Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ASSAM STINGRAY TAIL CURRY


This is the second half of the stingray tail from Ah Ming, the Sibu's fish monger. It's good for 2 portions, which I made 2 attempts on Assam Curry Fish, with slight variation to the way the tail is prepared.

This is hot and sour curry. The sour taste is achieved through the use of assam (
tamarind), tomato or Borneo eggplant (Terong). The use of just one of the ingredients without the other two is acceptable. Tomato is the weakest link in terms of its sourness; it's more for the color to sex up the dish.

The variation to the dish is the one above and the blanch method shown below, which was the first attempt; the outer layer of the tail has slippery feel to it. The second time, I lightly coated the tail in cornflour before deep-frying to brown it, but not cooked through. It firms up the meat and gives it a bit of texture. This somehow, tastes better even though the ingredients used are identical.

INGREDIENTS


3 Stalk Lemongrass
3 Cloves Garlic
15 gm. Galangal
6 Fresh. Chillies (Julienned)
10 Shallots
1½ Tbsp. Sugar
15 gm. Balacan (Shrimp Paste)
6 Lady's Finger (Okra)
1 Borneo Eggplant
300 gm. Stingray's Tail





METHOD

Blend all the ingredients, except the last 3 items, into a paste.

Mix and mash 2 tablespoonful of wet tamarind pulp with 1 cup of warm water. Filter and reserve the liquid only.

Add 6 tablespoons of cooking oil to the claypot on medium heat. Fry the curry paste until fragrant and slight amber in color.

Pour in about a liter of boiled water into the fried paste. Raise the heat...

... add the tamarind water, and bring it to a boil.

Put in the Borneo eggplant (terong), cover, and simmer for 20 minutes to bring out the sourness into the soup.

If without the terong, simmer for 10 minutes.

Blanch the stingray tail in hot boiling water. Set aside.

Option 2: Deep-fry the coated cornflour tail if the second method is used.
Brown slightly. Set aside.

After the 20 minutes, put in the cut lady's fingers (okra) and sliced tomatoes (3-4 [halved]), if used...

... follow by the blanched ( or fried) stingray. Submerge into the soup, and bring the soup to the boil. Cover, and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Add salt or fish sauce to taste. Garnish with sliced ginger flower (bunga kantan) and serve.


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As the name implies, it's all about nothing! Kongkaying is like grasping in the air - more like hot air with occasional fartulence. Hopefully, something aromatic will come out of it! If not...

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