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Turmeric Grilled Fish - Fishy fishy #1

Monday, September 17, 2012

 The first time I had grilled fish this way, was during Kem Bina Insan Guru, of which every trainee teacher has to attend, it's supposed to build 'soul' (character, hahaha). Each  team had to cook their own meals daily. The menu is fixed and ingredients given fresh everyday.

One day, we were given some small fishes and the menu for that meal is Ikan bakar (grilled fish) and from there, I witnessed how my team mates went around plucking banana leaves, smothering the fish with salt and turmeric and then.. grilled them in the wok! Malay home style grilled fish. It was delish!

I had been wanting to replicate this for quite a long time and on one lucky evening at the night market, I happened to purchase some big and cheap calamansi and a few weird looking fishes, and at the same time was given some banana leaves by a relative. It was that spur of the moment that eh, I seem to have everything on hand! Perfecto!

Here's what I did.

 Cut some slits on the fish's body. Rub some salt and turmeric powder onto fish, into the tummy cavity, into the slit and everywhere. Wrap with banana leaf.

Put some oil into wok, use high heat to heat up and put in the wrapped fishes. Put the lid on and let it cook on med heat. After 2 minutes, remove lid and flip the fishes. Cook until you can see the fishes have turned slightly golden and the leaves are brown, almost charred.

Serve with sambal kicap.

To make sambal kicap, chop some shallots and bird's eye chilli. Mix with kicap manis (I used ABC brand) and then squeeze some calamansi juice over. There's no exact recipe, it's up to your preference.

The fish tasted like fish, haha. I could taste the fish you see, not that it tasted like chicken. The common local hawker style grilled fish is spicy and flooded with gravy. I taste the chilli more than the fish at times. But no, not this simple method. The banana leaf wrapping give the fish a smoky flavour, and the turmeric helps reduce the fishiness. Turmeric is good for you, so slather them on!

16 lovely notes:

Alice September 17, 2012 at 11:19 AM  

all time favorite! yum! i never try this method, wrapping the fish with banana leaves, it only makes the fish even better, i believe :)

Phong Hong September 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM  

This is such a good idea. I learn something new today-grilling in the wok! Yah, next time if I can get banana leaves, will sure try this.

Jess @ Bakericious September 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM  

Wendy, this dish sound and looks delicious, and seem easy to prepare too, may be I should give it a try.

Anonymous,  September 17, 2012 at 5:34 PM  

Hi Wendy, Your grilled fish looks so so yummy! May I know what fish is that? Sorry, I'm very bad at identifying fish.:) cupcake

Jes's Deli Corner September 17, 2012 at 11:12 PM  

I like grill fish..learn something new from u today..MUST try recipe..tq

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more September 18, 2012 at 1:05 AM  

Those hawkers do wrap with banana leaves too right? Here they do.

Phong Hong,
Easy and delish! I hope u like it

Easy, but must watch the fish properly, undercook or overcook also not nice lor

frankly, I had no idea what those fishes are, that's why I said they looked weird, I have never seen these around. LOL.

Jes Deli,
Easy to cook lor, sekejap sahaja!

Echo's Kitchen -- A Taste of Memories September 18, 2012 at 1:08 AM  

I am really envy with that fresh banana leaves!!!

Too Mai Lin,  September 18, 2012 at 11:36 AM  

Brilliant idea to grill this in the wo ! Simple and easy recipe ! Thanks a million ..

Peng September 18, 2012 at 3:51 PM  

Interesting method by grilling in wok!!

Quay Po Cooks September 18, 2012 at 4:46 PM  

I always like simple to do recipe. Got to go to get some fish.

Esther@thefussfreechef September 18, 2012 at 11:05 PM  

Never knew about using the wok to grill fish, this is grewt. Must try one day. Sounds like no oil splatter then? Love the kicap calamansi sauce!

ML,  September 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM  

Looks yummy!! Great idea to grill fish in the wok, sure will try this......

Heera September 23, 2012 at 3:04 AM  

darling.. this is same method we use at home n kerala india.... we some timescovered with shallots.... but process is same.... yummy........

lena September 25, 2012 at 9:14 AM  

jungle style grilled fish..good idea and less oil!

Suryaprabha September 27, 2012 at 6:45 PM  

Wow! That looks divine!! You got wonderful posts here! Loved your style of cooking and writing.. Glad to follow you. Do visit my blog in your spare time..


dianagale May 1, 2013 at 1:48 PM  

Love this!!! From the fish to the coconut leaves to the dipping sauce to the lime!!!!

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