When it comes to my utmost favourite seafood curry, I can never refuse Asam pedas ikan pari or sour and spicy sting ray curry. The base flavour of asam pedas is sour and spicy. Made with homemade blended spices, the curry uses a variety vegetables too to sweeten the flavour. Preparing asam pedas is easy but specific ingredients are required. Read on to see how to prepare a decent asam pedas with substitutes!
Just like grilled fish (Ikan Bakar), my personal favourite fish for these recipes 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!
The special ingredients are tamarind peel, ginger torch flower and Vietnamese coriander aka laksa leaves. These ingredients are the ones 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 can make a good 'asam pedas' dish.
Asam pedas ikan pari is one dish that tastes better with every mouthful. Hence, I would not mind letting it sit for 2-3 hours after it is ready as the taste gets more flavourful as time passes. Remember to simmer the curry until it is slightly thicker for the optimum flavour.
Asam Pedas Ikan Pari is also known as: Asam Pedas MelakaFish in Asam CurrySour and Spicy Sting Ray Curry
Blend the ingredients listed until it becomes a paste. If needed, add 1 tablespoon of water to ease the blending process.
Heat oil over medium heat to sauté blended ingredients. Once the oil separates from the blended ingredients,add ginger torch flower. Continue sautéing ingredients for another 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Soak tamarind pulp in warm water for 10 minutes. Run tamarind pulp water through a sieve and add to pot. Also, add tamarind peels to the curry.
Chop aubergine, ladies fingers and tomatoes into bite size pieces. Increase heat to its highest. Once gravy begins to boil, add the vegetables into the pot. Add sugar and salt to taste.
Then, add fish to the pot and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until fish is cooked. Bruise some lime leaves and add to pot. Serve with steamed white rice.