Monday, November 26, 2012

Easy Fish Curry- Malay Style

Fish Curry

Our family members eat almost any type of fish dishes but we are extremely fond of something extra spicy. 

This Fish Curry ( Kari Ikan ) is one of the Malay families favorite fish dish which are commonly served during dinner or big feast such as weddings that are usually held at home.

 Tenggiri fish also known as mackerel fish is chosen because these fish meat could easily absorb the curry flavor and mackerel fish does not contain much bones either. 
You could request the fish monger to cut a whole large and long mackerel fish into 5-6 sections. Majority Malays love mackerel fish as it has lots of meaty flesh, easy to cook, either deep fried or curries and the price is reasonably cheap.

We dislike eating fish with too many bones to remove, irritates our joyful mood. Sometimes, fish bones poked into our gums or the side wall of the inner mouth, causing light bleeding and mouth ulcers on the next day. 

Ingredient to Substitute

Just in case you couldn’t buy any fresh desiccated coconut, buy 2 packets of coconut cream powder or pre-packed coconut milk. Follow the instructions at the back of the coconut cream powder packet on how to mix thick and thin coconut milk. 

Coconut cream powder may taste a little bland compare to pre-packed coconut milk that taste almost similar to fresh ones. 

Why I love Fish Curry?

Do not mistake that only the Indians / Tamils / Hindus are professional in curry dishes. Believe me or not, the Malays have a hand in mixing thick coconut milk with curry powder too.

 I loved this Fish Curry dish as the thick coconut flavored curry sauce was mild spicy, the ladies fingers were well cooked, soft, delicate and easily to chew on. My kids even used sliced French loaves to dip into the left-over curry sauce for snacks! Once you get the hang of curries, you will ask for more in your next meal. 

Here is the Fish Curry recipe I would like to share with you with the easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

Ingredients photo Guide

Garlic and sliced shallots

Tamarind Juice

Mackerel fish that have been cut into big portions

Curry leaves

Coconut Cream Powder


4 pieces of tenggiri fish ( mackerel sliced thickly)
2 tomatoes- quartered
5 ladies fingers
4 shallots- sliced
2 green chillies
2 tablespoon fish curry powder – blended with 2 tablespoon of warm water
2 cups thick coconut milk – extracted from 1 coconut
4 cups thin coconut milk – extracted from the same coconut
½ cup tamarind juice – mix 1 tablespoon tamarind paste with ½ cup water
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste


  • Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in the wok.
  • Fry the shallots and garlic until fragrant.
  • Turn the heat low.
  • Add in the blended curry powder and stir until fragrant without letting it burn.
  • Add in the curry leaves.
  • Add the thin coconut milk and bring to boil.
  • Add the tomatoes, ladies fingers and tamarind juice.
  • Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Put in one fish at a time and bring to boil again.
  • Add the thick coconut milk and as soon as it boils, switch off the heat.
  • Serve hot with plain rice.

If you would like to try sweet and sour sauce recipe, click to this link for Sweet and Sour Fish Recipe

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Grilled Fish with Spicy Sauce

Grilled Spanish Mackerel Fish with Sambal Sauce

This is what you might call a plain grill fish but it is certainly far from just plain. With the spicy sauce for dipping the fish meat, you will definitely ask for more grill fish in your next meal !

Although  mackerel fish are used, you can substitute them with your favorite fish such as Yellow tail Scad ( Ikan Selar ) or Torpedo Scad ( ikan cencaru ) or even Sardine Fish which are the favorites among the Chinese and Malay people.

Ikan bakar or ikan panggang are malay language which literally means- 
Ikan (fish ) and bakar ( burnt ) or panggang ( grilled )

Back in the old days, after a day's catch, fishermen would grill these left-over fish over charcoal for fragrant smell instead of frying them in the wok. Since the fish are coated with salt, this fish dish tasted just too plain to go with white rice. Hence, the fishermen invented sambal belacan or spicy sauce to dip the fish meat with and enhanced the spicy flavor that everyone started to fall in love with ! Grill fish is a great hit in barbeque parties and dinner or even a grand gathering for special occasions. 

