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Garam Asam (Fish in a sour sauce)


  • Pound together the ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, chillies, shallots and shrimp paste using a mortar and pestle (or in a food processor) until reasonably coarse.
  • Combine the tamarind pulp and water, and push through a fine sieve.
  • Then put ½ cup of the spice mixture into a large bowl, together with the stock, sugar and salt. Whisk, add the fish and toss to coat well.
  • Heat the oil in a wok (or large non-stick pan) and fry the spice mixture, continually stirring. Then add the fish and seal on both sides.
  • Turn down the heat, pour in the remaining spice mixture with the tamarind liquid and gently simmer for 8-10 mins, adding the coconut cream a little at a time, turning and basting the fish as you do so and adding more stock if needed. Taste for seasoning.
  • Serve the fish on a bed of steamed rice with your favourite steamed Asian green vegies on the side and a sprinkling of coriander on top.


  • a large knob of ginger, grated
  • a large knob of turmeric, grated (or 1 tspn ground turmeric)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white only, bashed & sliced
  • 4 small red chillies, chopped
  • 10 small purple shallots (or 1 large red onion), chopped
  • 1 tspn shrimp paste
  • 2 heaped tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup fish or chicken stock
  • 1 heaped tbsp sugar
  • a good pinch of sea salt
  • 4-6 x 180 gm fish steaks
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-2 cups coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Huey's Kitchen takes a lot of care in the preparation of its recipes, but viewers are reminded to always double check that the recipe and all the ingredients are suitable.

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