Dad's Assam Fish Head Curry Recipe

Hey everyone. Ever since I got back from Malaysia a week ago, I have fallen sick most possibly due to the drastic change in weather.. from a really hot and humid tropical weather in Malaysia, to the first signs of winter in Melbourne. Very windy and very cold... I wasn't quite ready for that! So due to my illness, I haven't been cooking as much and thus, I couldn't blog as much either!

But I do know based on my poll results, comments and some requests via Twitter and ChatBox that you guys enjoy seafood and a lot of you enjoy sweet desserts :)

Today, I might not be able to share a really good dessert recipe YET - but I do have a very special treat for you... as you can see from the picture above, this is the recipe to my dad's very delicious Assam Fish Head Curry. To those of you who may be freaked out a little by the fish head, don't worry.. just use ANY parts of the fish you're most comfortable with. With or without bones, with or without the head.

The trick to this recipe is that because it's pretty much homemade, my dad has suggested that my readers depend almost entirely on your palette. Try it as you go, and cook the curry according to your personal preference. One of the main elements to a good cook, budding chef, is a good palette. Well... here goes nothing! Good luck in trying this recipe, I know I personally haven't tried it yet but CANNOT WAIT to try it as soon as I feel better and get my appetite back in order :)


Fish Head / Whole Snapper chopped into portions
6 Shallots, roughly chopped for easy blending
2-3 Garlic Cloves
1-2 tbsp dried chilli paste
2 stalks of lemongrass
Cooking oil
Assam Juice (tamarind)
Salt to taste
Ajinomoto MSG to taste (optional)


Using a blender, blend shallots with garlic and dried chilli paste.

Break 2 lemon grass stalks by pounding lightly on it.

Heat up a wok and add cooking oil, stirfry blended shallots/garlic/dried chilli paste. Fry until it turns brown and fragrant, add lemon grass and continue stir fry.

Add about 1 cup of water (or according to your judgement to make sure the sauce is not too diluted), add assam juice when sauce starts to boil, taste as you go to determine how much assam juice you prefer. Add fish head and let it cook for a few minutes. Add salt and MSG to taste.

Seafood Mee Goreng Recipe

Serves 4
Original Recipe by Jimmy Chua, from his cook book "Hawker Food" or "Masakan Penjaja"

This week, hubby is away for 4 days so I decided to cook something that is relatively simple yet delicious, and would make great lunch packs. I flipped through the "Hawker Food" cookbook which I have bought while I was in Malaysia... and HELLO Seafood Mee Goreng recipe! Believe it or not, I have cooked MANY stirfries... but not quite the Seafood Mee Goreng. Sometimes I wondered why, since this is probably one of my favorite fried noodles dish ever. So I went and did my grocery shopping and bought all the ingredients I needed.

The result? Of course it was delicious, otherwise I wouldn't post it on here, lol. Speaking of successes, I tried making the Pavlova last night and failed miserably.. thus no blog entry for Pavlova. But never mind that story!! I'm back and blogging recipes and this is definitely one to keep. Enjoy!!

2 eggs (beaten)
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp sambal chilli paste
1 onion (shredded)
500g Hokkien Mee
100g fresh bean sprouts
Cai-Xin (Kimba's Note: I have NO idea where to find this.. so I used chopped Spring Onions instead)
200g prawns (shelled and blanched)
200g squid (sliced)
(Kimba's Note: For ultimate seafood lovers - instead of just using prawns and squid, I actually went out and got the seafood marinara mix from Coles comprising of prawns, squid, fish and mussels!)
2 tomatoes (sliced)
2 red chillis (shredded)
3 limes

3 tbsps water
4 tbsps tomato sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
Pinch of pepper

Fry chopped garlic in 3 tbsps of oil until fragrant. Add sambal chilli paste and beaten eggs. Stir well.

Add onion, Hokkien Mee, Cai Xin (or spring onions) and bean sprouts. Stir well.

Stir in seafood mix and seasoning. Stir fry until fragrant. Add tomatoes and red chillies. Stir well. Serve with squeezed lime juice on top.

Jalan Jalan Cari Makan in Kuala Lumpur

When I left Kuching, I had a stopover in Kuala Lumpur (KL) for a night. I was staying with a friend, and my cousin was kind enough to pick me up from the airport and take me shopping and later on we had dinner with 2 of my friends at Chilis @ 1 Utama Shopping Mall. I figured I have had too much Asian food the past 12 days in Kuching.. and I felt the need to ease back into Aussie life. Nah, just kidding. I JUST WANTED SOME BEEF RIBS!!! Pretty random, I know.. but Chilis ended up being the perfect place to catch up and have some pretty awesome Western food...

(These photos were taken by my cousin, Michelle Wong - my guest photographer for this blog entry. Thanks cuz!! These photos look AMAZING!!)

