Nyonya fish head curry

Nyonya fish head curry

The fish head curry is a Peranakan dish i.e. a Malaysian Chinese dish. The dish is popular in both Malaysian Chinese restaurants and Malaysian Indian restaurant. And now, you can prepare and cook at home by yourself. 




  • 6-8 Tbsps cooking oil
  • Ground spice paste:
  • 1cm [5 g] young ginger, skinned
  • 10 shallots [125g], sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic [12g]
  • 5 red chilies [70g], sliced
  • 1 knob of galangal [12g], sliced
  • 10 stalks dried chilies, soaked and cut into pieces
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass [30g], (white part only)
  • 2cm turmeric [10g]
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 Tbsps coriander seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 500-550 ml water
  • 10 g tamarind paste + 250 ml water, strained
  • 4 okras/ladies finger, blanched and refreshed
  • 1 eggplant, cut into bite size pieces
  • 650 750 g of fish head and fish fillet cut into large pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, wedged
  • 1 big onion, wedged
  • 1 pkt [200ml] KARA coconut milk
  • 1 stalk wild ginger flower 'bunga kiantan' sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

Garnishing: 3 sprigs Mint leaves & 1 sprig coriander leaves


  1. Using an electric blender, finely grind spice paste; adding a little water to move the blades.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan or wok, sauté ground spice paste stirring continuously until spice paste is fragrant and oil starts to emerge.
  3. Add the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds before adding water and tamarind juice.
  4. Add the okra, eggplant and simmer almost tender, add the fish head and meat, tomatoes, onions, KARA coconut cream wild ginger flower.
  5. Season to taste with sugar and salt.
  6. Once fish is tender, turn off heat and garnish with mint leaves & coriander leaves
  7. Serve with steaming hot rice or any bread.