Acar Ikan Masin/ Salted fish Pickle

August 13, 2010

It was raining the whole day yesterday... weatherman says, there'll be more rain this week and next week. We need rain... it has been a dry winter... not a very cold one either (hmm... there will be less cherries this year .. and will be pricey too!!)..

Rainy days  always reminded me of my younger days... some donkey years ago!! Our monsoon season was from July onwards... very heavy downpour with flashing lightning and loudest thunder... very scary indeed...for a young child, especially when it was nearly bedtime...
It, too reminded me of one special dish... a 'poor man's' dish...~ fried salted fish with hot steaming rice and ground white pepper?.. It is the most unhealthy meal but I relished the taste of crispiness, saltiness, and the heat from white pepper... could warmed up my tummy... :)
  • salted fish ~ kurau or mergui
  • 100g -150g dried chillies
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel 
  • 50g raisins
  • 3 tablespoon of golden fried shallot (from grocer or 3 shallots thinly sliced)
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic - thinly sliced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger - thinly sliced
  • 100ml water mix with 3/4 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Canola or cooking oil
Cut the salted fish into 1cmx3cm size or bite size. Rinse in cold water to get rid of the excess salt. Pat dry on kitchen paper. Heat up oil in wok and fry until golden in colour. Put aside.

Using the same wok (wipe the used oil with kitchen paper... be careful it is HOT!!). Add about 2 tablespoon of oil, and give the dried chilli and grounded fennel.. a quick stir. Leave it to cool .then.. blend (add a little bit of water) into a fine paste. If shallots are to be used, then saute the shallots until golden in colour.

Heat the wok again... add oil and stir fry the curry leaves until fragrant. Add the chilli paste, ginger and garlic... and stir until the oil separates.
Add water and tamarind concentrate and bring to boil. Stir in sugar and simmer over gentle heat until gravy is thick.... leave it to cool.
Last step... add the salted fish, golden fried shallots, sultanas and toasted sesame into the sauce, mix well. Ready to be consumed or leave it overnight for the flavour to develop...


  1. your ikan kering kedah mali kah?

    salam ramadan

  2. Have been thinking to make some salted fish.....and I really start to get all the ingredients ready for it.
    This looks really flavourful and great!

  3. Ms Red Hat,
    Its Asian Grocer mali...
    salam ramadan to you too :)

    If you are using salted fish that has been in the freezer or fridge section for God knows how long... cut it thinly then I specified... as it turned out to be chewy and slight rubbery the next day...

  4. I tak makan ikan masin sangat tapi ni nampak sedap.
    Eh, memang rainy days reminds of me childhood... I suka rain masa kecil sebab rasa cam shiok ja, sejuk kot rasa..

  5. Leemei,
    Siap main bot kertas and layar dalam longkang...

  6. hahh, ya ya!! bot kertas dalam longkang!!