Fish in Banana Leaves (Pepes Ikan)

    45 mins

    This is an easy fish recipe especially if you don't really know how to cook fish. For a special treat, buy some salmon fillet. The cooking methods are endless too--steam, bbq, bake or bbq!


    Central Region, Singapore
    9 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 3 shallots
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 5 candlenuts
    • 5 cm piece turmeric
    • 3 red chillies
    • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
    • 1 teaspoon tamarind soaked in 60ml water
    • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 to 3/4 kg whole fish like red snapper or tilapia, cleaned and gutted
    • banana leaves cut to a rectangle large enough to wrap the fish
    • Handful of lemon basil leaves (daun kemangi)

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, blend all the ingredients except the fish, banana leaves and lemon basil until a smooth paste forms.
    2. Make slits on both sides of the fish and spread evenly with the paste.
    3. Place the fish on the banana leaf and lay the lemon basil leaves on top. Fold into a parcel, securing the ends with toothpicks.
    4. Either steam the fish for about 30 minutes, or barbecue over charcoal for about 10 to 15 minutes on each side, until the leaf edges are getting charred. Slowly open the parcel to check--if the fish is opaque and the flesh flakes easily with a fork, it is cooked.


    You can also bake or broil the fish.

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