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Traditional Indonesian grilled fish with sambal

This classic grilled fish with sambal translates to ikan bakar meaning ‘burned fish’ in Indonesian, and makes the perfect summer braai favourite!

SERVES 4 // COOKING TIME 1 hour 10 min

For the sambal
1 tbsp fish sauce
4 chillies, sliced
1½ tsp sugar
Juice of 1 lime
For the fish
4 red chillies, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
½ tsp salt
6 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 tsp sugar
Juice of 2 limes
½ tsp turmeric
2 medium-sized fish of your choice

For the sambal
1. Combine all the ingredients and season with salt to taste. Set aside until ready to serve.
For the grilled fish
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
2. To make the marinade, add the chillies, onions, lemongrass and salt to a food processor. Pulse in your food processor until finely chopped.
3. Add this mixture, along with the oil, to a pan over medium heat. Fry until fragrant. Add the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and turmeric and cook for another 2 minutes.
4. Lay the fish out on the prepared trays and spread with the marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Bake for 10–15 minutes, or until cooked through, and serve immediately with the sambal.

Recipe & styling: Kate Turner
Photography: Sean Dollery //

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