Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ikan Bakar Daun Pisang (Grilled Fish in Banana Leaf)

This grilled fish is one of the many dishes that one could find in the local market or hawker centers in Malaysia. There are many ways to prepared it, it could be grilled or shallow fried on hot plate, and could be marinate with so many different combination of spices and sauces.

Grilled fish is often served with a kind of sweet and sourish dipping sauce called Air Assam. A combination of many different tastes that make one's palate dances, it is truly a classic of Malaysian cuisine.

400 gm of stingray (Ikan Pari)

For marinate:
1-2 tsp Sambal Tumis
1 tsp Meat Curry Powder (I used Babas brand)
1/2 tsp Fish Sauce or a pinch of salt (Adjust according to the saltiness of Sambal tumis)
2 tsp Cooking oil

2 pieces of banana leaves arouns 1 ft x 1/2 ft or substitute with parchment paper

Air Assam (Dipping Sauce):
1 tsp Tamarind Paste
2 tbsp water
2 Thai chili (minced)
1/4 red pepper (minced)
1-2 shallot thinly sliced(or substitute with chopped onion)
1/8 tsp toasted belachan and pounded
A pinch of salt
Sugar to taste (around 1 tsp) 

1. Mix 2 tsp of oil with 1 tsp of curry powder and microwave it for 45 sec, take it out and stir, microwave for another 30 seconds. ( This is to bring out the aroma of curry powder, do not over do it and burn the curry powder). Now add 1-2 tsp of Sambal Tumis paste and fish sauce/ salt. ( Taste to adjust saltiness).

2. Clean the stingray, dry with paper towel, and brush the spice mixture all over the fish, leave it aside to marinate for about 1 hour.

3. While the fish is marinating, make the Air Asam dipping sauce, mix together tamarind paste, water, toasted belachan, sugar and salt, make sure the sugar and salt are fully dissolved. Add sliced shallot and chili, mix well.

4. Place a piece of banana leaf onto a baking pan, spray or rub a thin layer of cooking oil over banana leaf. Place the marinated fish onto banana leaf, and cover with another banana leaf, broil at 500F for 10 minutes, remove the covered banana leaf, continue to broil for another 5 minutes or until the edge charred.

Note:You could also make this over grill or frying pan, just oiled the grill or pan and place banana leaf onto it, and cook as you would for any fish dishes.

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