Gulai Paku (Pakis) – Minang Fiddleheads Curry

Edible fiddleheads are only available during late May to early June in Manitoba, Canada. It means I only eat once a year since I moved to this country.

Since my father was a part of Sumatrans, our family used to have edible fidleheads for gulai paku (known as pakis). The most different that I noticed between edible fiddleheads in Indonesia and Canada was the size. Canada’s fiddleheads are bigger than Indonesian’s.

Gulai paku is a Minangese (Western Sumatran) dish that often includes turmeric leaves and asam kandis. I have used kokam for substituting asam kandis due to the limitation resource.

Gulai Paku
source: the internet, modified by me

Ingredients:
300 g edible fiddleheads, rinse off
500 mL thin coconut milk
100 g tiny silver anchovies (I used silver anchovies)
1 lemongrass, take the white part and bruised
1 cm length galangal
2 pieces asam kandis (I used kokam)
15 ruku-ruku leaves or can be substituted for lemon basil (I didn’t add any)
1 turmeric leaf
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 Indonesian bay leaves

Blend the spices into a paste:
red chilies, as desired (I used a mix between green chilies and red chilied powder)
7 shallots
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp coconut milk
1 cm length turmeric
1 cm length ginger
1/2 tsp dried shrimp paste, roasted (most recipes don’t add this)
salt as desired

Directions:
1. Transfer the spiced paste into a saucepan, simmer and stiring often about 6 – 8 minutes.
2. Add thick coconut milk, asam kandis, lemon grass, galangal and all the leaves. Bring to almost a boil, then simmer for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add fiddleheads and continue to simmer until the fiddleheads are almost cooked, then add silver anchovies and continue simmering until cooked

Note:
In this case, I made the fiddleheads were still crunchy.

About the Author

An Indonesian born who lives in Winnipeg, Canada for more than a decade and decided to move a bit west. Edmonton is now where she is based on. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.