Test Driving Salmon Curry

Fish Curry In An InstantI was WhatsApping with Reez, my Malay girlfriend, a few days ago, when she bragged about her mom’s salmon fish head curry. It wuz… AWESOME! – the exact words and tone articulated. Till today she cannot forget how her tastebuds denzed. So I decided to test drive the idea for as she so care-lessly answered when I asked for a recipe, “My job is to eat only!

So here am I trying to kill 2 birds with one stone – As I was saying in my previous blog  I will be leaving Melbourne soon and that soon is now a couple of days away.   (~_~;)

The kids already knew how to do “wet” marketing so that’s not a problem. The problem is getting them to cook and eat in. I still believe it to be more nutritious than eating out even when we have to incorporate some premixes. It is ridiculous even as a meticulous cook to labour everything from scratch. Both of them do not get generous meal budget so dining at reputable restaurants nightly is simply out of the question. My mission is to come up with some easy, tasty and preferably, no… “Mandatory…”, Vanessa cut in as I was speaking, “ONE DISH meals” to coax them to cook after I’m gone.

Bird #1 – Test drive Salmon Curry – checked.
Bird #2 also the bigger bird – Can Vany & especially Ray, who has 2 more years here, master some “you see lor… you taste lor… agak agak lah” kind of basic skills in meal preparations? Therefore, this post’s recipe will have no specific measurements assigned to the ingredients due to the 2 birds, erh… objectives stated above. It’ll be all about feel

3Salmon©BondingTool7Salmon©BondingTool4Salmon©BondingTool5Salmon©BondingTool6Salmon©BondingTool16Salmon©BondingTool17Salmon©BondingTool18Salmon©BondingTool9Salmon©BondingTool10Salmon©BondingTool13Salmon©BondingTool14Salmon©BondingTool20Salmon©BondingTool1Seafood QVM©BondingTool2Seafood QVM©BondingTool3Seafood QVM©BondingTool
Guesstimated Recipe:
1 Salmon Head including skeleton and 2 Fish Steaks (we bought 3 heads but only used 1 here).
2 packets of the Curry Premix as we like to have more gravy.
A few tablespoons of Tamarind Paste added to warm water and mixed till you get a murky colour. Sieve and discard the pulps and seeds.
¼ – 1 can of the Coconut Milk or Evaporated Milk (I used 1 can, see Verdict below).
Water, amount to be added to your desire of curry consistency.
2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds, optional or to taste. I used them since I had some and need to help clear the spices. I highly doubt they will use this or any other whole spices even if they were to cook. They will omit the “optional”.
Sugar and Light Soy Sauce, to taste.

I put the 2 packets of curry paste into a stock pot and turn on low heat (since this is a wet paste and looked precooked, I skip the step of frying the paste with oil).
When curry paste is warmed through, I pour the tamarind juice,test-tasted according to the amount of sourness we liked. If you accidentally poured more than desired, add some sugar to “neutralise”.
Next, add one can of the coconut milk and stir well. Let the mixture come to a gentle rippling boil and simmer for 10 minutes. If taste and consistency of curry is in accordance to your liking, add fish and simmer till fish is done (again guesstimate as the thickness of fish steak or fish head requires different cooking time but salmon do not take long to cook).
My pot of curry which was simmered on low heat took about 15 minutes to release the aroma and not retain any “raw spices taste and smell”, and a further 8 minutes on medium heat, for the fish to cook.

Verdict: Because the salmon fish steaks were quite “oily” (think it is the belly cut), using 1 can of coconut milk made it too lemak (rich). Need to reduce the amount or do away with the milk. Overall, we like the combination of salmon and curry. Also, this is the first time I used A1 brand of the fish curry premix and well, I like it (but for Indian style, I still prefer Earthern Pot).

Below are what I have used to cook the in addition to the salmon.

2013-02-03 14.33.02Assam Tamarind Paste©BondingToolCoconut Milk©BondingTool

A fish head in Singapore is just the head but here the fishmonger gave us the whole thing as seen in the pictures.
I asked Ray why he bought so many and he said they come at a bundled price of AUD5 for 3 salmon heads and skeletons.
Fish steaks are sold at AUD18.90 per kg and fillets at AUD24.50 per kg.
As for the 2 heads which I did not used – perhaps Japanese style Kama Shioyaki is in order?

Happy cooking 🙂

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