Soy Sauce Fish / Ikan kecap

Indonesian cooking includes many recipes for seafood.This recipe calls for types of fish that are available fresh or frozen the world over, so even landlubbers can partake.


  • 1 lb. mackerel, cod, or haddock fillets
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp. peanut oil
  • ¥ tsp. shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ¥ inch-long piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chili, seeded and chopped*
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 to 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 large lettuce leaves
  1. Wash fish under cold water and pat
  2. dry with paper towels. Cut fillets
  3. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, use a
  4. fork to mix salt and flour. One by one, roll fish fillets in the flour and set on a clean plate.
  5. Heat 2 tbsp. of the peanut oil in a
  6. skillet and fry fish for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place on a plate, cover with foil to keep warm, and set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together
  8. shrimp paste and 2 tbsp. water.
  9. Clean and dry the skillet before
  10. heating the remaining 1 tbsp. peanut oil. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
  11. Add shrimp paste to the onion
  12. mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce to taste. Stir to combine.
  13. Arrange lettuce leaves on four plates
  14. and place fish on top. Pour the sauce over the fish and serve.
* See tip on page 34 about seeding and cutting chilies.