Sunday, 18 June 2017

Stunning Fish Head Curry at Rumah Makan Medan Baru

Rumah Makan Medan Baru

Located just north of the Jakarta National Monument, Rumah Makan Medan Baru is a popular Indonesian Medanese restaurant that is known for serving gulai kepala ikan (fish head curry). From the outside of the restaurant it looks very small and just like a shop house. So I was surprised when I walked in to find multiple dining rooms, lots of tables, and lots of happy customers eating curry. Most of the curries and dishes are all prepared and sitting at the front of the restaurant, and when you sit down, you’ll be delivered a selection of different dishes all to your table.

The gulai kepala ikan (fish head curry) was absolutely incredible - one of the best versions of any fish head I’ve ever head. The fish head was covered in an almost ridiculously rich and creamy coconut milk curry that was very fragrant and flavorful. The fish was also very meaty and juicy. Along with rice, it was sensational. 

Another dish that Medan Baru is famous for is burung punai goreng (fried pigeon). We got two of them, and they were seasoned with some spices and then fully deep fried to a crisp. Again, the little pigeons, even though there’s not a lot of meat to eat on them, the meat that was there was so succulent. I loved it. For some bites of the fried pigeon, I dipped it into the different sambal chili sauces that were on our table as well. Both dishes were extraordinary. 

Additionally I also got a bowl of daun pepaya (papaya leaves), that were a little bitter, but went really well with the sambal as well. Finally, I ordered a plate of gulai daun singkong (curry cassava leaves), which were also fantastic.

1Big Red Snapper Fish Head
(I use 1 whole Seabass cleaned and cut into parts)

Chili Paste
8 shallots
3 garlic
half a tsp turmeric powder or a thumbsized fresch turmeric
2 tsp roasted belacan
4 fresh red chillies
4 dried red chillies soaked in water
1 tsp roasted fennel seeds
3 tbsp (flat) coriander powder
a little water
1 tbsp oil
all together into a blender and blend into a fine paste, set aside

3 stalk of daum kesum(thai basil leaves)
1 lemongrass bruised
5-6 pieces curry leaves
50gm tamarind paste mixed with 50ml water sieve and squeezed to get tamarind juice.
1 can light coconut milk (santan)

1 tomato cut in pieces
1 cup about 3 to 4 cm long beans (french beans)
half zucchini cut into cubes
Aubergine and Okra (optional)

4 tbsp oil.
Salt and Sugar to your taste.

Heat a wok. Add Oil and fry the chill paste till oil have broken through like all my other curry spices paste and till fragrant. Then add lemongrass, curry leaves and thai basil and fry together shortly.
Add the cut fish, stir and coat the fish with the chill paste.
Add a little water about 20ml , if the chill paste is too dry and it stops the chill paste from spurting out of the wok.

Then continue to add the coconut milk and all the vegetables.
Add the ready sieved tamarind juice too.
Stir and mix well.
Cover and bring to a medium boil. Cook for 5-6 minutes till
Fish is cooked. Finally adjust to taste. Add Sugar and Salt and if
not sour enough add a little more tamarind juice.

The final taste should be slightly creamy from the coconut milk, Sweet, a little sour with a touch of salty taste.
Serve best with Steam Rice and Prawn or Fish Crackers.
Gulai Kepala Ikan 
Gulai adalah masakan berbahan baku kuah santan yang memiliki cita rasa gurih. Untuk bahan isiannya, gulai pada umumnya menggunakan daging ayam, aneka ikan, kambing, sapi bahkan sayuran seperti nangka muda dan daun singkong. Ciri khas hidangan ini adalah bumbunya yang kaya rempah kemudian dimasak dalam kuah santan.

Resep lengkap bagaimana cara membuat gulai kepala ikan dapat dilihat di bawah:

1 kepala ikan kakap. Dibelah dua
500 ml santan cair 
200 ml santan kental 
3 buah asam kandis 365
5 lembar daun jeruk
2 lembar daun salam 
1 lembar daun kunyit 
2 batang serai 
Minyak 365 untuk menggoreng 

Bumbu halus :
7 siung bawang merah
5 siung bawang putih 
10 buah cabai merah keriting
3 cm jahe
3 cm kunyit
3 cm lengkuas
1 sdt ketumbar. Sangrai 
½ sdt gula
1 sdt garam 
½ sdt lada putih

Cara Membuat:
1. Cuci bersih kepala ikan kakap lalu buang insangnya kemudian beri perasan jeruk nipis agar ikan tidak amis. Diamkan selama kurang lebih 15 menit. Tiriskan 
2. Haluskan bawang merah, bawang putih, cabai merah keriting, jahe, lengkuas, ketumbar dan kunyit
3. Panaskan minyak kemudian tumis bumbu yang sudah dihaluskan dengan ditambahkan daun jeruk, daun salam, daun kunyit, serai dan asam kandis
4. Masukan kepala ikan kemudian masak ikan bersama bumbu hingga ikan berubah warna 
5. Kemudian tambahkan santan cair aduk rata agar santan tidak pecah. Masak dengan menggunakan api kecil
6. Setelah kuah mendidih tambahkan santan kental kemudian aduk rata
7. Gulai kepala ikan siap disajikan