Asam Fish

Serves 3-4

1 litre water
75g tamarind pulp
15g dried ikan bilis
15g dried salangidae (icefish)*
1 ikan bilis stock cube
5 pieces asam keping (dried tamarind skin)
8-10 dried chillies
3 stalks lemongrass, bruised
3-4 ikan kembung (mackerel)
Sugar, to taste

*Salangidae is available at most wet markets.

1 Fill a pot with the water and bring to the boil. In a small bowl, soak the tamarind pulp in around ½ cup of hot water from the pot, pressing it with a spoon to release its juices. Let it steep for 10min.
2 Add the ikan bilis, salangidae and stock cube to the pot and let them simmer for 5min over medium heat.
3 Add the tamarind juice; discard the pulp.
4 Add the asam keping, dried chillies and lemongrass. Simmer for about 5min over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
5 Add the ikan kembung, ensuring they are fully immersed. Simmer for about 8min on low heat, or until the fish is fully cooked. If you prefer a sweeter broth, add some sugar, to taste. Serve hot.