Fish or prawns in coconut milk

Fish or prawns in coconut milk

Ikan atau udang lemak

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From
South East Asian Food

The style of cooking known as ‘masak lemak’ in Malaysia comes from Negri Sembilan, whose people were originally Minangkabau from Sumatra who settled there some centuries ago. Note the close similarity between this recipe and the one for Gulai Ikan Padang in the Indonesian section. This dish is often called a ‘gulai’ – a simmered dish with lots of gravy. It should, however, be distinguished from the gulai in Curries and Rich Coconut Milk Dishes. These employ the dry trade spices and are often called ‘curries’ in English. It is good made with either fish or prawns.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2 cups thin coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
2 thick slices galangal, bruised
3 dried tamarind pieces
500g fish cutlets or pieces, about 4 cm thick
or prawns, shelled, deveined, rubbed with salt and rinsed
1 cup thick coconut milk
salt

Paste spices

Quantity Ingredient
4-5 red chillies, sliced
2.5cm piece fresh turmeric
or 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1.5cm piece ginger
2 garlic cloves
8 shallots

Method

  1. First mash the spices to a paste. Put the thin coconut milk, the spice paste, the lemongrass, galangal and tamarind pieces into a pan, wok or claypot (belanga), stir well and bring to the boil without a lid. Put in the fish or prawns and simmer, stirring carefully from time to time, until the fish is cooked and the gravy thickens. Add the thick coconut milk and salt to taste, stir again, bring just back to the boil and remove from the fire.
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