Asam pedas means ‘sour and spicy’ and this version uses sour and spicy Australian native ingredients. In Malaysia it’s made with fish or stingray, but I’m making this with crocodile.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 100 g tamarind pulp with seeds, soaked in 750 ml (3 cups) warm water
- 6 lemon myrtle leaves (or 1 lemongrass stalk)
- 1 small eggplant, cut into chunks
- 6 okra, stems removed
- 3 tomatoes, quartered (optional)
- 6 dried bush tomatoes
- 500 g crocodile tail (or white fish fillets), cut into very thin strips (or larger pieces if using fish)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup river mint leaves (or Vietnamese mint leaves)
- 3 blood limes or sunrise limes, halved (optional)
- 6 dried red chillies, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
- 2-cm piece peeled turmeric
- 3-cm piece peeled ginger
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 red onion, peeled
- 1 large red chilli, seeds removed
- 1 bird’s eye chilli, seeds removed
- 2-cm piece toasted belacan
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- For the rempah, place all ingredients in a blender and blitz into a smooth paste. You can add a little water if you need to help the ingredients catch the blades.
- Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the rempah and fry, stirring regularly until very fragrant, darkened and the oil starts to separate from the paste.
- Meanwhile, massage the tamarind in the warm water to separate the pulp from the seeds. Strain the tamarind water into the pan, add the lemon myrtle leaves and bring to a simmer.
- Add the eggplant, okra, tomatoes and bush tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the crocodile, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the crocodile is cooked. Season to taste with the sugar and salt, then stir in the river mint (or Vietnamese mint) and sunrise limes (if using).
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