Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pais Ikan Kembung/Spicy Steamed Mackerel

Star Q

Have you ever had moments when you just don't have the appetite to eat anything and it seems like nothing can tempt you to eat.  Well, today is that day for me.  I just don't seem to have the appetite to eat, and when my wife asked me what to prepare for lunch, I just said I don't know!

After having wasted a lot of time mulling about the idea of what to prepare for lunch, I finally said that she could prepare anything that the rest of the family likes.  As for me, I suddenly had the craving for this traditional fish dish.  So, it was off to the Saturday market to get the necessary ingredients to prepare this dish.

  • 3 mackerels, cleaned
  • 2 red chilies, chopped
  • 5 birds eye chilies. sliced
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 inch fresh turmeric, sliced
  • 1/2 inch shrimp paste
  • 2 cups freshly grated coconut
  • 1 small ginger torch bud, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 turmeric leaf, julienned
  • 1 tbs tamarind juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 banana leaves

First, using a pestle and mortar, pound the red chilies, birds eye chilies, shallots, fresh turmeric, shrimp paste and grated coconut.  I prefer a rougher texture.  Mix this with the tamarind juice, sugar and salt.  Then mix in the sliced ginger torch bud and turmeric leaf.  Lay flat a banana leaf and place half of the paste mixture.  Put the mackerels on top and cover with the rest of the paste.  Wrap the fish carefully with the banana leaf and steam for about 20 minutes.  Serve hot.

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