On weekend, i will have more time to cook for my family.Last weekend when my sister dropped by i felt Sambal Red Tilapia was the right menu to put on the table. She loves sambal petai and fish too, we all do.

Originally , the recipe should be using stingray instead of Tilapia. But, when i was in the wet market the other day, 1 kg of stingray is about RM20-RM22. In addition, the freshness was questionable. Well i’m not going to be taken for a ride, therefore, i decided to make some changes on the recipe. 1kg of fresh Tilapia will only cost for RM13-14 and the meat is so fresh, sweet and tasty.

For this recipe, if you can grill it, that will be the best option. But, like any other Ikan Bakar out there, people are changing to pan fry the fish instead of grilling. For example, famous ikan bakar, jalan bellamy. They’re actually pan fry on stove instead of grill it.

And i do love to pan fry the fish on my stove, its does retain the juiciness in the fish.

Just a word of caution, it is a spicy recipe and for people who love spiciness, this is for you. And for who love to try and can’t take the heat, you can tone it down by adding more sugar.

I hope you will enjoy Sambal Red Tilapia with your friends and family.

Happy Cooking!

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Sambal Red Tilapia

1 Red Tilapia around 1.3kg, cut half
1 tsp salt
4 A4 size banana leaf
3 tbsp oil

Making Sambal Ingredients :
40g dried chillies
35g belacan
160g red chillies
300g shallots
120g garlic
20g lemongrass
50g ginger
80g + 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp tamarind mixed with 6 tbsp hot water
3 tsp salt
200ml oil
300g Petai/ stink bean
1. Soak dried chillies in hot water for 30 mins.
2. Dry-fry belacan.
3. Slice lemongrass and grind it smoothly.
4. Add red chilli, soak dried chillies, shallots, garlic, ground lemongrass, ginger, toasted belacan, palm sugar and tamarind paste to food processor.
5. Blend into smooth paste
6. Add 100ml oil to pan
7. Add sambal paste.
8. Add salt and stir fry sambal until oil starts to split and add petai.
9. Stir fry for 1 minute and remove.
9. Dry wipe red tilapia & cut slits on both sides
10. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, and add some oil to the pan.
11. Place an A4 size banana leaf on top
12. Spread sambal paste to cover one side of the tilapia.
13. Add stilapia to pan sambal side down.
14. Cover and cook for 5-6 mins
15. Spread sambal on the other side of the fish.
16. Place back into the pan on the flip side with a new banana leaf.
17. Cover and cook for another 5-6 mins. Repeat for other piece.
18. Serve with white rice.