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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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Mexican Salsa & Guacamole with Tortilla Chips

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Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! Hope all of you had an amazing weekend full of fun, laughter and most importantly great food. We went to the London Bridge at Lake Havasu, Arizona for a weekend getaway.  It was way too hot there, 100 degrees F and above. We were just like the roasted pigs in the hot oven, hot and heat steaming. However the best thing was just to stay in the water with a beer on hand, that felt so good. There were many families and friends out in the lake with boat party and barbecue all day long. Since we didn’t prepare for barbecue, we managed to go some food and hang out in the park by the lake in the evening waiting for the fireworks. Overall it was a good trip, it would be perfect if it was not that hot.  :P

I made some Salsa & Guacamole dip for Tortilla chips last weekend for a hot summer Sunday afternoon. It is always popular snack to munch on for any parties especially for hot days like these. It is really an easy recipe, no cooking is needed which is good, just some chopping and mixing to do. I usually serve it with Mexican Tortilla chips, but we bought a big bag of Five Grain Tortilla chips from Costco to tryout, it is thicker with grains, still taste good with the dips. This is definitely a great snack to prepare for barbecue, pool party, or even for the coming World Cup final this weekend. We are really excited and looking forward to it.

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Malay Style Red Cooked Chicken (Ayam Masak Merah)

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Red Cooked Chicken or Ayam Masak Merah is one of the famous red curry or red chili dishes in Malay cuisine. It is one of those curry dishes that doesn’t use coconut milk. The specialty about the Ayam Masak Merah is the chicken pieces are pan fried till golden brown and cooked in the red hot and sweet tomato sauce. The sauce is made freshly from tomatoes, red chilies, herbs and spices. It adds a hint of spiciness to the sweetness of the sauce. Great for those who don’t like too spicy.

Ayam Masak Merah is a popular dish among the Malay communities. You can usually find it serving with nasi tomato (tomato rice) or nasi lemak (coconut milk rice) in the Malay stalls. Some people may think this is something similar to Italian spaghetti tomato sauce as it uses mainly tomatoes as the main ingredient but the difference is the Malay style has a more spicy hot kick to it and different spices that made it so special in taste.

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Russian Borscht Soup/ Luo Song Tong (羅宋湯)

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If you ever visit a Hong Kong style western café, you will know once you are seated, the waiter or waitress will serve you with a hot cup of their daily special soup. This is a common practice in most Hong Kong style cafés, in fact Hong Kong people like to drink their soup before the meal. So don’t be surprise. The two popular soups that are usually serving are either the cream of corn (something like Campbell soup) or Luo Song Tong (羅宋湯) / Russian Borscht Soup, this is what I like the most.

I love the taste of Luo Song Tong (羅宋湯) , it is a hearty tomato based vegetable soup that is is quite similar to our ABC Soup actually (in Patrick’s previous post). The main difference is the Luo Song Tong is much more intense in flavor as the soup base is cooked with beef bones or beef stew with lots of tomatoes and all kind of vegetables such as carrot, onion, potato and celery. I always want to try to make this at home. So this has been a good timing since I removed my wisdom tooth and I couldn’t eat too much of solid food, I’ve made a pot of yummy Luo Song Tong for my weeknight dinners with some greens.

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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