Simple but delicious dishes to whip up for your loved ones this Ramadan.


spice paste
5 shallots, peeled
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp cili boh

350g Spanish mackerel (ikan tenggiri) or red snapper (ikan merah)
salt and pepper, to taste
oil, for frying
1 tbsp fermented shrimp (cencalok)
4 tsp lime juice
1 onion, peeled and cut into rings
1 red chilli, sliced
1 green chilli, sliced

1 1/2 to 2 tsp sugar, or to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Place the spice paste ingredients in a blender and process to a fine paste.

Cut fish into thick slices. Rinse and lightly season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a pan and fry fish until golden. Remove from oil and set aside.

Leave 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in the pan and sauté spice paste until aromatic. Add in cencalok and lime juice, and stir-fry briefly, until fragrant. Allow to simmer for a while. Mix in the onion rings and chillies. Add seasoning to taste, mix well and remove from heat.

Place the fish slices in a serving dish and pour the sauce over. Serve immediately, with rice.

spice paste

Cherry tomato sambal


spice paste
3 fresh red chillies, seeds removed
2 dried chillies, cut into
pieces and soaked to soften
13 shallots, peeled
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp toasted shrimp paste granules (belacan)
a small piece of turmeric

2 to 3 tbsp oil
1 stalk lemongrass, smashed
3 to 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 cherry-sized portion of tamarind paste mixed with 100ml water, squeezed for juice
2 tbsp sugar, or to taste
1 tsp rice vinegar

30 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp coconut milk
chopped coriander leaves, for garnishing

Place all spice paste ingredients into a blender and process to a fine paste.

Heat oil in a saucepan, and fry the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Add in the spice paste and saute till mixture is aromatic.

Add tamarind juice, sugar and rice vinegar. Stir well until sugar is dissolved.

Mix in the cherry tomatoes, then pour in coconut milk and allow the sauce to simmer briefly until fairly thick. Dish out into a serving dish, and sprinkle over with coriander leaves to garnish.

Serve hot, with steamed rice, or as a topping for a dish of grilled fish or steamed sotong.

spice paste

Spicy and Sweet Crabs


3 to 4 tbsp oil
2 tbsp dried prawns
1 tbsp chopped garlic
6 bird’s eye chillies, chopped
3 dried chillies, cut into small pieces
25g chopped onion

3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp spicy chilli sauce
3 tbsp plum sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
salt, to taste
125ml water
3 large flower crabs
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with
1 tbsp water
curry leaves, for garnishing

Heat the oil in a wok and sauté dried prawns until fragrant and crisp. Dish out and set aside. Add the garlic, bird’s eye chillies, dried chillies and onion. Stir-fry until mixture is aromatic and well-combined.

Add in the sauce ingredients and stir well, then toss in the crabs.

Stir briskly until the crabs are well-coated with the sauce. Cover the wok with a lid and cook over medium high heat for 7 to 8 minutes.

Uncover the wok and stir in the cornflour mixture. Add in the dried prawns and curry leaves, stirring to mix. Remove from heat and serve immediately.