If you happen to be strolling by a Chinese restaurant, you will most probably be overwhelmed by the tantalising aroma of this dish. The chances are as you walk into one of the restaurants, you will be sure to witness bowls of red soup on every table. With such a large crowd enjoying it, you’ll be sure to think to yourself, “Let us order some Fish Head Curry!”
What is Fish Head Curry?
The dish is typically served in a traditional clay pot. The presentation of this dish in a clay pot is such a classic; foodies won’t be able to accept the dish unless it’s served inside a clay pot.
One may wonder, what is so amazing about this specialty dish? It is simply a combination of a fish head and traditional curry. No more and no less. However, the devil is in the details.
Start scouring the dish and you will find ladies’ fingers and brinjal; keep exploring and you might find tofu puffs; carry on digging and you will encounter all sorts of herbs and spices that you may never have heard or seen before.
That is the beauty of this simple, yet wholesome meal.Eateries that are able to conjure up the perfect formula to combine these ingredients will rise up and win customers’ hearts and loyalty.
History of Fish Head Curry
So how did such a flavourful dish wind up on our tables for decades now? It all started during the colonial times, the rich couldn’t stand the sight of fish heads and threw them out. The locals, being poor and resourceful, utilise the fish heads in their cooking, and the rest is history.
Some say that the dish originally came from India. Even though fish head curry is not an Indian delicacy, but an Indian immigrant was able to create a dish that grew popular among the Chinese community and prepared it with the sole intention of satisfying his customers’ appetite. This specialty then caught the eyes of a pioneering chef, who then modified the recipe and catapulted it to a worldwide sensation.
How to Make Fish Head Curry
Having read the fantastic journey dating the origins of fish head curry, one may then wonder on how does one attempt to make such a dish. So do refer below for a quick and simple walkthrough on the steps to preparing such a unique dish.
- The ingredients are a whole fish, 1.5 teaspoons of tamarind paste, 8 garlic, 3 shallots, 10 chilli peppers (dried), 50g of curry powder, ginger, sautéed mustard seeds, oil, ladies’ fingers, tomatoes, salt, sugar and water.
- Add 1.5 teaspoons of tamarind paste into 100ml of water. Mix well and pour the mixture onto the fish. Let the fish rest in the sauce for 10 minutes.
- Blend all the spices (garlic, shallots, chilli peppers and ginger) and mix it with curry powder and water.
- Heat the wok with oil and add in sautéed mustard seeds.
- Add the blended ingredients and curry powder paste into the wok.
- Once the curry starts to boil, add the fish, ladies’ fingers and tomatoes. Once the fish is cooked, set it aside on a plate.
- Boil the curry for an additional 40-60 minutes until the curry thickens.
- Add the rest of tamarind paste, salt and sugar.
- Add the cooked fish into the wok when it is ready to serve.
Do note this is just a simple walkthrough on the steps on making this dish. More detailed guidelines and instructions can be found online.
Nutrition Fact Cheat Sheet
Fitness aficionados look over here. We understand how foodie like you often find it hard to balance a healthy diet with addictive food all over Malaysia. So here is a fact sheet tailored just for you.
A 414g serving size of Curry Fish Head:
Where to find Curry Fish Head in Malaysia
Any typical Chinese restaurant in Malaysia will definitely serve Fish Head Curry. Here we have hand-picked some restaurants for you to give it a try! Ministry of Fish Head Curry (Damansara Kim) is recommended, and you can find more at Julin Xuan (Petaling Jaya). Find more Chinese cuisine on foodpanda!