- Kembong Fish, Okra (Ladyfingers), Assam Chilli Paste, finely chopped Onion and Tomatoes.
Season the Fish with some Salt. While U can leave the Fish head attach, The VainD like to separate it out and use it for the soup.
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. 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 (no rocket scientific measurement here). Always taste your Seasoning !!!
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 provide some sweetness.
Then add the Assam paste, mix well and sauté till oil separates and rises to the top. Add water, the fish heads and bring to boil and then simmer for abt 30 mins or till everything kindda soften/disintegrate, especially the Fish head. This will give U great flavor. At this point, taste the soup, U can now add a little extra Tamarind paste water (for sourness) or some Chili paste for heat.
Meanwhile, pre-steamed both the Kembong Fish and Okra for abt 10 mins. While U can simply add the Fish and Okra into soup and boil together, The VianD like to do it separately by steaming – to ensure not overcooking. This way, the Fish will retain its natural flavor and the Okra remain slightly crunchy in texture. Quite a bit of juice will be produce from steaming the Fish, add to the soup, packed with flavors.
When the soup is done, sieve it !!!This is very very important, as it will give U that nice clean and clear soup. Reboil the soup. Add ur seasoning of Salt and Sugar. Take it off the heat and add the Okra and Kembong Fish and your pot of “Assam Fish” is ready. Serve it piping hot with plain rice !!! Some freshly slice Cucumber would be nice too.