Ikan Acar Kuning (Fish with Yellow Pickle)

This dish is also usually served in Sundanese (West Java) restaurants and they use mostly giant gourami fish which is fresh-water fish. I couldn't find this kind of fish here in Europe, so I use frozen gilt-head bream (Dorade fish) and it tastes good. You can use another white fishes to make this dish when you can't find those two kinds of fish.

"Pickle" is called "acar" in Indonesian, it usually refers to "preserved vegetables in vinegar and salt" such as cucumber, carrot and shallot (see my recipe Cucumber Pickle). This "acar kuning" (yellow pickle) has the same base ingredients but it's cooked, has more intense flavor because of many spices such as garlic, turmeric, galangal, candle nuts, etc and yellow-colored (from the turmeric). It's served with cooked white rice and another dishes like fried tofu and tempe (fermented soy bean cake), ayam goreng serundeng (fried chicken), lalap (fresh raw vegetables : cabbage, tomato, lettuce, etc).

Ikan Acar Kuning
Ikan Acar Kuning (Photo credit : Veronica)

Ikan Acar Kuning (Fish with Yellow Pickles)

2 portions

You need :
a blender or a food processor

Ingredients :
500 gr "ready to use" giant gourami or gilt-head bream
1 red chili, remove the stem and seeds, slice thinly
2 bay leaves
1 lemon grass, take only the white part, smash with a knife
150 gr cucumber, cut into matchsticks
150 gr carrots, peel and cut into matchsticks
150 ml water
some all purpose flour for dusting
oil for deep frying
salt and pepper

Spices :
50 gr shallots
3 cloves garlic
6 candle nuts
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground galangal
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2½ tbsp white rice vinegar
5 tbsp cooking oil

Steps :
For the spices, blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor using high speed until become a paste. Set aside.

Wipe the fish with paper towel to remove excess water, season with salt and pepper, then dust with some flour.

Prepare a large frying pan, fill with oil until half height of the pan, heat over medium high level. When the oil is hot enough, fry the fish until well cooked and crispy golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towel to remove excess oil. Then place it on a serving plate.

Into another pan over medium high heat, add in the spice paste, chili, bay leaves and lemon grass. Saute until fragrance then add in cucumber, carrot and water. Stir them with the paste until well combined and the vegetables soften. Turn off the heat and transfer onto the fried fish. Serve with cooked white rice.

Recipe by Veronica

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