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Tamarind Glazed Fish (Garang Asem Bandeng) Recipe

Tamarind Glazed Fish (Garang Asem Bandeng) Recipe

Tamarind Glazed Fish (Garang Asem Bandeng) Recipe

One of Indonesia’s greatest female chefs, fondly known by her many fans as Aunt Tanzil, owned a hole-in-the-wall restaurant high in the mountains in Indonesia. My parents would take us on a road trip up to her restaurant about once a year for several years in a row, traversing winding roads enveloped by lovely tea plantations and frangipani (plumeria) trees. Aunt Tanzil was famous for many of her Indonesian dishes, one of which was a Tamarind Glazed Fish. With the natural, cool mountain breeze drifting through her open-air restaurant, we would feast on this lightly browned fish glazed with the intoxicating combination of tangy tamarind, fresh tomatoes, and zesty kaffir lime leaves. This is my mother’s version of this savory and irresistible dish.

Ingredients :

    • 3 tablespoons butter for sauce + 2 tablespoons for fish
    • 1/2 large tomato, diced
    • 10 kaffir lime leaves or 1 teaspoon finely gratedlime zest
    • 1/2 cup (125 ml) tamarind concentrate
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt + extra for sprinkling
    • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 2 lb (1 kg) sea bass fillets

Method :

    1. Heat the 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over high heat until completely melted and it begins to bubble. Sauté the diced tomato with the kaffir lime leaves for 1 to 2 minutes.
    2. Add the tamarind concentrate, salt, sugar, and pepper, reducing the heat to medium low. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes while stirring continuously; making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot so nothing gets burnt. The tomato should break down while the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.
    3. Heat the remaining butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pan-fry the sea bass for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fish.
    4. Spoon the sauce onto a serving plate. Gently lay the fish on top of the sauce. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve immediately. Alternately, drizzle the sauce on top of the fish.