Spicy Tamarind Stewed Fish & Okra


This healthy fish curry recipe showcases the complex flavors of Singapore. Soak up the sauce with rice noodles or brown rice. For eco-friendly fish choices, visit seafoodwatch.org.

Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
4 servings


  • 2 cups water

  • 1 ½ tablespoons tamarind paste or concentrate (see Tip)

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil

  • ¾ cup sliced shallots

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 8 ounces fresh okra (about 4 cups), trimmed

  • 1-2 serrano chiles, stemmed and halved lengthwise

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

  • 1 ¼ pounds cod or mackerel, cut into 4 portions


  1. Combine water and tamarind in a small bowl.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger and mustard seeds; cook, stirring often, until the shallots have softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chili powder, coriander, cumin and turmeric; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tamarind mixture, okra, chiles, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the okra is tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Add fish, submerging the pieces in the liquid as much as possible. Return to a simmer. Cover and cook until the fish is opaque in the center, 3 to 5 minutes.


Sticky, sour tamarind paste, or concentrate, is made from the pulp of seedy tamarind tree pods. It's one of the main ingredients in Worcestershire sauce and a key flavor in many Southeast Asian curries as well as Pad Thai. Typically sold in a jar, it keeps indefinitely in your fridge. If you can only find the type sold in blocks, for this recipe “massage” it into the water in Step 1, then strain it before adding it to the pan.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

240 Calories
8g Fat
21g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 4 oz. fish & 1 1/4 cups vegetables
Calories 240
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 5g
Added Sugars 1g 2%
Protein 22g 44%
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 56mg 19%
Vitamin A 1901IU 38%
Vitamin C 26mg 28%
Folate 63mcg 16%
Sodium 581mg 25%
Calcium 108mg 8%
Iron 3mg 14%
Magnesium 78mg 19%
Potassium 789mg 17%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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