Nyonya-Style Asam Pedas (Spicy Tamarind Fish)

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Nyonya Asam Pedas is a vibrant dish bursting with flavor, originating from the Peranakan cuisine of Southeast Asia. The name itself translates to “sour spicy,” perfectly capturing the essence of this delectable fish curry. Imagine tender fish pieces swimming in a rich, tangy gravy infused with aromatics and a satisfying kick of spice. It’s a symphony for your taste buds, guaranteed to leave you wanting more.

This recipe is a fantastic introduction to Nyonya Asam Pedas, offering a simplified yet authentic approach to this culinary gem. So, get ready to tantalize your senses with this mouthwatering dish!

Asam Pedas Ikan Pari
Asam Pedas Ikan Pari


For the Fish:

  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) firm white fish, like cod, snapper, or mackerel, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • For the Asam Pedas Gravy:
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, bruised
  • 2 daun limau purut (kaffir lime leaves), bruised
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup fish broth (optional)
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Marinate the Fish: In a bowl, toss the fish pieces with cornstarch, salt, and white pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes.
    2. Prepare the Gravy: Heat vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
    3. Add the Aromatics: Throw in the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. Saute for another minute, releasing the fragrant oils.
    4. Spice it Up: Stir in the tamarind paste, tomato paste, turmeric powder, coriander, cumin, and chili pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, allowing the spices to bloom and release their aroma.
    5. Simmer and Season: Pour in the water and fish broth (if using). Season with palm sugar and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, letting the flavors meld. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt to your preference.
    6. Add the Fish: Gently add the marinated fish pieces to the simmering gravy. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot, cook in batches if needed.
    7. Simmer and Serve: Let the fish simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through and opaque. The gravy should slightly thicken. Turn off the heat and give it a final taste, adjusting seasonings if necessary.
    8. Enjoy! Serve Nyonya Asam Pedas hot over steamed rice, accompanied by a side of fresh vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    (Please note that this is an approximate estimation and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.)

    Calories: 400-500

  • Fat: 20-25g
  • Carbohydrates: 30-35g
  • Protein: 40-45g
  • Sodium: 500-600mg (depending on the amount of soy sauce used)

  • Conclusion

    Nyonya Asam Pedas is a culinary adventure waiting to be explored. With its perfect balance of tangy, spicy, and savory flavors, it’s a dish that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

    This recipe provides a simplified yet authentic approach to creating this Nyonya classic. So, gather your ingredients, unleash your inner chef, and prepare to be amazed by the deliciousness that is Nyonya Asam Pedas!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. What kind of fish can I use for Nyonya Asam Pedas?

    Any firm white fish works well for this recipe. Popular choices include cod, snapper, mackerel, sea bass, or tilapia.

    2. Can I adjust the spice level?