Arsik is basically a stewed fish dish that is spiced up with torch ginger (kecombrang).
Arsik is spiced up with torch ginger and andaliman (a family of Szechuan pepper) which is known as Batak Toba and Mandailing style one.
For your information, Batak is an ethnic group from North Sumatra province. This ethnic group is divided into some different sub-ethnic groups such as Karo, Mandailing, and Toba.
- 2 red carps about 600-800 grams each
Spices for a Paste:
- 15 shallots (or 8 shallots for a larger size)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 8 toasted candlenuts
- 15 red cayenne peppers
- 5-cm gingerroot, peeled
- 3-cm young galangal
- 10-cm white part of 10 lemongrasses
- 3-cm turmeric root, peeled
- 1 teaspoon ground toasted coriander
- 6 Indonesian bay leaves
- 4 turmeric leaves
- 3-cm old galangal, bruised
- 10 lemongrass, bruised (the white parts have been separated for making ground paste above)
- 3-5 torch ginger, bruised
- 20-25 pieces andaliman (can be substituted for Sichuan pepper), bruised
- 150 grams bawang Batak (lokio, Allium Chinense G.Don)
- 2 pieces asam kandis
- 2 medium tomatoes, grated
- sea salt as desired
- In a heavy dutch oven, stack a half part of bruised lemongrass, torch ginger, topped with a half part of Indonesian bay leaves and turmeric leaves.
- Fill 1/4 part of spice paste inside the fish belly. Rub 1/2 part of the spice surrounds the fish. Place fish on top of stacked spices inside the oven. Pour the remaining spice paste and sprinkle andaliman over. Throw asam kandis, the remaining Indonesian bay leaves, and turmeric leaves in. Add a small amount of water, just enough water. Don’t make the fish submerged.
- Cover with the lid and cook at low heat. About a half-done/cooked, place lokio and grated tomatoes over. Put the lid back.
- Cook until the water evaporates for about 1-2 hours. While it’s cooking, do not flip over the fish.
- Once it’s cooked, remove from the heat and enjoy!