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M’sian Cooking For Dummies: The Easiest Basic Fish Curry

M’sian Cooking For Dummies: The Easiest Basic Fish Curry

Sherson Lian teaches us how to make the perfect basic fish curry you can add anything else to.

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Curry is intimidatingly delicious: thick, hot, and complex. But did you know it’s actually super easy to make curry at home yourself? Even your favourite fish curry?

Curries are extremely versatile, meaning you can put whatever you want in it and still have it taste amazing. Still, it’s best to start with the basics, so you add fancy twists to your curries whenever you want.

Malaysian celebrity chef Sherson Lian notes that good curry just needs a good base. Everything else is complimentary.

Back To Basics Fish Curry


  • Fish (any fish is good, but a firmer fish will hold its shape better in the curry)
  • Half an onion
  • Tomato
  • Curry leaves
  • Fish curry paste
  • Okras (lady’s fingers)
  • Chilis (optional)
  • Coriander for garnish
Curry actually only needs these basic ingredients.
(Credit: TRP)


1) Slice onion into slivers. Fry with oil in a pot on medium-high heat until it turns golden brown.

2) Add your fish curry paste and cook it for 1 minute. Cooking pre-made pastes help to enhance the flavours. Add curry leaves and quartered tomatoes while stirring occasionally.

3) Add water to your desired level (make sure not to fill the pot to the brim so that it won’t overflow when the curry boils). Let this boil for about 10 minutes to soften the tomatoes and thicken the curry.

4) Now, add any ingredients to your liking, taking note of their cooking times so that they will all finish cooking around the same time. As a general rule, proteins always go into the pot first because they take longer to cook, while vegetables go in last because they only need a few minutes.

  • Fish: around 7 to 8 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the fish
  • Okra: about 3 to 4 minutes

5) Garnish and serve with rice. Curries also keep in the fridge very well, so you can easily make a big batch and portion it out for later.

Here, we used fish curry paste from Sherson’s line of Rencah pastes and condiments and is also used in his restaurants. This is a flavourful yet basic curry paste so you can always add your own twist to it and change it up.

You can easily add your own spin on the curry. Add meats, eggs, cili padi, vegetables, or more! There’s no limit to curry.
(Credit: TRP)

But this recipe will work with any pre-prepared curry paste, you won’t need to spend 4 hours making it from scratch.

PS: Prefer shrimps? Try our 4-ingredient udang sambal petai instead! Check out the recipe HERE.

Or, if you’re more fond of grilled fish, we’ve got you with the 3-ingredient ikan sambal belacan as well. Check it out HERE.

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