- 60ml oil
- 1 torch ginger flower finely chopped, or 1 tbsp torch ginger paste or grated ginger (optional)
- 20 Vietnamese mint (hot mint) or coriander leaves, plus extra to serve
- 4 sea bass fillets, plus 1 fish carcass tied in a muslin bag
- 4 tbsp tamarind concentrate
A seed pod from the tamarind tree that is used extensively in South-East Asian and Indian…
- 1 tbsp sugar
Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…
- 3 tomatoes, cut into eighths
A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…
For the rempah
- 24 dried chillies
Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…
- 3 lemongrass stalks, white parts roughly chopped
- 10 shallots, roughly chopped
Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…
- 2½ cm fresh turmeric, grated
Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…
- 40g shrimp paste
Put all the ingredients for the rempah (curry paste) in a food processor and blend until everything is very finely chopped. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the rempah and cook over a low heat until a layer of red oil separates out on top. Add the torch ginger or ginger and Vietnamese mint leaves and stir, then add the fish carcass and cook for 5-8 mins.
Add the tamarind, sugar, 1 tbsp salt and 300 ml water and cook for 5 mins. Turn off the heat, take out the fish carcass and add the tomatoes.
Put the sea bass in a baking dish and pour over a little of the sauce. Put the dish in a roasting tin. Pour a little boiling water into the tin, then cover and steam the fish for 10 mins or until just cooked. Lift out the fish and discard the cooking liquid. Serve with the remaining sauce poured over and scattered with some more Vietnamese mint leaves.