Friday, April 1, 2011

Julie's Salted Fish Head, Irene's Kerabu Pucuk Paku

Julie giving info on where to purchase the ingredients

Vim is inspecting the rich aroma of the curry paste

Julie going through all the ingredients
Deep fried salted fish bones
All the ingredients are stirred in slowly
All done an into the thermal pot for slow cook to perfection!
Only young tender shoots of the pucuk paku are picked

Irene going through all the ingredients
The ingredients to add in layer by layer to ensure even distribution
Irene tossing in all the ingredients

Julie explaining to Datin Melinda the benefits of a thermal cooker

From left to right- Julie, Irene & Mdm Lai

 Scrumptious Strawberry Flan by Irene Hui

Salted Fish Curry  (by Amy Beh)
    • 150g salted fish bones, chopped into bite-sized pieces and rinsed
    • 2 sprigs curry leaves
    • 2 stalks lemongrass, smashed
    • 1 brinjal, cut into wedges
    • 100g long beans, cut into 3cm lengths
    • 1 tomato, quartered
    • 150g shelled prawns
    • 8 pieces puffed tofu (tau fu pok)
    • 500ml thin coconut milk (from 1 grated coconut)
    • 200ml water
[Ground spice ingredients]
    • 8 shallots
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2.5cm fresh turmeric
    • 10 dried chillies, soaked and seeded
    • 3 red chillies, seeded
    • 2.5cm piece dried shrimp paste (belacan)
    • 2 tbsp fish curry powder
    • ¾ tsp pepper
    • Salt and sugar to taste
    • 1 tbsp chicken stock granules
Pan-fry salted fish bones with 3 tablespoons oil in a wok until fragrant. Remove and set aside.
Heat 5 tablespoons oil in a claypot and sauté curry leaves and lemongrass until fragrant. Add the ground spice ingredients and fry until oil rises.
Add fish bones, brinjal, long beans and water. Cook to a boil then simmer for 5-6 minutes.
Add tomato, prawns and puffed tofu pieces and pour in coconut milk. Bring to a boil and adjust seasoning to taste. Dish out and serve immediately.

Spice ingredients or rempah can be bought in wet markets like the ones in SS2 or TTDI.  I usually buy RM5 worth without onion and garlic because I add in 500 grm small onions and 1 whole garlic.  And at times I add a small packet of Baba’s curry powder.  I tumis/fry the rempah till oil breaks and add in some curry leaves.  When done, I will cool it and divide it into portions that I keep in the freezer – ready to use for cooking any time.

For the recipe above, I replace tomato with cabbage and evaporated milk instead of coconut milk.  And I didn’t use any lemon  grass.

I find that I prefer to cook this dish in the morning and serve it for dinner.  This way the taste of the salted fish is absorbed into the curry. 

Kerabu Pucuk Paku (Fiddlehead Fern Salad)


200 gm pucuk paku
200 gm prawns (shell n devein)
100 gm peanuts ( roasted n crushed)
 50 gm shallots (peeled n slice finely)
2 tbsp kerisik (toasted n pounded grated coconut)
1 Ginger flower sliced finely
3 kaffir leaves, sliced finely


11/2 tbsp sambal belacan
11/2 tbsp lime juice
    1 tbsp thick coconut milk
    1 tbsp brown sugar or to taste
    1   Tsp salt to taste


1. Use only the tender part of the fiddlehead fern,which about 15 cm from the tip. Cut the fern
    Into 3 equal parts n blanch into hot water. Rince into cold ice water n drain in a colander.
2. Cook the prawn by steaming or boiling n set aside.
3. Combine the dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl and add the rest of the salad ingredients.
    Mix well n serve. Enjoy.

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