Ingredients

  • Serves 6 people
  • 1 kg red snapper (scaled and cleaned)

  • 2 large banana leaves 

  • 5 stalks lemongrass

  • 15 g ginger (peeled)

  • 15 g galangal (peeled)

  • 8 shallots

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 4 large red chilies (stalks removed)

  • 4 bird’s eye chilies

  • 10 bay leaves

  • 10 kaffir lime leaves

  • 6 candlenuts

  • 2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 2 tsp ground coriander

  • 2 tbsp gula melaka (chopped)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ cup water

  • ½ lime or lemon (cut into wedges)

  • vegetable oil

Ikan Pepes
Recipe Courtesy of
Asian Food Network

Ikan Pepes

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Impress your guests with this intricate Ikan Pepes - a dish filled with tender fish meat wrapped in banana leaves and smothered in spice. Fresh banana leaves always add that subtle touch of fragrance to any dish, and its beautiful aroma opens up even more in the grill or in this case, in the oven! Slow cooking this wrapped fish in the oven is an easier way to get a thoroughly cooked fish. The banana leaves serve both to protect the fish from excessive charring while at the same time infusing it with flavors and fragrance that we all love.
  • Medium
  • 15 min
  • 45 min
  • 15 min
  • 4 steps
  • 19 Ingredients
  • Medium
  • 4 steps
  • 19 Ingredients
  • 15 min
  • 45 min
  • 15 min

Instructions

  1. Blend and fry spice paste

    • Preheat the oven to 220°C on fan mode.
    • In a blender, blend 2 stalks lemongrass, ginger, galangal, turmeric powder, shallots, 5 bay leaves, 5 kaffir lime leaves, garlic, large red chilies, bird’s eye chilies, ground coriander, candlenuts and ½ cup water until smooth.
    • In a pan on medium heat, heat up 4 Tbsp vegetable oil and fry spice paste for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and oil separates from paste.
    • Once oil separates from spice paste, add in gula melaka, 1 tsp salt and mix well for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
    Blend and fry spice paste


  2. Prepare banana leaves

    • Place 2 banana leaves in the oven for around 30 seconds to 1 minute, just to soften them and evaporate some of the moisture within. They should shrivel up slightly around the edges. Remove from oven and place banana leaves on baking tray overlapping each other.
    Prepare banana leaves


  3. Marinate and stuff fish

    • Using a sharp knife, cut 4 slashes on each side of the fish. Cut about halfway into the flesh. 
    • Place fish on the banana leaves and spread spice paste evenly all over the fish on both sides, making sure to get it into the cuts as well as side the fish. 
    • Stuff the inside of fish with 5 bay leaves, 5 kaffir lime leaves and 3 bruised lemongrass stalks.
    Marinate and stuff fish


  4. Wrap and bake fish

    • Place the fish in the centre of the banana leaves. Fold the edge closest to you over the fish, followed by the opposite end.
    • Secure the package with toothpicks or skewers. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the oven, until cooked through.
    Wrap and bake fish


Plate and Serve!

Place wrapped fish on serving plate and unwrap the banana leaves. Serve hot with lime or lemon wedges on the side.

Plate and Serve!

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    Ingredients
    • Serves 6 people
    • 1 kg red snapper (scaled and cleaned)

    • 2 large banana leaves 

    • 5 stalks lemongrass

    • 15 g ginger (peeled)

    • 15 g galangal (peeled)

    • 8 shallots

    • 6 cloves garlic

    • 4 large red chilies (stalks removed)

    • 4 bird’s eye chilies

    • 10 bay leaves

    • 10 kaffir lime leaves

    • 6 candlenuts

    • 2 tsp turmeric powder

    • 2 tsp ground coriander

    • 2 tbsp gula melaka (chopped)

    • 1 tsp salt

    • ½ cup water

    • ½ lime or lemon (cut into wedges)

    • vegetable oil

    Nutrition
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