March 03, 2008

Kare Ikan (Fish Curry)

Ingredients :
1 1/2 lb, cleaned weight fish
6 Shallots or 1 lrg Onion
2 Cloves garlic
2 tsp Ground coriander
1 tsp Ground ginger
1/2 tsp Powdered lemon grass, or
1 Blade fresh, lemon grass
1 tsp Chili powder
1 Salam leaf or bay-leaf
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 cup Tamarind water
1 cup Of thick santen (coconut milk)
2 tbl Vegetable oil

  1. Fish curry is the literal translation of kare Ikan; but I should explain that Indonesian 'curry' is rather different from Indian curries. The recipe may be used for almost any fish. In the former version of this book I suggested salmon steaks, which it suits well; but these are now rather expensive. It is better to select a white fish with firm flesh, such as haddock, angler-fish, swordfish or dogfish. In Australia the various fish known as whiting would be a good choice. Americans might like to use snappers. Whatever fish is used, it can be cut into small cubes or slices before frying.
  2. Heat a little oil in a heavy frying-pan, and carefully brown the fish in it.
  3. Meanwhile, in another frying-pan, fry the chopped shallots (or onion) and garlic until tender. Stir in the chili, ginger, turmeric, coriander, lemon grass, salam/ bay leaf, salt and tamarind water. Let this mixture simmer for 10 minutes, then put in the fish. Cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with very thin slices of cucumber and chopped mint. (Alternatively, put the cucumber and mint into the kare itself for the last 2 minutes of cooking.)
  5. Incidentally, the same kare can be made with prawns. There is no need to fry the prawns separately; but fry them in the mixture of onion, etc for a few minutes before you put in the tamarind water.

*This recipe makes 4 servings

"Indonesian Food and Cookery", Sri Owen, Prospect Books, London


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