Garang asem is a popular dish in Central and Eastern Java. The spicy and sour soup is super delicious, and I can totally eat a couple bowl of steamed white rice with just the soup. :D You can also use chicken instead of the mackerel and make garang asem ayam (chicken in spicy and sour soup). I think I have covered too many chicken dishes, so I’ll try to use fish and other meat once in a while for variety. Plus, I need to eat more seafood since they are really good for you. ♥
This dish is super easy to make, so don’t be daunted by the long list of ingredients. More than half of those just need to be ground into spice paste, though I admit it might be kinda hard to find some of the ingredients outside of Indonesia :) And with fish, the cooking time is super fast. I would say that even with chicken, the cooking time shouldn’t take that long. If you want to impress, this is one of the dish that looks super hard to make but is actually super easy. ♥
Garang Asem Ikan Tenggiri - Spanish Mackerel in Spicy and Sour Soup
- 6 spanish mackerel steak (Indonesian: ikan tenggiri), 1/2 inch thick each, total weight 600-700 gram.
- juice of 1 lime (Indonesian: jeruk nipis)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 2 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
- 3 tomatillos (Indonesian: tomat hijau)
- 750 ml coconut milk (Indonesian: santan)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- tamarind solution (1 teaspoon tamarind (Indonesian: asam Jawa) + 1 tablespoon water)
- Grind the following into spice paste
- 4 red Thai chilies (Indonesian: cabe rawit merah)
- 4 red anaheim chilies (Indonesian: cabe besar merah)
- 8 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
- 3 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
- 1 inch kaempferia galangal (Indonesian: kencur)
- 1 inch turmeric (Indonesian: kunyit)
- 1/2 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
- 1/2 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)
- Marinate fish with lime juice and salt, set aside for 15 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pot and sauté spice paste, bay leaves, and tomatillos until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, mix well, and bring to a boil.
- Add the fish, salt, sugar, and tamarind solution. Cook uncover, until the fish is cooked and the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced, about 15 minutes.