Tuesday 30 September 2008

ikan asam pedas

It’s time for Waiter, There’s Something In My….. Indonesian Food.

This month, Andy from Spittoon Extra has chosen Indonesian food for the theme and it couldn’t come at a better time for me since I have been cooking Indonesian a lot lately.

To go along with Indonesian food, a friend of my sister’s recommended Green Sands, a not-too-sweet ginger beer that tastes remarkably close to real beer. I highly recommend it if you can get your hands on it.

On Thursday, for Weekend Herb Blogging, I’ll be posting three more Indonesian recipes, but today I’m focusing on the not-so-pretty but wonderfully-delicious Ikan Asam Pedas which translates literally to Spicy Sour Fish.

I’d rather the English version be Chilli-Tamarind Fish because those are the key ingredients needed to make this dish shine.

I used three kind of spice: fresh chillies, chilli flakes and ground long pepper. Tamarind and lime juice are important to create the sour elements and you need sticky kecap manis and palm sugar to temper the chilli a little. Also, fish sauce (or shrimp paste) add the salt.

For the fish, I used perch in this recipe, but really any firm, white fish will do.

Ikan Asam Pedas (Chilli-Tamarind Fish)
Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 2.

2 fillets white fish (snapper, perch, whiting, dory)
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 teaspoon palm sugar syrup
2 tablespoon kecap manis
4 tablespoons lime juice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon ground long pepper
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons potato/corn starch flour, for thickening
Flour, for dusting fish
Oil, for frying


1. Combine chillies, fish sauce, tamarind paste, palm sugar syrup, kecap manis, lime juice, garlic, long pepper, chilli flakes and salt to create a marinade.

2. Place fish in a resealable plastic bag with marinade and refrigerate for 2 – 4 hours.

3. Remove fish and reserve marinade.

4. Heat oil in a frying pan.

5. Dust fish in flour and cook, skin side down, for 3 minutes or until crispy. Turn and cook another 1 minute on other side.

6. In the meantime, heat marinade in a pot until warm. Whisk potato/corn starch flour into marinade and continue whisking over the heat until hot and thickened into a sauce.

7. Serve fish hot, with sauce and side servings of rujak and nasi kuning.

Other Indonesian recipes featured on this blog include:
Buaya Tabiabun (long pepper crocodile)
Jamu Kunyit (turmeric, lime & honey drink) V
Nasi Kuning (fragrant turmeric rice) V
Rujak (spicy tamarind & fruit salad) V
Sambal Goreng Telor (eggs in chilli sauce) V
Sambal Tuwung (roasted eggplant salad) V
Sorbat Susu (sweet spiced milk) V

And I will be blogging these in the coming weeks:
Acar (pickle condiment)
Bregedel Tahu (spiced tofu fritters)
Kangkung Urab (water spinach & coconut salad)
Sago Gula Bali (sago & palm sugar in coconut milk)

Other Indonesian-related posts include a cooking lesson and dining out in Bali and the photos of our honeymoon, as well as posts on the unique fruits sirsak (soursop) and salak.

Be sure to peruse the other Indonesian recipes at Andy's WTSIM round-up.



  1. Lots of ingredients there to play with; sounds great even if not that pretty!

    Many thanks for joining in Waiter!

  2. Assam Pedans fish never fails to work up my appetite. :)

  3. I made the coconut rice today and it was divine! just perfect thankyou :)

  4. sol connection - glad you liked the rice!

  5. this page makes me miss my hometown..and my mom's cooking =)
    I'm an Indonesian but currently living in Germany and could use some help in cooking :p
    and Green Sands!!! my favourite teenagehood drink! i used to pretend i was a grown up and drinking beer lol how silly!


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