Greg's gulai ikan
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I don't eat much fish, and this recipe is taken almost unchanged from Wendy Hutton's Singapore Food. It's mainly here so that I don't forget it.

The quantities have been interpreted. The originals wanted counts (“8 shallots or one medium red or brown onion”). In some cases, I've changed them from what was probably intended.


quantity       ingredient       step
30 g       coriander       1
10 g       cumminseed       1
200 g       shallots or onion       2
10 g       garlic       2
6-8       fresh red chilis       2
10 g       ginger       2
15 g       lengkuas (galanggal)       2
5 g       turmeric powder       2
¾ tsp       blacan       2
40 ml       oil       2
1 stalk       lemon grass (serai)       3
400 ml       thin coconut milk       3
1 tsp       salt       3
1 tsp       sugar       3
500 g       fish fillets       4
50 ml       tamarind water       4
100 ml       thick coconut cream       5


Start at least 45 minutes before serving. The dish can be kept warm for some time.

  1. Grind coriander and cumminseed to a powder.
  2. Blend the onion, garlic fresh red chilis, ginger, lengkuas (galanggal), turmeric powder, blacan and oil to a smooth paste. Fry gently until the mixture has dried out a bit.
  3. Bruise the lemon grass and add to the mixture with thin coconut milk and sugar. The original recipe says “a little at a time”, but I haven't seen a need for that. Maybe it depends on the coconut milk. Mix and add salt to taste, which should be a little saltier than you want at serving time, since the fish will absorb some of the salt.
  4. Add fish and tamarind water and simmer in an open vessel until cooked, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add the thick coconut cream, stir and heat for another 2 to 3 minutes.

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