Of the types of seafood available in Malaysia, the saltwater variety predominates. Seafood, a favourite amongst Malaysians, has played an essential part in the Malaysian diet. With a choice from fish, lobster, crab, prawns and squid (calamari), they are prepared in practically every known way, from the creamy, spicy and sweet and sour.

Ikan Bakar (Grilled Fish)
Delicious! I must for all seafood lovers during BBQs.

Your favourite fish for grilling (red snapper, cod or salmon)

Ingredients A:
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup tamarind liquid
1/4 cup shallots, chop fine
1 tbsp garlic, chop fine
1/2 tbsp ginger, chop fine
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp galangal (if available), chop fine
1/2 tsp chili paste (sambal oelek)

Cut several diagonal slashes in the sides of the fish.
Combine ingredients A in a bowl. Rub half of the paste into the incisions on each side of the fish and reserve the remaining half. Set the fish aside for 2 hours. Wrap the fish in aluminium foil (a banana leaf would be a fragrant substitute) and grill on the BBQ or oven for about 10 minutes on each side.
Bring the remaining sauce to a boil in a sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the fish from the BBQ or oven, spread the rest of the paste over the fish and return to BBQ or oven for another 2 minutes leaving the foil open.

Steamed Fish with garlic

Your favourite choice of fish for steaming (whole)

For seasoning:
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper

For sauce:
1 cup water
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt

For garnish:
1 stalk green onions, chopped
2 sprigs coriander leaves, chopped

2 tbsp cooking oil
4 dried chinese mushrooms, soaked and chopped finely
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped

Marinate fish with seasoning ingredients for 15-30 minutes.
Heat oil and stir fry chopped mushroom for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add half of the garlic and chili and fry until lightly brown. Add into sauce ingredients. Stir in remaining garlic and pour over fish.
Steam fish over rapid boiling water for 12-15 minutes. Garnish woth green onions and coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice.

Assam Prawns (Sour and Spicy Prawns)

Fresh prawns (medium to large in size), leave the shell on
2 stalks of lemon grass, ground
1/2 cup tamarind juice
1/4 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1 tsp lemon/lime juice

Ingredients A:
6 shallots
3 cloves garlic
4 candle nuts or macademia nuts
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp shrimp paste
3 fresh red chili peppers or 2 tbsp chili paste

Grind ingredients A. Heat oil and fry ground ingredients till fragrant. Add tamarind juice and lemon grass and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add prawns and season with salt and sugar. When the prawns are cooked, remove from heat and add fresh lemon/lime juice. Serve with white rice or nasi lemak.

Fish Head Curry
I'd do anything for a bowl of fish head curry right now! A famous delicacy. And for those who are going "Eeew!" in don't know what you're missing.

1 fish head (red snapper) medium/large size, whole or cut into large pieces
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup tamarind juice
4 tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp fresh milk
3 cups water
3 tbsp cooking oil
2 egg plants, cut into wedges
5 okras, cut into 2 cm in length
8 shallots, sliced
2 green chili peppers, sliced lengthwise
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp fenugreek
1 stalk lemon grass, sliced
2 sprigs curry leaves or bay leaves
2 tomatoes, cut into quaters
salt to taste

Marinate fish with salt and tamarind juice.
Mix the curry powder, turmeric powder and milk with water into a paste; set aside.
Heat oil in pan and fry egg plant amd okra until lightly brown. Drain from oil; set aside. In same oil, fry shallots, chili, garlic, lemon grass and fenugreek until fragrant. Add curry leaves/bay leaves.
Pour curry paste into saucepan and bring to boil. Put in fish head and cook until the flesh is opalescent. Add salt to taste. Add fried egg plant and okra and lastly tomatoes. Serve hot with white rice.

*You can also make Fish Curry using the same method.

Crabs in ketchup and oyster sauce

2 kg meaty crabs
1/2 cup cooking oil
30g ginger, shredded
5 shallots, sliced
5 cloves garlic, sliced

Ground ingredients:
7 red chili peppers
100ml water
2 tsp chicken stock powder

For the sauce:
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp chili sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp pepper

4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 stalks green onions, cut into 5 cm in length
2 sprigs coriander leaves, cut into 5 cm in length

Clean crabs, crack the pincers and cut into 4 pieces each. Heat oil in a wok, stir fry ginger, garlic and shallots until lightly brown. Stir in ground ingredients and fry until fragrant. Add in crabs and stir briskly. Cover wok for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in sauce ingredients. When crabs are bright red and nearly cooked, pour in beaten eggs. Add green onions and season with salt. Dish out and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

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