lundi, février 08, 2010

Ikan Pepes

Ikan Pepes

I still have banana leaves. This calls for an Ikan Pepes, don't you think so? Ikan means fish in Malay and this fish is marinated in spices and chillies and then wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over a fire or in the oven. The banana leaves impart their aroma to the fish upon contact with the heat and the fish is also cooked in its own steam wrapped in the leaves. Even though it's still very cold, I set up my outdoor gas BBQ for the fish (shared it with the cleaning lady). With only the pigeons to admire me at work.

Ikan Pepes
(for 1 person) :

1 Thick Codfish filet steak
1/2 Tsp ground Turmeric
Salt to taste
2 Fresh red chillies
1 Shallot
1 Garlic
1 small piece fresh Ginger
2-3 Candlenuts (I didn't have any)
1 small Tomato or 2 Tbsp concentrated Tomato paste
1/2 Tsp toasted shrimp paste
1 Tsp Palm sugar
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Lemongrass stalk (bashed)
1 Kaffir lime leaf (shredded)
Basil leaves (optional)
Banana leaves
Toothpicks or stapler

Rub the fish all over with the turmeric and salt.

Ground the chillies, shallot, garlic, ginger, tomato, shrimp paste, sugar and lemon juice into a paste. Spread it all over the fish. Marinate overnight.

Place the bashed lemongrass on a piece of banana leaf, put the marinated fish on top of it and cover with kaffir lime and basil leaves. Fold the banana leaf into a neat parcel and secure it with a few toothpicks or stapler pins.

Before being grilled

OK, I made a bit of a mess of my banana leaves. Normally, we blanch the leaves to soften them and wrap the fish along the veins so as not to tear them. I had the cleaning lady working in the kitchen (and I didn't want to get in the way) so I had to take a few shortcuts. I used aluminium foil to line my banana leaf and grilled the fish like that.

Grilled Ikan Pepes

Grill over a hot fire till the fish is cooked (around 15-20 minutes for a thick filet). Best if your BBQ has a cover, it encourages the fish to cook in its own steam better. You can smell the banana leaf and it gives you an idea as to whether the fish is cooked or not. This is best eaten with freshly steamed white rice.

Aucun commentaire: