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Assam Prawn (Tamarind Prawn)

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Assam prawn is a Malaysian Nyonya recipe. I personally didn’t tried it before, but I did some research online and decided to give it a try. In fact it looks easy to prepare that is the main thing for a quick fix. The main ingredient for the dish is the Tamarind or Assam, you can always get the fresh tamarind or look for tamarind paste. You can use any kind of prawn or shrimp for the recipe, preferably with heads and shell intact.

The tamarind or Assam sauce flavor covered the whole shell and prawn heads, infused with soury and sweet taste which is very appetizing. I am sure you will suck up all the sauce because it is so good.  So prepare some napkins as you will be using your hands for this finger licking good recipe.

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Thai Chili Fish

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We have been going through a Thai Curry tour by Patrick, introducing Thai  Red Curry, Green Curry, Yellow Curry, Panang Curry and Massaman Curry. Yes all curry dishes especially for you. We  hope you enjoy the curry as much as we do. I decided to have a change from the curry, but Thai food couldn’t live without spicy food. Presenting the infamous and delicious Thai Chili Fish.

For this dish, I recommend using catfish, seabass or salmon. Preferably to clean the fish and leave the head on, or you can also use the fish fillets. This is actually a very simple dish to make because I have skipped the deep frying part by having the fishman to clean and deep fry it in the Asian market. Many Asian markets in LA offer the fish cleaning and deep frying service.  The fish was perfectly cooked and hassle free, because deep frying in our small stuffy apartment will make the whole apartment smell like fish.

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Easy Yong Tofu / Stuffed Tofu (釀豆腐)



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Yong Tofu or Yong Tau Fu (釀豆腐) is a Chinese dish originated from Hakka cuisine. It is a soup dish uses tofu and a variety of vegetables to stuff with meat paste mixture of fish and pork. The dish originally uses tofu for stuffing, therefore it is called Yong Tofu,  which literally means “stuffed bean curd”. Ever since Yong Tofu gained its popularity, a variety of vegetables are used for stuffing such as the bitter gourd, green or red chilies, eggplant, okra and etc. Thus the name of Yong Tofu has been used to all foods prepared in such method.

The last time we prepared the dish was last year, when Sam made a big whole pot of Yong Tofu for New Year celebration, we ate that for lunch and dinner for a couple of days. This time we were so lucky as my good Hakka friend Heidi decided to make Yong Tofu for our small gathering a few weeks ago.  She mentioned that her mum makes traditional style Hakka Yong Tofu, she will buy fresh fish from the market and hand chop the fish into fresh and smoother texture. Also she will have to chop and beat the ground pork so they are smooth and juicy to combine well.

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Kari Ikan (Fish Curry)

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When I was blogging on my assam fish the other day, my brother reminded me the kari ikan. Kari Ikan (fish curry) is one of the Malaysian curries and it can be found in mamak stalls. I used to have it once in a week in high school after activities or sports in a nearby authentic mamak stall which is my group’s hang out spot.

I was eager to make my first kari ikan with the kari ikan powder from Malaysia this weekend. Thus I went over to the Asian market and bought all my ingredients but sadly I couldn’t get okra. So I substituted it with green beans. Surprisingly the result was pleasing but it was just a little sour due to too much tamarind paste. I added 3 tablespoons in it. In the recipe, I changed it to 2 tablespoons.

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Assam Fish

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Time out for the Thai curries. I craved for Assam Fish this week.

The Assam Fish (Asam Fish) is a classic and authentic Malaysian dish which I love the most. I was blissful enough to have this heavenly dish for three times when I was having my recent vacation in Malaysia. It is a spicy sour tasted dish, where fish is cooked in assam (tamarind) fruit juice together with some other ingredients like tomato and okra. Normally, fish (such as mackerel, stingray or red snappers) or even fish heads are used. Stingray was the common fish my mom used for this dish. She made this dish so good!

Nowadays assam pastes are sold in convenient packs and I bought few Tean’s Gourmet brand assam pastes from Malaysia. I thought it’s so complicated to make the Assam Fish but I was totally wrong! With the convenient pack and a few easy steps, I completed my first Assam fish. It was good.

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Lama Kitchen is a food and cooking blog fills with savory food with great cooking recipes and ideas for those of you who love food and home cooked meals. Read more