This was interesting but there are several problems: It's a big faff to get the fish and such, and the flavour's not strong enough. So let's distill a paste that I call 'pangek paste'. Apparently pangek refers to thickening the spice mixture before adding the main ingredient; we do it for roughly 10 minutes here, but I suppose the longer, the more pangek!

I speculate that where Indo food uses 'asam kandis', or the Garcinia fruit, Owen is substituting tamarind, which is much easier to get in the UK (although still quite niche).

Lime should be added to the fish to enhance the bland flavour of the trout.

I suppose this would be more of a 'Minang paste':

  • 6 candlenuts
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 red chillies
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp chopped galangal
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 tbsp tamarind water
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk

You can store this in a jar for n days, certainly not indefinitely. How much does this work for? Well, according to the recipe this suits a huge 800ml of coconut milk + easily 1kg of main ingredient. I'd say this is wrong, because the flavour was insufficient. Use 500g of main ingredient and 400g of coconut mlk for this.

You can add lemongrass paste to this, then you no longer need the lemongrass stalks.

It'd be interesting, although possibly somewhat wrong, to combine this with the BIR base. You'd be adding a flavour of browned onions, but potentially not that much. The other thing is that the flavour relies on being 'cooked down'. So perhaps what you'd want to do is to use 800ml of coconut milk but actually cook it down into a thick paste, although reducing the volume by half would seem like quite an ask: then you could even add pre-cooked chicken, or finish in the oven in a covered vessel.

Ah, the mighty Pangek Ikan. Since this initial post, I've had the chance to actually make this sauce, which is rather an eye opener. It produces a lovely coconut sauce which is really a SNACK food; it's not a meal, you don't eat it with rice. Not only that, you don't need to use all of the 'juice' when you eat it. Just leave the contents relatively whole, which is easier to do if you use chicken (although the sauce works marginally better with fish, but keeping fish whole is very difficult.) Then you can reuse the sauce for days and days with every new 'main ingredient'. If you use this paste that I've provided here you can get a huge amount of time from this.