Meditations

Ikan Bakar (BBQ Fish)


INGREDIENTS :
4 small or 2 medium-sized Mackerels – kept whole and cleaned
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp sugar
juice of 1 lemon
salt
3-4 fresh limau kasturi (kalamansi limes), cut into halves (Substitute: kaffir lime cut into small wedges)

(The following items to be ground or blended):
2 med onions
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp belacan, also spelt belachan or blacan (dried shrimp paste)
2 tbsp or to taste, chili paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 large slices fresh ginger, sliced across the grain


To Prepare :
Rub cleaned whole mackerels with lemon juice and salt, set aside 10 mins

1. Using a mortar & pestle or blender, grind onions, garlic, belacan, chili paste, and ginger into a fine paste.
2. Add coconut milk, turmeric powder, sugar and salt to taste to the paste, mix well.
3. In a shallow dish, marinate mackerels in this paste 45 mins- 1 hr (in fridge).
4. Remove mackerels from the marinade.
5. In a small saucepan, add marinade, bring to a rapid boil 1 min, lower heat, simmer till thicken, to use for basting.
6. Grill mackerels on a hot charcoal bbq grill or indoor grill or stovetop grill pan. Baste mackerels often with the marinade sauce, do the same for the other side, turning the fish over once.
7. Total cooking time varies between 10 to 25 mins, depending on the size and thickness of the fish (and the heat of your grill), use a fork on the thickest part to check, fish is done when it flakes easily – do not overcook fish!
8. Squeeze fresh limes on fish just before serving and ENJOY!

Cook’s Note : In Malaysia, small-sized Chubb Mackerel (Ikan Kembong), Spanish Mackerel (Ikan Tenggiri) and Wolf Herring (Ikan Parang) are popular fish for grilling. Stingray or Skate Wings (Ikan Pari) is also popular, especially at local grilled fish joints. Use your favorite fish – Red Snapper, Grouper, Blue fish, Tilapia, Shad. For large-sized fish, cut 2-3 slits on each side of the fish, to facilitate even cooking when grilling. Fish steaks such as Chilean Sea Bass, Salmon and Cod can also be used in this recipe.

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