Kitchen by TILAH

Yellowtail Scad with Salted Beans (Ikan Selar Masak Taucu)

Hello Cooks!  I may not be updating so often for the next few days.  Honestly, I have been unwell.  Very unwell.  Dizziness and asthma.  Both decided to pay me a visit at one go and has made no plans of flying back home.  The cold weather makes it worse.  I am so tormented!  I could not even spend much quality time with my two lover boys!  Sulky sulky :(  Be that as it may, I still cannot stop myself from cooking.  My passion.  My way of de-stressing myself and making myself happy which would not have been possible at all for me if I had not had my kitchen-ing assistant assisting me.  Thanks very much to her!  I am so blessed.

I am totally in no mood for chicken or meat.  So fish and fish have been on the menu.  This recipe uses salted beans (or what is known as "taucu" in Chinese and Malay) as one of it's ingredients and it is also very common amongst the Malays.  You can easily find it at the various provision shops and local supermarkets.  For those staying overseas I am not sure if you can find this ingredient readily available but you can try finding it at your local Chinatown market.  It is also very easy to prepare this dish.  Not much hassle though your fishes will have to be fried first.  There can be variations into cooking this dish but this is the way that I like it most.  My mother-in-law loves this.  The first time she ate it, she gave me a compliment.  That certainly made me feel good. 

Ok cooks!  Like I said earlier, I am still unwell and asthmatic.  Along with my lungs, my fingers are getting breathless doing all the typing...ok, I know I am talking crap but my mind is totally not in much of a functioning mode with all this panting so  I will stop crapping and get straight to the ingredients! ;p


*note that spoonful here refers to 10ml volume

5 - 8 pieces of yellowtail scad - halved and cleaned, marinated with 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder and salt to taste, fried till cooked and set aside (I always fry them till cripsy, that's how I love it most)
2-3 pieces of bean curds - triangularly quartered, sprinkled with salt to taste and fried till golden brown and set aside
2 tomatoes - cut into sixes
2 lemon grass - cut into two and crushed
2 large onions - finely sliced
4 garlics - finely sliced
2 cm ginger - finely sliced in strips
1 fresh red chilly - sliced (feel free to add more or even substitute with bird's eye chillies if you like it hot and spicy)
1 fresh green chilly - sliced
3 tamarind peels
3 small bowls of water - more or less depending on your preference
3/4 teacup of evaporated milk - more or less depending on your preference
4 spoonsful of salted soy beans
1 spoonful of sugar
1-2 teaspoons of Ajinamoto, if you prefer
salt to taste - only if necessary as salted soy beans are obviously salty


1.  Heat up some of the oil used for fish frying in deep based pan.  Add in lemon grass and saute for about a minute.

2. Add in the sliced onions, garlics, ginger and chillies. Saute for about two to three minutes or until the onions are withered.

3.  Add in the tamarind peels and saute for about half a minute.

4.  Add in water, more or less to your preference.  Add in sugar.  Give a stir and bring to boil.

5.  Add in the salted soy beans and give a stir.  Let simmer for about a minute or two.

6.  Add in the evaporated milk and give a stir.  Depending on your preference, you may add more or lessen the quantity.

7. Add in the fried bean curd pieces and bring to boil whilst stirring every now and then. Do a taste check and add salt to your taste if necessary.

8.  Add in the fried fish pieces and fold them into the gravy. 

9. Add in the cut tomatoes and fold them in.

10. Bring fire to medium and let simmer for about one to two minutes.  Off fire and serve.

Serve with white rice.  Happy Kitchen-ing!!


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