Salt Fish Acar


250g good quality salt fish (danau fish)
35g dried prawns, soaked and coarsely chopped
4 stalks curry leaves
Oil for deep-frying

Spice ingredients (A) – ground
15 shallots
5 cloves garlic
2cm fresh turmeric
3cm galangal, sliced
8 candlenuts
1cm square shrimp paste (belacan), toasted
15 dried chillies
13 red chilllies

Ingredients (B)
200ml white rice vinegar
1 tbsp tamarind paste, mixed with 2 tbsp water and strained for juice

Seasoning (C)
5 tbsp castor sugar or to taste
1 tbsp brown sugar


Rinse salt fish and cut into small cubes. Deep-fry salt fish until golden and crispy. Remove and drain from oil. Leave ½ cup oil in the wok, sauté dried prawns and curry leaves until fragrant.

Add ground spice ingredients and continue to fry until oil separates. Add vinegar, tamarind juice and sugars. Bring to a slow boil then simmer for 10-12 minutes until gravy is thick. Cool gravy thoroughly before adding fried salt fish. Keep salt fish acar in airtight glass jars before use.

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