My two-month vacation here in Penang, Malaysia is coming to an end.
Before I leave, I wanted to share a very delicious recipe with you (a specialty of my second sister who is an excellent cook )—Curry Fish Head.
For sure, I am going to miss this dish when I return to the United States because some of the key ingredients such as bunga kantan is not available. Furthermore, it’s impossible to find very fresh fish head to prepare this dish…
This Curry Fish Head recipe is essentially a Nyonya ikan tumis recipe, but made with Garoupa fish head so I would call this a Nyonya Curry Fish Head as there is no curry powder and curry leaf used.
Regardless, it’s a mean pot of curry and goes very well with steamed white rice, and this is just one example of the type of dishes we eat in Malaysia. Please take note that this recipe is in metric measurement for easy reference. Enjoy!
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
For a wholesome meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
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Curry Fish Head
- 600 g Garoupa Fish Head, chopped into pieces
- 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
- 3-4 tablespoons oil
- 2.5 cups water
- 1 bunch polyganum leaves (laksa leaves)
- 4-6 okras (cut into halves diagonally)
- Salt to taste
- Sugar to taste (optional)
- 1-2 stalks lemongrass (white part only, cut into small pieces)
- 1 small turmeric (skin peeled, sliced into pieces)
- 20-25 g dried red chili paste
- 50 g peeled shallots
- 5 g belacan (shrimp paste)
- Bunga Kantan (Torch Ginger Flower, sliced into small pieces)
- 1 bunch mint leaves (optional)
- Prepare the spice paste by using a mortar and pestle. First, pound the lemongrass and turmeric together until they become a paste.
- Deseed a big handful of dried red chilies. Soak in warm water for about 10 minutes. Pound the dried red chili into a fine paste. You will need about 20-25g (1 oz.) depending on how spicy you like. Save the unused chili paste in the refrigerator.
- Pound the shallots and the shrimp paste together.
- Mix the tamarind pulp and water using your fingers, extract the juice out of the tamarind pulp, discard the tamarind pulp and the seeds and save the tamarind juice.
- Heat up a pot on medium heat and add the oil. Saute the turmeric and lemongrass before adding the shallots and belacan paste. Continue to stir-fry until aromatic before adding the chili paste. Stir until the oil separates from the spice paste and become red.
- Add the tamarind juice into the pot, follow by the water. Bring it to boil before adding the polyganum leaves (laksa leaves) and okra. After the okra is half-cooked, add the fish head. Cover the pot and let cook for a few minutes until the fish is cooked. Add salt and sugar (if using) to taste. Garnish with the bunga kanta and mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Interesting and should be yummy.
Thank you Bee for sharing.
Will definitely try your chicken and potatoes curry and Fish head curry.
Thank you for the recipe
it’s really yuummyyy :)
Great post! I’m already familiar with a few of these blogs but looking forward to discover the rest.
Just confused. Curry or asam pedas?
This is a Nyonya curry fish head, which is practically asam pedas way of making it.
I am keen to try your recipe. Can you tell me how many people does it serve?
3 to 4.
I live in Sydney, Australia. Today, I am going to cook it with Ling Fish head. I believe it should taste better than Garoupa. We shall see.
I can’t find laksa leaves here.. Can I use curry leaves ?