Heavenly Healthy Food-"Ikan Bakar" (Char Grilled Fish)

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

Its Summer! Let Us Fire Up the Grill!

Malaysia is a well-known food paradise. It was once rated in top 10 best food destination by CNN. Malaysia offers endless varieties of cuisine that represent its multicultural people. Dig into all the yummy food and do not ever count the calories... LOL

However, you can be selective… there are variety of classic food that are mouth-watering and nutritious as well.


‘Ikan Bakar’ (Char-Grilled Fish)

This is among the most popular recipe in Malaysia and in other countries of South-East Asia too. It is sold almost everywhere by the street vendors and in the restaurants as well. It is amazingly easy to prepare at home.


So, here is the recipe for healthy and delicious grilled fish straight from my back yard.

The fish is usually marinated, wrapped with banana leaves, and grilled over charcoal fire.

It is beyond simple!!


Start with marinating the fish for approximately 10-15 minutes. There are variety of ways to marinate. The simplest way is to season with salt and pepper.


Many prefer to marinate with “sambal” a spice paste. Sambal is made of shallot, garlic, shrimp paste, red chilies and lemongrass that are grind together. Stir-fry the paste with a dash of oil and cook well. Once the sambal is ready, rub the fish with sambal.


The fish is usually wrapped with layers of banana leaves as it keeps the moisture in and it give intense aroma. Keep it marinated for 10-15 minutes. Now it is ready for grilling over charcoal fire, place the fish along with banana leaves on direct heat. The aroma of the wonderful smoky flavor is so appetizing.


Once the fish is properly grilled approximately 5 minutes on each side and until the banana leaves will start to burn, fish is ready to serve!


You may eat it just like that or dip into soy sauce or our traditional Assam sauce. Assam sauce is made of sliced shallot, sliced bird’s eye chili (small hot chilies), diced tomato which are combined with tamarind juice and flavored with a little bit of salt and sugar.


Malaysians love to eat Ikan Bakar for dinner, but it is also commonly available during lunch. Usually, we relish the Ikan Bakar without any other dishes. Ikan Bakar is the ‘star dish’ of the meal.


Seabass, Torpedo Scad and Pomfret are the choicest fishes for Ikan Bakar-delicious in taste, rich in protein and have a tremendous amount of omega 3 fatty acids. These are excellent source of calcium, vitamins A and D and B vitamins including vitamin B12, vital for nervous system, also offer iodine, critical for the thyroid gland. These are useful brain food and is good for eyesight and healthy hair and skin.





I hope you try this recipe out for yourself to see what you think. