Asam Pedas Ikan Pari

A classic Malay and Minangkabau dish, Asam Pedas is popular in Malacca, one of the states in Malaysia. Literally translated to 'sour spicy', Asam Pedas fish curry is tangy, spicy, appetizing and best served with rice.

4.76 stars

Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 30 mins


Asam Pedas Melaka, Fish in Asam Curry, Sour and Spicy Sting Ray Curry

Malaysian, Singaporean, Indonesian, Bruneian

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Nutrition per Serving

560 kcal
88 g
19 g
24 g

When it comes to my favourite seafood curry, I can never refuse Asam pedas ikan pari or sour and spicy stingray curry. The base flavour of asam pedas is sourness and spiciness. Made with homemade blended spices, the curry uses a variety of vegetables to sweeten the flavour.

Preparing asam pedas is easy but specific ingredients are required. Read on to know how to prepare a decent asam pedas dish using substitutes.

Type of fishes

Just like grilled fish (Ikan Bakar), my personal favourite fish for this recipe is stingray. My husband enjoyed the curry a lot but he did suggest using a different type of fish because stingray does not have much flesh.

The soft flesh of the stingray soaks up the curry perfectly unlike other fishes. However, if it is not possible to obtain stingray or skate, replace it with any white fishes like red snapper or sea bass. A viewer prepared asam pedas with salmon and it worked just fine too!

Important ingredients and substitutes

The special ingredients are tamarind peel, ginger torch flower and Vietnamese coriander aka laksa leaves. These ingredients are the cores that create the special 'asam pedas' taste and aroma.

Having said that, I understand that in many countries, tamarind peel, ginger torch flower and Vietnamese coriander are not available. Do not let that hold you back from making this dish.

As the sourness of the dish is really important, you need to have tamarind pulp or tamarind paste, at least. A good balance of sourness, saltiness, sweetness and spiciness is all you need to make a good 'asam pedas' dish.

Tips to improve the flavour of Asam Pedas

Remember to simmer the curry until it thickens slightly for the optimum flavour. Asam pedas ikan pari is one dish that tastes better with every mouthful.

Hence, I do not mind letting it sit for 2-3 hours after it is ready as the taste gets more flavourful as time passes.


chilli peppers (dried)
lemongrass stalk(s)
garlic clove(s)
3 cm
10 g
shrimp paste (dried)
3 cm
turmeric (fresh)
ginger torch flower
4 tbsp
2 tbsp
tamarind pulp
500 ml
tamarind peel(s)
aubergine (Indian)
ladies' fingers
200 g
kaffir lime leaves

Steps to Prepare

Asam Pedas Ikan Pari Step 2

Step 2 of 5

    • 1 ginger torch flower
    • 4 tbsp oil

Heat oil over medium heat to sauté blended ingredients. Once the oil separates from the blended ingredients, add ginger torch flower. Continue to saute for another 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Asam Pedas Ikan Pari Step 3

Step 3 of 5

    • 2 tbsp tamarind pulp
    • 500 ml water
    • 3 tamarind peel(s)

Soak tamarind pulp in warm water for 10 minutes. Run tamarind pulp water through a sieve and add to pot followed by tamarind peels.

Asam Pedas Ikan Pari Step 4

Step 4 of 5

    • 3 aubergine (Indian)
    • 4 ladies' fingers
    • 1 tomato(es)
    • sugar
    • salt

Chop aubergine, ladies fingers and tomatoes into bite-size pieces. Increase heat to the highest. Once gravy begins to boil, add the vegetables. Add sugar and salt to taste.

Asam Pedas Ikan Pari Step 5

Step 5 of 5

    • 200 g fish
    • 4 kaffir lime leaves

Then, add fish and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until fish is cooked. Bruise some lime leaves and add into the curry. Serve with steamed white rice.

Published: May 13, 2017

4 Discussions

Cindy Chat
4 months ago

Cindy Chat

I really enjoyed the original taste of Home Made Asam Fish. Thank you so much Grace and her effort.

8 months ago


Hi, I need to cook it for a big crowd so want to prepare the spice paste few days before the event. After blending the ingredients, Must i fry the spice paste in oil (step 2 of 5) before keeping it in the fridge?

Mira - Community Happiness Manager
8 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

You don't need to. Blending and freezing immediately is ok. Thaw the spice paste and continue with step 2.

8 months ago


Hi, can i blend and keep paste in the refrigerator instead of freezer if i am using the paste 2days later ?

8 months ago



9 months ago


Hi, where and when do we add the laksa leaves aka vietnamese coriander? Can coriander powder be a substitute? Thanks!

Mira - Community Happiness Manager
9 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Laksa leaves should be added in step 3. No, coriander powder cannot be a substitute.

2 years ago


Assam Padas Ikan missing methods for complete cooking 1) Candle nuts need to pound it, using grinder will have sand like residue. 2) If using grinder for chilli, remove the seeds to be pound separately, the seeds are essence to the spiciness 3) tamarind need caution, need to pound same as in point (1) to much will cause bitterness in the cooking. 4) if using sting ray, need to soak with assam paste separately for 20 mins to remove the ammonia otherwise the dish will taste like urine. 5) Best to use silver dollar fish at end of cooking.

Mira - Community Happiness Manager
2 years ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Great tips, Thomas. Just to add: it's okay to blend candlenuts as the final result is a paste that will be cooked for quite some time to avoid chunks. We also do not need to blend tamarind because we only soak its pulp. As for the sting ray, select fresh sting ray to avoid the unpleasant ammonia smell. We'll add this tip to the recipe. Thank you! You can leave the chilli seeds in for extra spice because capsaicin (chemical that makes peppers hot) is actually in the pith or membrane of the chillies. You can read more about handling dried chillies in our guide here:

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