taken from Zakiah Hanum's "Family Delights of the North"
600g rice noodle
600g spanish mackerel
3 pcs assam gelugor
6 cups water
1 cup coconut cream
1 cup water
6 dried chillies
4 fresh red chillies
4 cloves garlic
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 small knob galangal
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp shrimp paste
4 tbsp oil
tamarind paste, to taste
salt and sugar, to taste
1 cucumber (julienned)
1 bunch mint leaves (use only the leaves)
1 onion (sliced thinly)
1 red chili/3-4 bird’s eye chilies (cut into small slices)
1 small pineapple (cut into short strips)
Scald rice noodle in boiling water. Drain and put aside.
Clean the fish, remove scales and guts. In a pot, bring water to boil. Add in the fish and boil for about 10 minutes. Transfer the cooked fish out into a bowl and let cool. Strain the fish stock, then add in the peeled tamarind, and salt and continue to boil in low heat.
Pick the flesh out of all the fish and discard the bones. Break the fish meat into tiny pieces and put the fish back into the stock, cover the lid, and simmer gently.
In a food processor, blitz together chillies, shallots, garlic, galangal and turmeric.
Add the processed ingredients into the simmering fish stock. Add in the shrimp paste and half of the coconut cream, lime leaves and lemongrass and salt and sugar to taste. Let it simmer gently for a further 30 minutes.
Note: Due to unavailability of shrimp paste, I substituted it with fish sauce (nam pla) instead.