One of the most popular Nyonya dishes is called Ikan Assam Pedas, literally translated as hot and sour fish. It is fish cooked in a spicy chilli broth made with lemongrass, galangal and shrimp paste with a sour flavour provided by the tamarind paste. Vegetables such as okra, aubergines, tomatoes and even white cabbage can be added to enhance the flavours of this dish. If you can get hold of some daun kesum or Vietnamese mint leaves which are traditionally added to this dish you’ll find that a few of these leaves will give it another dimension of flavour.
- 1 Jar Nonya Sambal Curry Mix
- 800g white fish – Seabass, Hake or Halibut
- 200g okra or aubergines
- 2 tomatoes, quartered
- 50g thick tamarind paste
- 40g demerara sugar or palm sugar
- 200ml water
- 1 stem lemongrass
- 6 sprigs of Vietnamese mint or daun kesum
- 1 fresh red chilli
In a medium saucepan large enough to hold the amount of fish and sauce mix all the sauce ingredients and bring to the boil. Add the fish and vegetables and cook for 8-12 minutes until the fish is cooked and vegetables are just tender. Adjust seasoning with sugar and/or tamarind according to taste.
Transfer onto serving dish and garnish with fresh red chilli and Vietnamese mint leaves or daun kesum.