#MalaysianRecipes: Asam Pedas Cik Salma by Siti Li Food Studio

#MalaysianRecipes: Asam Pedas Cik Salma by Siti Li Food Studio

A classic Malay dish

Text: Rachel Au

An abundance of tastes that takes only a few steps to make. Shareen Ramli, the co-owner of Kita Kita’s Siti Li Food Studio, shares a simple asam pedas recipe you’ll love

As Malaysians, we are truly blessed to come from a melting pot culture since the beginning and so when it comes to food, no one here can truly answer the question, "If you can only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?" (We forced FashionValet co-founder Vivy Yusof to answer this though.) We know one of ours would be asam pedas. That and rice, and our meal is complete. 


We asked Shareen Ramli, the co-owner of Siti Li Food Studio at Kita Kita for an easy recipe to help satisfy our cravings. Kita Kita is a lifestyle store that carries a curated selection of home and decor products and gifts that are inspired by local handicrafts ranging from batik to songket to pua kumbu to Nyonya Kebaya chinaware. Siti Li Food Studio, is an extension of the store, that serves local delights, both sweet and savoury, that tastes as good as it looks. For a start, why not try out their Asam Pedas Cik Salma recipe before paying them a visit?



600g white fish (preferably, red snapper)

25 dried chillies (cut and with seeds)

10 fresh chillies

2 red onions

2 garlic

3cm fresh ginger

10cm fresh turmeric 

3cm shrimp paste

2 stalks of lemongrass

3 kaffir lime leaves 

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

750ml water

200ml coconut water

5 tbsp thick tamarind juice

2 tamarind peels

8 ladies' fingers

1 long brinjal

2 tomatoes (cut into wedges)



1. Soak the seeded dried chillies in boiling water for 10 minutes.


2. Blend the dried and fresh chillies, red onions, garlic, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric and shrimp paste together. Then, crush the lemongrass with a pestle and mortar.


3. Heat oil over medium heat, and add the crushed lemongrass and blended ingredients.


4. Leave it for about 5 minutes and add sugar. Keep stirring until the mixture is caramelised (about 10 minutes).


5. Add water to the caramelised mix. Once it's boiling, add the fish, brinjal and ladies' fingers. Finally, add in the tamarind juice and tamarind peel. Leave to boil for another 3 minutes.


6. Serve with roti canai or white rice.


Siti Li Food Studio/Kita Kita is located at G 1.10, 1 Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur. Find them on Facebook.


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