fish with chili

Another fish dish using round scad. As I mentioned before, round scad is very cheap and readily available in any wet market. A good source of protein in affordable price. Very important variables in grocery shopping bible these days huh. I am very fond of them – except one minor drawback, that they always need to be deep-fried. It also has very interesting texture when deep fried – the meat is a bit tough and chewy, but nobody ever seem to mind.

My mother loves to deep-fry them till the skin is crunchy, and then prepares the chili paste separately. When ready, the fish is then tossed in to the wok with paste and mixed well.

The crunchiness of the fish and the tanginess of the chili paste are great combination. As usual, the only missing element is the warm steamed rice.

The base chili paste (sambal goreng in local dialect) with stinky beans can be used with any kind of dish. Chicken, squid, any type of seawater fish, even tofu for vegetarian style sambal goreng.



1/4 cup (30 gr) stinky beans (optional)
10 (50 gr) shallots
4 cloves (10 gr) garlic
80 gr Thai red chili, sliced thinly & diagonally
30 gr Thai red chili, for paste
0.5" fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon shaved palm sugar block (or brown sugar)
6 (650 gr) fresh round scad (or any seawater fish)
1 (130 gr) whole tomato, quartered
1 tablespoon dark sweet soy sauce (Indonesian brand such as Kecap Bango or ABC Kecap Kental Manis)
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 cups cooking oil for deep frying fish
3 tablespoons extra cooking oil for stir-frying chili paste
1/3 cup water


Wash fish, remove the innards and pat completely dry
Heat cooking oil in wok over high heat. Deep fry fish for 3 - 5 minutes. If the fish are dried properly, the cooking time is considerably reduced. When the skin turned dry and crisp, remove and set aside
Combine chili, garlic, shallots and ginger in a mortar or bowl of spice grinder. Grind for 5 seconds if using electric grinder till reaches coarse paste.
In a wok, heat extra cooking oil over high heat. Stir fry the paste and stinky beans for 3 minutes. Add salt, sliced chili, water, tomatoes, sugar and soy sauce. Mix well
Toss in the fish. Cook for another 3 minutes
Serve warm with rice

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5 Responses to “Fish with Chili – Sambal Goreng Ikan”

  1. 1

    Pepy — January 23, 2009 @ 4:13 pm

    Ahh this one is my quick type of cooking when I don’t feel to eat anything. All I think is how to make easy and faster, but still Indonesian food.

    3 days ago, I made lontong sayur, with bamboo shoot, tempe, tofu and petai (stinky beans). My husband thought it was grape. Nope, it is petai and he likes it :) )

    Pepy’s last blog post..Gado-Gado Surabaya – Guest Blogging at Rasa Malaysia

  2. 2

    tigerfish — January 24, 2009 @ 12:28 am

    This looks too good and spicy! Perfect!

    tigerfish’s last blog post..Chinese New Year – what it means to you ?

  3. 3

    Joan Nova — January 26, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

    This looks delicious and such a colorful presentation!

  4. 4

    Farina — January 30, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

    I miss eating petai. I cant wait to go back so I can eat them. lol.

    Farina’s last blog post..Superbowl Menu

  5. 5

    Ang — July 6, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

    oh my god…
    i can feel the taste in my mouth. miss all the food. it is a frtune to find your site

    love from nz

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