Malaysian Cuisine - Seafood

Sambal Stuffed Fried Fish

July 19, 2017 | Recipe by Bake with Paws

It has been many years since I have had this fish. It was a dish that my late mother used to cook for us when we were kids and just cooking it brought back a lot of memories. I was telling my mother in-law about this fish and she managed to find some at the market. I was so excited to cook this delicious fish for the family.

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Recipe - Sambal Stuffed Fried Fish


2 hardtail mackerel (ikan cincaru)
Enough oil to fry fish

Sambal paste (ground):
4-5 fresh red chillies
5 dried red chillies
3 clove garlic
10 shallots
2 cm fresh turmeric
1 lemongrass
1 tsp belacan, optional (omitted here)

Seasoning ingredients:
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp sugar or to taste
15g tamarind pulp (dilute with 3 – 4 tbsp of water)

  1. Blend the sambal paste ingredients in a food processor until fine.
  2. Heat up oil in a wok. Add the sambal paste and sauté until fragrant then season to taste with salt, sugar and tamarind paste. Stir well and dish out. Keep aside.
  3. Clean the fish. Use the tip of a sharp knife to make a deep slide from the back of the fish to make a pocket to stuff the sambal paste. Repeat on another side of the fish.  Apply some salt on the fish.
  4. Stuff about one tablespoon of sambal paste in each side of the fish. Do not over stuff or it may leak out during frying.
  5. Heat enough oil in a wok to deep fry the fish till cooked and crispy. Remove fish from wok.
  6. Stuff the balance of cooked sambal paste into the fish to serve.


  1. please if you only have the shallots and the garlic is it okay

    1. Hi, thanks for interest in this recipe. You can try and the taste may different from this. There is no right or wrong.

      Cheers :)


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