Clear Soup Assam Fish (Kurau/Threadfin)

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Ready : 60  mins [Prep : 10 mins † Cooking : 50 mins]
Serve : 4 with other dishes
Generic : Steam/Simmer
Level : Easy
Idle : 50 mins Printable Recipe.

Spicy Tangy Distinctive Fish Soup Dish

There are probably countless versions of this classic Malaysian dish around. Everyone seems to have their own interpretations but whichever adaptations U choose, it’s spicy, tangy, distinctive and tastes absolutely appetizing and satisfying. The version presented here is in its simplest form, stripped to the basic with only Fish and Okra (Ladyfingers) and clean clear soup rather than the typical thick sauce – a version U’ll only find served at road-side economical Malay stalls. The VianD has previously posted other versions – done with Stingray, “Assam Pedas Stingray (Ikan Pari)” (click for recipe) and with Ikan Kembong/Mackerel, “Assam Fish (Kembong/Mackerel)” (click for recipe). Here’s The Viand’s interpretation of, “Clear Soup Assam Fish (Kurau/Threadfin)“.




  • Threadfin/Ikan Kurau, Okra (Ladyfingers), Assam Chilli Paste, finely chopped Onion and Tomatoes.
    Marinate the Fish with some Salt.
    Okra – cut to 2 inches long or if U have the smaller ones, keep it whole.
    The Onion and Tomatoes are optional but The VianD add these to help elevates the Assam soup flavors. Finely chopped to help cooking time.
    This pre-mixed Assam paste is as authentic/good as any. U should be able to get it from most wet-market. Of course, U can blend your own paste, if U so choose.


  • Salt, Sugar and Tamarind paste if U want extra sourness. All to taste. *** Note : Just dash of everything, if U prefer a stronger intensity of an ingredient flavor, simply add a little extra of that ingredient/spice/sauce – no rocket scientific measurement here. Always taste your Seasoning !!!



  • Step 1 : Sauté the chopped Tomatoes and Onions with some chopped Garlic till aromatic and soften. The oil from the Tomatoes will give U that gorgeous looking reddish color while the Onion will give some sweetness. Add Assam paste and continue to saute on medium heat till oil separates to the top. Add water, bring to boil and then turn down the heat to simmer for abt an hour or till Onion and Tomato disintegrated.
  • Step 2 : Optional : Meanwhile, lightly coat the Fish with a little Corn flour. Sear the fish on medium heat until light golden brown. This will not only give the outer crust a little extra texture but also help the Fish to hold its form. Keep aside. But U can simply skip this step and add the Fish as it is, to the soup.
  • Step 3 : Meanwhile, pre-steamed Okra for abt 1/2 mins. While U can simply add Okra into the soup and boil together, The VianD like to steam it an advance – to avoid overcooking. This way,  the Okra will remain slightly crunchy in texture. Set aside.
  • Step 4 : When the soup is done, sieve it !!!This is very very important, as it will give U that nice clean and clear soup. Re-boil and add all Seasoning Ingredients. Take it off the heat and add the Okra and Fish and your pot of “Clear Soup Assam Fish (Kurau/Threadfin)” is ready to be served piping hot with plain rice !!!

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