Here is the recipe for the Grill Fish which I had used Spanish Mackerel fish...

Shrimp paste ( belacan )

Red and green chillies

Mackerel fish

Tamarind pulp


4 spanish mackerels-cleaned intestines
2 red chillies- sliced thinly
2 green chillies- sliced thinly
3 shallots- sliced thinly
Thumb size piece of shrimp paste ( belacan ) toasted and crumbled
½ cup tamarind juice ( mix 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp with 1/2 cup warm water )
Salt to taste


  • Coat lightly mackerel fish with a little salt.
  • Grill fish over a charcoal fire until cooked on both sides.
  • Alternatively, you can use your electric oven to grill the fish on both sides by turning the sides every 15 minutes.
  • Prepare the sauce.
  • Mix together all the ingredients and season to taste with salt.
  • Serve the fish hot with sauce either with rice or by itself.

EASY as 1, 2, 3 !!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Braised Croaker Fish with Ginger and Pea Sprouts

Croaker  fish has soft delicate meat which is suitable for those who are ill or lack of appetite. Braising fish induce the meat to turn soft and easily digested when consume with warm porridge or plain rice. 

Pea sprouts taste sweet and are tender, appealing children appetite with its bright green color. Pea sprouts are similar to other green vegetables, full of calcium, vitamin b and carotene. 

You don’t have to pre-cook the vegetable because it easily cook in a few minutes. However, you need to pre-fried the Croaker fish in order to remove the fish odor. 

After you have cooked the fish, just add in some water and bring it to boil before adding the pea sprouts to bring out the sweet taste that goes well with the Croaker fish.

Braised Croaker Fish with Ginger and Pea Sprouts
Here is the fish braised recipe that you may want to try out...

fresh croaker fish from the wet market

pea sprouts, looks like clover


150g pea sprouts
1 Croaker fish
2 teaspoon ginger juice



1       teaspoon salt, 
1/6 teaspoon sugar

  1.         Soak pea sprouts in water with a pinch of salt for 30 minutes.
  2.     Rinse and drain excess water.
  3.         Gut the fish.
  4.     Wash and wipe dry so that the hot oil does not “Pop” when frying the fish.
  5.     Brush with white pepper.
  6.     Heat a wok and fry fish in 2 tablespoon of oil until both sides are brown.
  7.     Pour in 2 cups of water.
  8.     Bring to boil.
  9.     Cover and turn to low heat.
  10.     Simmer for another 8 minutes.
  11.         Turn to high heat and put in ginger juice, seasoning and pea sprouts.
  12.          Bring to boil again and turn off heat
  13.      Serve in a deep dish.

Other Fish Recipe That You May Like:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Baked Fish

Baked fish is the popular Eurasian style of cooking a fish. It is the healthiest cooking method meant for fish rather than frying which uses lots of oil.  

Most people misunderstood that the fish meat may not cook thoroughly if bake in the oven and the fishy odor persisted. 
The truth is, baking fish in the oven uses the same heat as frying over the stove. Hence, fish meat is cooked and much healthier to consume. 

You can either choose ikan gelama or dory fish to replace the ikan senangin ( Threadfins fish ), as long as the fish meat is white and tender . 

Seasoning the fish with salt and lime juice help to get rid the fishy odor while sprinkling bread crumbs and grated cheese enhance the ikan senangin fish flavor with crispy crunchy bite. 

Baked Fish


1 whole ikan senagin
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated cheese
1 lime
1 tsp salt


  • Season the fish with salt and lime juice.
  • Sprinkle bread crumbs and grated cheese over the fish .
  • Bake the fish in moderate oven for 20minutes.


What is Ikan Senangin ( Threadfins fish)? Read more information here
What is Ikan Gelama ( Sand Croaker Fish )? Read more information here
What is Dory Fish? Read more information here

Ikan Gelama ( Sand Croaker Fish )

Dory Fish

Ikan Senangin ( Threadfins fish )


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