Indonesia Eats

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.

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20 thoughts on “Gulai Paku (Pakis) – Minang Fiddleheads Curry”

  1. Fearless Kitchen

    Wow! We've just started to find fiddleheads in the market here and I've been going insane trying to figure out what to do with them. This looks delicious!

  2. Fearless Kitchen

    Wow! We’ve just started to find fiddleheads in the market here and I’ve been going insane trying to figure out what to do with them. This looks delicious!

  3. This is the first time I heard of Fiddleheads. The sauce looks so lovely… it's making me so hungry 😛

  4. This is the first time I heard of Fiddleheads. The sauce looks so lovely… it’s making me so hungry 😛

  5. banana blossom

    Hi Pepy,I love pakis very much. The last time I visited my aunt and Uncle di Sibolga, Sumatra, she cooked pakis for me at my request! Another vegetable I miss terribly is daun ubi kayu. Love your blog. Love everything you cooked!

  6. banana blossom

    Hi Pepy,

    I love pakis very much. The last time I visited my aunt and Uncle di Sibolga, Sumatra, she cooked pakis for me at my request! Another vegetable I miss terribly is daun ubi kayu. Love your blog. Love everything you cooked!

  7. I have not tried fiddleheads before! Somehow, they look similar to a special fern (forgotten the name!) in New Zealand.

  8. I have not tried fiddleheads before! Somehow, they look similar to a special fern (forgotten the name!) in New Zealand.

  9. I am totally excited to find your blog. I lived for 2 years in Jakarta Seletan and developed quite a taste for Indonesia food. I have been trying with out success to recreate those flavors. I am looking forward to trying out some of you recipes.

  10. I am totally excited to find your blog. I lived for 2 years in Jakarta Seletan and developed quite a taste for Indonesia food. I have been trying with out success to recreate those flavors. I am looking forward to trying out some of you recipes.

  11. unfortunately as a Minang/Sumatran Prince, this recipe is very Javanese not even close to Our Real Minang “Gulai Paku”, real Gulai Paku is Vegan.
    Yes, I live around the world alone on my own since child.

    1. Indonesia Eats

      Could you please provide me with real one as this was adapted from the internet? Thanks Just for your information neither is Javanese one since Javanese won’t use any asam kandis.

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