Salted Fish Head and Pork Curry

Chocolate Cupcakes
January 16, 2007
Salted Mustard Cabbage Duck Soup (Kiam Chai Ark)
January 25, 2007

Penang wet markets are just the next wonderful place to explore for those who love to cook. I never actually enjoy my trips there when I was young. It was just a Saturday morning chore to visit the wet market with my parents.

Not till I am here in Kuala Lumpur, that I actually, actually miss these places. So many things to see and unique types of food to buy. Seeing all these uncommon ingredients just triggers the timer in me to start exploring the depths of traditional Penang Nyonya cooking.

Only in these wet markets, I can find lovely fresh salted fish head pieces. Thank God for friends who still travel frequently back to Penang to buy me this stuff thus enabling me to cook this dish for you today. Thank you! thank you! thank you! you know who you are.



6 – 8 pieces salted fish head (pre-soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, drained and deep fried, drained)
700gm pork neck (cut into bite-size pieces)

Curry Paste

2 inches old ginger
5 clove garlic
10 dried red chilies (pre-soaked in hot water)
5 large fresh red chilies
5 small bird-eye chilies
2 Tbsp chili paste (optional)
1 tsp sugar


  1. Reserve some oil from the earlier deep fried salted fish head plus drizzle some fresh oil in the wok.
  2. Blend all curry paste ingredients together and scrape into the heated wok. Saute the paste until fragrant, then add sugar.
  3. Put in the pre-fried salted fish head pieces and stir some more, adding a little hot water and bring to a simmer.
  4. Simmer the salted fish head pieces for approximately 15 – 20 minutes on low heat. Take extra care to avoid wet paste from burning. Stir it from time to time. Add a little water if gravy is too thick.
  5. Pour in the sliced pork neck and continue to stir while it simmers. Do this for about another 40 minutes or until pork is tender. If not salty, add some sea salt. (usually no need)
  6. This curry is semi-dry with a little gravy and lots of curry oil. Serve with cold cucumber slices would be a refreshing option.

If stored for later consumption, cool and put in a sterilised jar with lid. Can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks and excellent as an appetizer. Make sure to use a sterilised spoon to dig it out if consumed a little at a time. As for me, it will hardly lasts 1 week.


  1. Audrey Cooks says:

    ToniXe and Rasa Malaysia! U guys must really try this, it’s my favourite. After a week of fish diet, I really enjoyed my dinner tonite! Thanks for the challenge, my tastebuds needed it!

  2. Wow, this is almost like gulai kiam hu kut, but with pork. I miss my aunt’s gulai kiam hu kut.

  3. toniXe says:

    Indeed, I have tried this fabulous authentic PG dish. Great.

    waiting 4 nex one !

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