Friday 4 May 2012

Hot and Sour Fish Head (Asam Padeh Kepala Ikan)

Many people are into fish head, the popular dish is Fish Head Gulai but this recipe is just as delicious but prepared without coconut milk. We are using snaper head, but salmon is very good too. Indeed we can replace the fish head with whole fish or fish fillet, whatever suit to your taste.

Ingredients :

500 gr         Fish head
 15              Dried chilies soaked, add more fresh chilies if you like it hot.
   2  cloves  Garlic
   6  cloves  Shallots
   2  slices    Asam glugur ( this ingredient give a very sour taste, use vinegar as substitude)
   3              Kincung ( Torch ginger bud. Refer to herbs and spices )
   2              Daun Salam ( use bay leaf instead, if it is not available)
   1  stalk     Lemon grass, bruised
   1  cm       Fresh turmeric
   2  cm       Galangal, bruised
   2  tbs        Cooking oil
   3  cup      Water
Salt to taste

Method :

  • Grind or put in a blender dried chilies, garlic, and fresh turmeric till smooth then sautee in a pan.
  • When it is fragrant pour in the water, put the rest of the ingredients except the fish head and. bring it to boil for 10 minutes.
  • Only then  put the fish head in, once it is boiled, turn the heat down and leave it to simmer until the it is ready.



  1. Hmmm this is very North Sumatran version masam padeh. I myself don't recommend to substitute Indonesian bay leaves for a regular bay leaf. I would rather to skip it since It has a different flavour. The regular bay leaf has a cinnamony taste.