Assam Pedas, or literally “sour spicy,” is a classic Malaysian dish. Everyone has their own interpretation for this favorite dish and there are endless adaptations; suffice it to say, it’s sour, fiery hot, and tastes extraordinarily satisfying.
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When I made my sambal for nasi lemak last weekend, I made a point to prepare some extra spice paste for this Assam Pedas dish. While traditional Assam Pedas calls for ikan tenggiri (Spanish mackerel) or ikan pari (stingray), I used pomfret instead. (In the United States, even in California, it’s almost impossible to find fish commonly found in Malaysia.) I love pomfret and it’s a good substitute for Assam Pedas.
Much like nasi lemak, if you haven’t tried Assam Pedas, it’s very hard to describe just how wonderful this is. I hope my pictures and recipe do it justice.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 213 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
For a wholesome meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
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- 1 pomfret (1/2 pound to 1 pound (200 g-400 g))
- 10 small okras
- 1 tomato (cut into wedges)
- 1 teaspoon fish curry powder
- 2 sprigs of daun kesum (Vietnamese mint/Vietnamese coriander)
- 5 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar/sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 stalk of lemongrass (white part only)
- 4 shallots
- 8-10 dried chillies (depends how spicy you like)
- 1/2 tablespoon belacan (prawn paste)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- Tamarind pulp (size of a small ping pong ball)
- Pound the spice paste with mortar and pestle or grind them in a food processor. Set aside.
- Soak the tamarind pulp in warm water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind pulp constantly to extract the flavor into the water. Drain the pulp and save the tamarind juice.
- Heat oil and fry the spice paste for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add the tamarind juice, fish curry powder and bring to boil.
- Add the tomato wedges, okras and daun kesom and bring to boil.
- Add the fish, salt, and palm sugar/sugar.
- Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
- Serve hot.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.