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Malaysian Nyonya Recipe : Ikan Masak Asam Pekat

Fish in Tamarind Juice is a Nyonya Dish



  • Thumb-sized piece fresh turmeric or 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 8 shallots, about 2 oz


  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Walnut-sized piece tamarind, seeded
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 lb 5 oz spotted Spanish mackerel


  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt

  • 6 red chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 6 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 tsp lard or oil


  1. Grind or blend A to a very fine paste.
  2. Scale and wash fish. Remove bones and cut fish into 1 inch cubes.
  3. Marinate fish with B for 30 minutes. Drain in a colander.
  4. Pour tamarind juice into an enamel saucepan and boil gently for 15 minutes with the seasoning and A.
  5. Put fish, red and green chilies into the saucepan and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or till fish is cooked.
  6. Stir in the lard and remove from heat. Serve hot or cold.

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Last Modified: 11/27/11.