Kitchen by TILAH

Sardines in Tom Yum Coconut Gravy (Sardin Gulai Tom Yum)

Whilst Muslims all over the world are still celebrating Hari Raya and halfway through visiting relatives near and far which included savouring of glorious, sumptuous and spicy array of dishes usually consisting of meat (mutton, beef and chicken), I had to just divert my taste bud for something fishy! Since I had not had the time to go to the market and do some serious marketing, I decided to look in my pantry cupboard for the cans of sardines which I always have in stock whenever I am up to something, well, fishy!!

Sardines are basically mackerel (most of the time) and the easiest form of fish dish that you can prepare in a matter of minutes or even faster, straight from the can. It always comes in handy when I run out of protein in my freezer and I had to cook up something for my family. At the same time, I was also craving for something of sourish taste yet full of creamy goodness!! Therefore the time has come to cook up my Sardin Gulai Tom Yum (which I had once upon a time created out of boredom).

In general and as usual, I am always busy with everyday motherly and wifely duties. To top all that I am still recovering from all the hassle of Hari Raya preparations and I really don't want to say much. The urge to blog though, had forced me to take out my lappy and start blabbering. Nevertheless, I decided to cut to the chase and share my recent cooking cum photographic adventures.

(*to be blended)
2 large onions*
6 cloves garlics*
2 cm ginger*
4 red chillies* (you can add more or use birds eye chillies if you want it more spicy)

2 cans of New Moon Sardines (or any other brand that you prefer)
4-6 pieces of kaffir lime leaves
2 stalks of lemon grass cut in halves and crushed
2 pieces of tamarind peel (you can substitute these with a tea cup of tamarind juice)
1 piece of Knorr Tom Yum cube
1 small box of coconut milk
2 tomatoes cut into fours
2 small bowls of water
a pinch of sugar
salt to taste


1. Saute the blended mixture with the crushed lemon grass and two pieces of the kaffir lime leaves (torn into smaller pieces) for about five minutes.

2. Add in the tom yum cube and stir for another five minutes until the cube is dissolved.

3. Continue stirring every now and then for a few minutes until oil separates. I always slide my ladle across the frying mix (note the gap in my mix above). This would mean that the oil has not separated or the mix is not yet properly cooked or fragrant.

4. As you continue stirring every now and then, do slide your ladle across the mix. Noticed how the oil collected at the gap in the frying mix? You can zoom for a better view by clicking on the picture. For those who are not sure about oil separation, the picture above shows the oil had separated and the mixture is ready for the next step in the cooking process.

5. Add in the sardines together with the sauce, coconut milk, sugar, salt, tamarind peels and the remaining torn into pieces kaffir lime leaves. Add in water. Simmer till it boils while stirring every now and then.

6. Add in the tomatoes and stir every now and then for half a minute.

7. Simmer for another five minutes and off the fire.

There you go, ready to be served with white rice, Sardin Gulai Tom Yum or Sardines in Tom Yum Coconut Gravy.

Should you try this recipe, do let me know if you like it. I love it!!


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