You might have read my previous post about the magic ingredient that prevents swine flu.

I’ve been asked: How can this magic ingredient be used?

That’s a good question. There’s no point knowing what the magic ingredient is, when you don’t know how to use it!

I find that the best way to deploy it is in a curry as I’m sure the slow cooking involved will release the star anise’s special properties.

In case you haven’t seen this recipe before, here it is. It’ll make a great Buka Puasa dish too!

Minang Fish Curry

1. Mix 1 heaped teaspoon tumeric powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water and mix into a runny paste.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in saucepan. Add 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves and 1 STAR ANISE and let whole spices flavour oil for a minute or so (this is an essential step that releases the properties of Star Anise, the other spices merely add flavour but my also be beneficial).

Unleash the healing properties of Star Anise!
Unleash the healing properties of Star Anise!

3. Add paste and fry for a minute making sure paste doesn’t burn or get stuck to saucepan. If needed, add a tablespoon of water.

4. Add garlic (3 cloves), ginger (1/2 an inch) and about 2 chilies, all finely sliced. (Hotness from chilies can be quite variable, so how hot the dish is going to end up is always a mystery!) Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Fry for 1 minute.

5. Add 1 onion, sliced up. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Fry mixture of paste, garlic, ginger, chilies and onion until onions are caramalised. This is a very important step that brings all the flavours out and should take at least 20 minutes.

6. Add 1 tin of coconut milk and 1/2 to 3/4 cup water depending on thickness of coconut milk used. Add 1 stalk lemon grass (sliced into 2 or 3 pieces). Add 1-2 whole chilies (optional – for presentation purposes to garnish but delicious too)

7. Simmer for 40 – 50 minutes.

8. Bring to medium heat and add fish (about 3 fish fillets depending on size, each fillet sliced into 3). Will take about 5 to 10 minutes to cook. Test occasionally with fork. Instead of using just fish, you could include prawns, baby octopus etc to create a seafood curry (as per the photo below)

Ready to eat?
Ready to eat?

9. Remove lemon grass before serving. If sauce is too spicy for younger children, remove children’s portion of fish and, in a bowl, rinse a couple of times in boiling water from kettle.


And, of course, stay healthy!

BTW I had an article in The Star on merdeka day. It’s called A HISTORY THAT BELONGS TO ALL.

History of Malaysia: A Children’s Encyclopedia is also now available on Amazon!