Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grilled Belacan (Shrimp Paste) Lemon Grass Fish

I admit that belacan/shrimp paste and lemongrass are two of my favorite ingredients, widely incorporated in most savory dishes. Belacan, made with fermented shrimp and salt can vary in smell, texture and saltiness but definitely, is distinctive with its pungent aroma, whereas, lemon grass, smells so heavenly. When both are combined with chillies for a spicy paste, stuffed into fish and grilled - its absolutely delicious, different texture that starts off crispy on top, then finishes off with soft and fresh meat.

2 (abt 300g) Cencaru/Torpedo Scad Fish -de-gut, keep the hard skin on top and and make incisions on both edges.
1 tsp turmeric/kunyit powder
Banana leaves - 2 or 3 large pieces. 
Lemon/lime wedge

For Stuffing/Sambal
1 tbsp dried chilli paste
3 shallots - sliced thinly
1 lemon grass - shredded
1/2 tsp belacan/shrimp powder
1 sprig coriander leaf - shredded
2 tbsp oil
Salt for taste (use sparingly)

Rub turmeric and salt all over the fish and keep aside.
Into  heated oil, saute shallots and lemon grass. 
Add belacan powder, coriander leaf.
Season with salt.
Cook for a thick spicy paste.
Remove and let it cool down.
Suff  fish with it; in between the incisions.
Lay banana leaves on a baking tray and put fish on top.
Gently wrap (not so tightly)
Grill at 175C for about 50 mins.
(Note; turn to cook on both sides)
Serve with lemon/lime wedges.
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  1. OMG looks so delicious! I want some with hot piping rice now!!

  2. I love grilled fish, but I would prefer string ray. More flesh, no bones :P

  3. never tried shrimp powder. does it taste like shrimp??
    . this sounds fantastic.. I'll have to try it

    Thank you

  4. i love shrimp paste...the stink shrimp.. :)

  5. Hilda, ya, think you can try with string ray but wonders how to stuff the fish unless you wrap the fish with the sambal over the banana leaf.

    Jim - belacan does not taste like shrimp, its very strong in smell and either you like it or not.

    Queerpinkfish & Sharlot - thanks for your comments.

  6. Shirley - hope you try and your feedback will be appreciated.


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