Recipe: Ikan Bakar

Recipe: Ikan Bakar

Image Credit to: Foodizz.id

Recipe: Ikan Bakar

‘Burned fish’ is the literal translation of ‘ikan bakar.’ It is a well-known option during lunch and dinner in Malaysia. However to be more precise, ikan bakar is technically grilled fish that is popular not just in Malaysia, but in Indonesia as well. Since Malaysia is surrounded by the notable South China Sea, there is an abundance of freshwater fish and seafood in our cuisine. 

The fish is marinated with spice paste that has a sweet and sour taste before the grilling process begins. The fish is usually wrapped in a banana leaf to give it a fragrant smell and  to prevent the fish from being burnt or overcooked. Different regions have their version of paste that suits the locals. Besides a variety of marinades, different types of fish are also used for the dish. Generally, all kinds of fish can be grilled. Still, the common ones in Malaysia are stingrays, pomfret (ikan bawal) and mackerels. The cooking method is not only limited to fishes but other seafood such as shrimp and squid.

Ikan bakar can be found in restaurants that would openly grill the fish to order for the customers to enjoy the smell and freshness of the seafood. This dish is popular during the fasting month of Ramadhan as the locals love to eat ikan bakar to break fast.

Ikan bakar is usually served with a side of sambal belacan (chilli with shrimp paste) or air asam (lime water with chilli) as a dipping sauce and can be enjoyed with steamed rice. But on its own, the ikan bakar tastes just as nice. Below is the recipe to make your very own ikan bakar!


  • 3 yellowtail scad fish (ikan selar)
  • Cooking oil
  • Banana leaf


  • 5 bird’s eye chillies (cili padi)
  • 1 stick  of lemongrass
  • 2 cloves of red onion
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp of salt


  1. Blend the marinade ingredients into a chilli paste.
  2. Thoroughly clean and wash the fish.
  3. Make slits along the body of the fish.
  4. Generously lather the fish with the paste and wrap it with the banana leaf.
  5. Let it marinate for 20 minutes.
  6. Brush some cooking oil onto the marinated fish.
  7. Place it on the grill. Grill until the fish is cooked and the oil drips from the banana leaf.
  8. Remove from fire; ready to be served and enjoy!
*You can use any other types of fish or even prawn and squid depending on preference.
*If banana leaves are hard to come by, you can grill fish by itself.

Article Written By Mico Hu

Mico is a professional creative writer in Foodpanda. She writes about travel, fashion, and food. Also, she enjoy travelling to new places and also eating delicious food.

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