Fried fish stuffed with sambal (rempah fish) recipe


  • 2 hardtail mackerel (ikan cincaru, Megalaspic cordyla)
  • Spice paste
    • 3 fresh red chilies
    • 5 dried chilies
    • 10-12 shallots
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 tbsp belacan
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tbsp tamarind (asam jawa, Tamarindus indica) pulp, soaked in 1/4 cup water, extract the juice and discard the pulps
    • Limau kasturi (Key lime, Citrus aurantifolia) leaves, cut to small strips
    • 1/4 cup oil


  1. Clean and rinse fish with water. With a sharp knife, cut a deep slit from the back of the fish along the bone. Repeat on the other side of fish.
  2. Blend or pound spice paste ingredients to make paste
  3. Heat wok with 3 tbsp oil, add the spice paste and stir fry with low heat until aromatic.
  4. Add tamarind juice and continue to stir-fry until paste is smooth and somewhat moist, but not overly runny. Season to taste with salt and sugar.
  5. Dish out and let cool.
  6. Stuff the paste into the fish via the slits and inside fish stomach
  7. Heat up 1/4 cup oil in wok
  8. Deep fry fish until cooked.

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