve warm.

"Kesom" Leaf

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