Nyonya Pickled Fish Stomach Curry


Coconut milk, lemongrass, turmeric, and other Southeast Asian spices are used in this dish.

Perut ikan, or fish guts, is a Nyonya delicacy that I particularly enjoy.

My tummy grumbles and my mouth waters just thinking about it. A curry-like dish made with vegetables, aromatic herbs, and fermented fish stomach, Perut ikan may seem unappetizing to some and may even seem strange to others.

My aunt taught me how to make perut ikan and other Nyonya delicacies on my recent trip to Penang. It’s hard to find perut ikan as good as my aunt’s in Nyonya restaurants. While she carefully walked me through the process of producing Nyonya foods, I was the chef in her kitchen, whipping up a storm in the process.

One wrong step or misuse of the ingredients can ruin an entire meal of Nyonya cooking; it’s not something to be taken lightly.

I was no longer the curious child who stood by my aunt’s side as she prepared her meals. My aunt’s Nyonya cooking talents have only become better as she has gotten older.

In order to master these childhood favorites, I’ll need instruction and practice.

Food from the Peranakan ethnic group is known as Nyonya cuisine. Coconut milk, lemon grass, turmeric, screwpine leaves, chilies, as well as sambal are some of the Southeast Asian spices used in this dish. You could say it’s a mashup of Chinese and Malay cuisines.

Each serving of this recipe contains only 402 calories.



  • 200 g small shrimp
  • 10 finely sliced kaffir lime leaves
  • 30 finely sliced daun kadok leaves
  • 20 sprigs of polygonum leaves
  • 20 sprigs of mint leaves
  • 10 green beans, cut into 5 cm length
  • 8 dried red chilies
  • 6 shallots
  • 6 pieces of fermented fish stomach
  • 5 chilies
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 3 slices of galangal
  • 1 inch turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of roasted belacan
  • 3 tablespoons of coriander seeds
  • 1 egg plant
  • 1 small ripe pineapple, cut into 5 cm sticks
  • 1 finely sliced ginger flower
  • 1 cup of coconut milk


  • Using about the size of a ping-pong ball, soak the pulp in warm water for 15 minutes before extracting the juice from it.


  1. Set aside the spice paste after pulverizing it in a food processor.
  2. Spice paste should be sautéed in hot oil until it is aromatic. Stir in the spice paste and the pickled fish gut pieces.
  3. 5 cups of water should be added and brought to a boil before adding in the pineapples, long beans, egg plant, ginger flower, and red chilies. 15 minutes of simmering time. Cook for another 15 minutes with the shrimp, coconut milk, and herbs.
  4. Taste and adjust the amount of salt. Serve at room temperature.

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