Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ikan Masak Chili Belacan (Fish in Chili & Shrimp Paste)

Yes. It is so true. We eat chillies like nobody's business. Lotsa and lotsa, I suppose that's how it is with most Malaysians (spicy tuna potato, nyonya assam laksa, ikan masak kicap & ikan masin nenas). No chilli, no life they say, how can I not agree? The other favourite ingredient for our Malaysian sambal/chilli dishes has to be belacan, it must begin with sambal belacan. Not everyone's cup of thick black kow-kow coffee though, especially the smelly smell of belacan (shrimp paste/sambal belacan prawns) but Malaysians like me (Malaysian fried mee hoon, sambal tempeh ikan bilis, ayam masak masam manis & coriander chilli fish) I tell you, we just have a strong love connection for belacan (belacan fish sambal). Belacan is such a great catcha for most of our spicy dishes (belacan fried rice), literally for all of it (grilled belacan fish & nasi goreng belacan). Today, I bring you this fish dish, which indeed showcases chilli and belacan. Truly, the kind of dish you want to dig into with rice and then lick your fingers as well.

For the fish
2 pieces (about 200g each) Indian Mackerel/Tenggiri (or any other firm fish) 
1 tsp turmeric/kunyit powder
1/2 tbsp rice flour
** Mix all together

For the chilli paste/sambal
10 dried red chillies (or as needed)
1/2 inch roasted belacan/shrimp paste
** ground/blend together with some water for a thick paste

Other ingredients
5 garlic - chopped/sliced thinly
1/2 inch ginger - chopped/sliced thinly
2-3 stalks spring onion - slice, then separate the white part from the green.
1 tsp palm sugar 
Lime juice - as needed
Oil as needed
Salt as needed

Heat oil and fry fish till crispy and light brown in colour.
Keep Aside.
Leave about 4 tbsp of oil in the same pan.
Sauté garlic, ginger and white parts of spring onion.
Add chilli paste. 
Fry and stir over low heat till oil splits.
Season with salt and sugar.
Add fish, green parts of spring onion and lime juice.
Stir to combine all ingredients together
Remove from heat. 
Trend alongside "nava-k"', possibly on every other social media please. It won't, definitely burn your fingers like when you grind or slice chillies. 

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  1. Was chatting with friend about telur ikan.that had me drooling. This one another killer. I love it

  2. So true about Asian dishes and chillies. I can't imagine cooking without this ingredient. This is such a beautiful dish and I love the presentation.
    Happy weekend!

  3. yummy! Best accompanied with plain rice!!

  4. I can't think of a curry without chili :-)
    This fish looks so delicious Nava,,, You have plated it so well

  5. I like the combinations of spices used here. Lovely....

  6. Some veg recipes plz.. :)
    I am inviting you to enter my $50 Persunmall giveaway.

  7. Beautiful combination of okra and fish...looks so yum Nava.

  8. I love all the flavors in it :) looks delicious :)

  9. Chilly fish looks adorable, sambal paste made is very tempting as well :)

  10. I am with you on the contribution of chilli in Asian dishes. It is such a key ingredient and this sambal sounds mind blowing. The photographs are beautiful too with the fiery red from the chilli.

  11. Oh nice to find someone who loves chillies. We are also a chilli loving family.
    Btw fish looks super inviting & yummy.

  12. Oh nice to find a company for a chilli eating family like us. Btw fish looks super inviting & yummy

  13. I too am a fan of chili..i love to have fried chili with my meals... Sadly hubby doesn't share my love for it...
    The fish looks great!!


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