• Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Cook Time 20 minutes
  • Serving For 4 people
  • Difficulty Easy

Recipe Description

As a child, One World Hotel chef Amar Abdul Rahim was the only one among his siblings to shadow his grandmother in the kitchen to learn how to cook kepala ikan and later, develop that interest into a career.

“I have been interested in cooking since young,” the 28-year-old chef, who has been in the food and beverage industry for almost a decade, shared.

He started his career in 2005 at the Palace of Golden Horses Hotel as commis 2 for the Malay banquet section.

In 2007, he was appointed as demi chef de partie with One World Hotel, Petaling Jaya.

Being a fast learner and with his dedication towards the culinary arts, he proved his worth and earned himself a promotion as chef de partie in a short period of time.

He specialises in Malay cuisine but is also able to whip up Indonesian and Thai dishes as well.

During Ramadan and Hari Raya family gatherings, he makes a mean Kepala Ikan Merah Asam Pedas Melaka (Malaccan Spicy Fish Head).

“It’s my granny’s recipe as asam pedas is a Malaccan speciality,” he said.

Recipe Ingredient

  • 300 g dried chilli
  • 300 g shallot
  • 50 g garlic
  • 50 g ginger
  • 20 g galangal
  • 20 g shrimp paste
  • 30 g tamarind juice
  • water
  • 1 kg red snapper head
  • 50 g eggplant
  • 50 g ladies fingers
  • 3 sticks lemongrass
  • 20 g torch ginger flower bunga kantan
  • 10 g polygonum leaves daun kesum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. Boil dried chilli, then blend with a little bit of water, and keep the chilli paste aside.
  2. Blend shallot, garlic, ginger and galangal into fine paste.
  3. Saute the fine paste until fragrant then, add in chilli paste followed by shrimp paste.
  4. Add in water, tamarind juice and fish head.
  5. Add eggplant, ladies fingers, lemongrass, torch ginger flower and polygonum leaves and bring to boil over low heat.
  6. Season with salt and sugar.
  7. Ready to be served.

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5 thoughts on “Kepala Ikan Merah Asam Pedas Melaka (Malaccan Spicy Fish Head)”

  1. Catherine - July 26, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Selamat Hari Raya Abang Amar. I'm sure I will enjoy this dish-yum!
    Salam Mesra
    Catherine Perth Australia

  2. erin - August 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    suami sy slalu masak asam pedas nenek dia ni, mmg turun temurun dan sgt lazat 😉

  3. NHj Salleh - June 12, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    How to get shrimp paste? Is it from pounded dried shrimp or buy ready made from shop..

    • Kuali Admin - June 13, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Hi NHj Salleh,

      Shrimp paste is belacan. It’s entirely up to you if you’d like to buy pre-made version or make it from scratch. Hope this helps! Thanks your support.

      The Kuali Team.

    • voodoo - January 19, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      Hi Salleh,

      Take 100g shrimp (raw)
      Blend into a fine paste.
      Add a little salt.
      That is shrimp paste.


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