It didn't take me too long to decide what I wanted out of the menu...

I knew I definitely wanted a MARGARITA!! Funny thing was, the margarita came in a tall beer glass, not a cocktail glass. Sweettt... more value for money? Lol.

And of course, I ordered RIBS. Tender, juicy, BBQ Beef Ribs...

My friend Narjit had the Grilled Fish.. and she loved it!

My other friend Elise had sort of a tasting plate thingy with 3 different dips for chicken wings, some kind of fritter (I'm guessing fish) & a bready thing almost like a bruschetta but not quite.. LOL I am failing this review!! I should've looked closely at the menu & found out the exact name... but I was too busy having fun :)

Look at the tenderness of the ribs... it was soooo yummy, and the portions were fairly large so it was quite a struggle to finish!!! Took our time and finished it anyway :)

The next day, once again my cousin picked me up and on our way to the airport, we stopped by Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles to have the famous.. well, obviously... Fish Head Noodles!!

The noodles are available in two different "flavors".. one is a milkier version where Ideal milk is added to the broth.. looked yummy, but I didn't feel like having anything milky that morning...

So instead I had the other version which was very tasty! There wasn't physically any "fish heads" in the broth unfortunately.. I think it's just random... but basically the fish has been deep fried and then added to the soup served with vermicelli noodles... sumptuous!! No wonder it's so famous in KL.

So my trip to KL was very short, it was in fact just under 24 hours.. so barely even a day! But I definitely made the most out of my short time there. Back in Melbourne now! So good to be home, can't wait to start cooking and blogging recipes again!! Until then, wherever you are, have fun! Eat good food! :)

Kuching Food Adventures Part 7 - The End

I said I would end with a Big Bang, so be prepared for a BIG final chapter of my Kuching Food Adventures. It has been amazing to be back in my hometown, and yes I have gained weight but I will worry about exercising and diet-ing it off when I get back to Melbourne. How often do I get to come back right? Hhmmm... you probably won't see me post a recipe for a while even though I'll be back in my kitchen, unless it's a low fat healthy recipe :p

So last night, I went out with my friends to Swan Teem BBQ Steamboat & Seafood Restaurant near RH Plaza at BDC area. The concept of this BBQ Steamboat is simple. You pay RM18 per person, and you sit around a table with a "steamboat" where you can have a choice of chicken / tom yum soup.. and a grill. Then, you choose from a buffet of fresh veggies, meat and seafood to cook as you please, as much as you like.

So basically you start off with some fresh veggies for the soup..

Then there's probably about 4 of these fridge with meat / seafood / other ingredients for you to grill or to steam in the soup.. depending on your preference.

These were the plates of raw food, ready to be cooked!

The art of food sharing is once again the main idea of this activity. You sweat and sometimes you have oil splatting on you while the meat is cooking on the grill, and the hot soup is best enjoyed on a cool rainy night. BBQ Steamboat is indeed an experience you want to try in Kuching!

So anyway... the next day, I woke up and was pleasantly surprised to see on the table.. what I've been craving for the entire time I've been here....

CHICKEN FEET!!! I think my dad gets it from Ong Tiang Swee.. not sure where exactly. But such an awesome delicacy!! I know it totally grosses out most Westerners, but I must say, a lot of Asian food CAN be gross... but NOT Chicken Feet, you are missing out if you refuse to try it!! Be more adventurous if you can while you're travelling in Malaysia, because you will find that most of the time, you will be pleasantly surprised by how GOOD these "seemingly gross" things can be!! Don't miss out, try it before you hate it, lol.

So tonight was my last night in Kuching. So I have called on all my relatives to come to The Venue in BDC for a Chinese banquet dinner. The best thing about food in Kuching is.. especially if you're from countries with stronger currencies... is how CHEAP it is!! We had a 7-course banquet dinner for 16 people, with drinks, and some beer, and I only paid AUD $150 aka RM 459 for the entire feast!! We were also seated across TWO tables.. so the photos you see below is only HALF of the food served. Oh Kuching, I will miss you so much... food in Australia is such a rip off compared to what I've had the past two weeks.

We started off with Sea Cucumber Soup.

Followed by Baby Kailan Vegetables just cooked in Garlic.

And then.. the Yam Basket! Filled with mixed veggies, prawns, mushrooms, topped with cashew nuts. Absolutely delicious. Gotta try and make my own someday.

And then there was the Deep Fried Pork Leg. So crispy!!

Followed by The Venue's Specialty Dish.. Oyster Pancake!

And of course, some Nestum Flaked Prawns.

And just when we thought we were too full to eat any more food.. the Lemon Chicken!

