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Sunday, October 28, 2012

wholesome homecooked food

This post is going to be long (I tik). I remember a few years back just before I got married, my mum asked me, so what will be cooking for Mr G when you guys have your own place? I thought for a while, then I merely said, I love baking. She was flabbergasted! "You can't expect Mr G to eat cakes daily right?" Hmm, that set me thinking, "well, you are kinda right. But my cooking sucks so I guess as they say, practice makes perfect."

As a weekend 'baker' or 'cook', I'll try to cook or bake weekly when I can and when I feel up to it :) This week is going to be a short work week as I will be away for about a week. It's going to be the longest that I'm away since we both got married. Perhaps, absence will make the heart grow fonder. We shall see :)

We Chinese love homecooked food and it usually consists of 3 dishes and a soup to make a complete meal. Trust me, for 2 of us, that is going to be way too much for us. So hence, I've decided to make 3 dishes instead - omelette with onions and string beans, bean sprouts with firm tofu and assam pedas fish.


omelette with onions and string beans

beansprouts with firm tofu and Chinese mushrooms
Assam pedas fish

If you have seen one of my earliest posts, you would probably notice a repeat of this. However, the recipe is definitely not in there and I believe the picture taken wasn't that appealing as compared to this one.

Typically, assam pedas fish is a typical Malaysian dish. This dish is so common in Malaysia that almost every household has their special assam pedas recipe cooked just the way they liked it - more sour, more spicy, more vegetables, the options are limitless.

While at the supermarket the other day, Mr G caught sight of fresh fish. Yes, we usually shop at this particular supermarket with literally no fresh fish for you to choose. How sad can that be. Anyway, Mr G was already looking at the ikan tenggiri which is otherwise known as the spanish mackerel. I was frowning already as it is definitely not one of my top favourite fishes. But well, since Mr G loves it, ikan tenggiri with assam pedas it shall be!

Recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia


Ingredients:
2 ikan tenggiro or 1 black pomfret
10 small okras or ladyfingers
2 tomato (cut into wedges)
2 teaspoon of fish curry powder
2 sprigs of laksa leaves or daun kesum
5 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 tablespoon of palm sugar/brown 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) (As I have an allergy to this, I omitted it)


Tamarind Juice:
1 1/4 cup of water
Tamarind pulp (size of a small ping pong ball or 1/4 packet, depending on your preference)

Method:

  1. Grind the spice paste in a food processor and 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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