Friday, May 1, 2009

Assam Curry Catfish

I was chatting with a friend on MSN the other day and she commented that most of the recipes on this blog are "western food". She asked me why I don't blog about the Malaysian/Asian food that I make. Welllll, the answer is simple. I am not that great in making Asian food (compared to my late grandmother, aunties and other Malaysian ladies that I know). Back in Malaysia, my family goes out to eat every day, hence I didn't really have a chance to learn much about Asian cooking. Whatever little that I know about Asian cooking is what I picked up in this recent years. However, I do try to cook something Asian at least once or twice a week (sometimes more, but there is only so much the Gwailo hubs can take :P).

Most of the curries that I make are store bought ready made paste and not made from scratch. I bought this "Tean's Gourmet Assam Fish" paste from a Malaysian grocery store a while back. I decided to give it a try for dinner tonight to see if it's any good. I personally like the taste of assam curry fish better than lemak curry fish. I guess it's the sourish sweetish taste, I don't know :P

From the directions on the back of the package, it looks easy enough. It even says that it will be done in 15 minutes! All you would need is some fish ( I used catfish fillets), one onion and some okra. You can also add in one tomato if you like.

Heat up some oil and saute some chopped garlic and onions.

Once it's almost done, add in the assam fish paste. Mix it up with the garlic and onions. Continue to cook it for a bit. By now, you should be able to smell the nice familiar assam fish curry smell...yummy! At this point, I added in some sugar. I like it when it has little hint of sweetness and it also 'neutralizes' the spiciness of the curry. Both Kevin and I are not really fans of super spicy stuff :P

Pour in about 400ml of water.

Allow the mixture to cook until it boils. Add in the catfish fillets. I love to use catfish fillets in curries because of it's nice and smooth texture. It taste somewhat like stingray when you cook it with curry.

Next goes in the okra. If you are planning to add in tomatoes, this is the time to pop them in.

Mix everything together and allow it to simmer on high until everything is cooked through.

After that, turn it down to medium/low heat and allow it to cook for another 5-10 mins. With that, the Assam Curry Catfish is done!! :D

I served it piping hot over steamed white rice and a few pieces of egg omelet. I love it when my rice is all 'flooded' with curry. That should be the way to eat a good curry :P I was really surprised that it tasted like those authentic assam curry fish that you can get in Malaysia. It doesn't taste like it came from a packet at all. I will definitely get more of this paste from Tean's Gourmet. It's really good.

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