Quite a feast. I am very full. In fact, I have been very full since two weeks ago. I think this may be my last Kuching Food Adventure... brunch is going to be Mee Sua tomorrow before I board my flight, so I might just edit this entry later. If I'm lucky, I might go on a food adventure while I spend a night in Kuala Lumpur. We will see! I might be too busy shopping! Thank you so much for supporting my food blog. Your readership keeps me going! We foodies love the same thing. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at and I will try my best to assist you with any Kuching food related questions! I will chat to you guys soon! Hopefully with some new recipes to share! Business as usual next week eh? :)

(Goodbye Kuching!!!)

Edit: Like I said, I had a feeling I would end up editing this entry to include my last meal just before I head off to the airport. For "brunch" the next day, my parents took me to Siang Siang at Tabuan Jaya for some Foochow Mee Sua. It was definitely a great ending to my Kuching Food Adventures :)

A collage of all my food photos so far...

Kuching Food Adventures Part 6

Another round of amazing seafood tonight! Thanks to my cousin for shouting us this dinner. I have been so spoilt ever since I've arrived. The amount of food I have been having... the adventures as you can see on this blog... I really hope my hubby still recognizes me when I return to Melbourne, lol.

This time around it was Pending Seafood. An open, outdoor area, similar to hawker stalls but most of the "stalls" or "kitchens" specialize in seafood. The experience is indeed very local. I've never been to Pending Seafood before tonight, and was pleasantly surprised to discover this hidden gem!

Gotta start with the greens. With Midin!

This was a bit of a side dish.. dried cuttlefish.

OK let's see if I get this right... Fresh Clams with Lemongrass, Onions and Dried Chilli

Fried Crayfish

Fish and Yam Broth

Oyster Fritters

Fried Chicken Wings

Fried "Ikan Kilat" aka Shiny Fish, lol.

Escargot! Such a delicacy... may require an acquired taste. I love it!

So with only 2 more nights remaining in Kuching, my food adventures is coming close to an end... but I am determined to finish with a Big Bang!! Tomorrow night, hopefully my plans for BBQ Steamboat will proceed... followed by dinner with the family at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants on my last night in Kuching. Kinda sad that I'll be leaving soon... but VERY satisfied with everything I've done while I'm here! This has been an awesome trip, especially foodwise, lol. But hey, why am I writing all this, it's NOT the end yet!! Muahahaaa.... two more nights to enjoy glorious Kuching food :)

Short Commercial Break :)

Hey everyone! I just wanted to thank those who regularly comes and visits this blog. Just a reminder especially to new visitors that I am currently on holidays in Malaysia, and therefore I haven't been doing any cooking and have gone out to various places in Kuching to enjoy some absolutely divine, glorious local food!

I will be back in Melbourne this weekend - so I'm definitely looking forward to getting back into action in my kitchen and experimenting with more recipes and cooking some food to share recipes with you on this blog! Thanks for keeping me going, and for those who have tried some of my recipes - thanks for the faith! LOL. I'm looking forward to discovering some amazing cuisines to share and also look forward to all your feedback via my POLL on the right hand side of this page. Please vote! Your feedback is important. Talk soon!

Kuching Food Adventures Part 5

I just had an awesome weekend at Damai Beach Resort, Kuching. I really can't remember the last time I was there... especially with my family. I remember as a child, we would regularly go and stay at the resort over the weekend as a family activity thing. Eventually, we all grew up.. and those trips are rare... BUT this weekend we re-lived those times all over again.. and as a result, I have new material to post on my food blog!! More FOOD!

BUT, before we get to the food I had at the seafood restaurant near the beach resort... I gotta rewind and fill the gaps between this post and the previous blog entry...

The very famous "Ayam Penyet"

"Roti Pratha" served with Lamb Curry from Basaga

Mixed Roast Plate from Hong Kong Noodle House

My Aunt's homemade "Po Piah"... stuffed w/ prawns, chicken n veggies.. yummy!!

And finally... it was time for a feast at Palm Garden Seafood Restaurant. This was the view from our table. There were 7 of us at dinner, and everything we ordered is posted below, except for the Belacan Midin cos umm.. it got devoured too quickly so I forgot to take a decent photo, hehe.

We started with Butter Squid. Absolutely delicious!

Followed by Sizzling Japanese Tofu...

NESTUM PRAWNS!! Couldn't get enough of these!

Crispy Spring Chicken

Sweet & Sour Deepfried Fish.. freshly picked and killed! Aww...

Dried Chilli Crabs... also freshly picked and killed!

We went to Teo's Seafood at Kampung Buntal the next day for lunch - Fresh Coconut!

I just think this is unusual so I'm posting this... Fresh Crysanthemum Tea! With the flower and all...

Crispy Noodles... yummyyyylicious!

"Ambal" aka Bamboo Clams? Cooked in curry powder? Delicious anyway!!

Butter Squid again.. just cos it's my favorite :)

"Eng Chai"... some kind of vegetable I really can't seem to translate, lol.