Spiced Green Fish (Ikan Bakar)

September 10, 2020

This tasty twist on a Malay classic translates as 'burnt fish" but despite its namesake is a fabulously satisfying, spicy, crispy, tender  fish dish you will enjoy again and again.


Top Tips:
Flipping the fish: This can be a tricky business because the coating needs to stick on the fish along with the searing on it. If you ruin it (don't stress) just pat it back onto the fish it will still taste superb.

Instead of searing the fish: Wrap the fish in banana leaves and grill for 10-15 minutes (flip once midway) Or bake fish in the oven at 400 F for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.



4 fillets of white fish of choice like sea perch or mahi-mahi fillet

Spice Paste

1/4 cup plant based Nuttelex

10 shallots

2 lemongrass sticks (white parts only)

5 candlenuts

2 bunches cilantro / coriander (Wash well before using)

4 kafir lime leaves

4 garlic cloves

2 ginger

2 galangal

6 fresh red chillies (deseed half for moderately spicy or deseed more for mild)

6 fresh green chillies (deseed half for moderately spicy or deseed more for mild)

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 cup coconut oil

3 tbsp tamarind pulp

4 tbsp Fish Sauce

2 tsp salt - may need more salt or fish sauce

1 tbsp coconut sugar

banana leaves (large enough to cover the pan)

melted plant based Nuttelex to drizzle over the Banana leaves



cilantro (coriander)

red chillies sliced

Dipping Sauce

Sambal or Tamarind Chilli Sauce


1Place all the ingredients for the spice paste in a blender (except the Tamarind pulp) and blend until smooth.

2If too thick add a small amount of water to allow for a smooth paste.

3Melt the plant based Nuttelex in a frying pan over medium heat cook the spice paste for 10 minutes.

4Add 2 tablespoons water midway when the spice paste becomes too dry.

5Add the tamarind pulp and water, salt and sugar.

6Cook for another 5 minutes.

7Allow to cool down completely before using.

8Once cooled coat fish and marinate fish for 1 - 2 hours. Overnight is best.

9Heat a wide pan over medium high heat.

10Place a few layers of banana leaves on the pan.

11Drizzle some melted plant based Nuttelex coconut oil on the leaves.

12Once the pan is hot, sear the fish (along with the marinade) for 2-3 minutes.

13Use one hand to lift the edge of the banana leaf and the other hand holding a spatula supporting the fish so it doesn't slide down.

14Flip the fish by lifting and flipping the banana leaf (this is so the underside coating of the paste and the searing of the fish is untouched.

15Drizzle some more plant based Nuttelex and sear the second side for another 2-3 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish

16Again, use the banana leaf to lift and flip the fish onto the spatula.

17Place the fish on a plate.

18Garnish and serve immediately with dipping sauce and steamed rice.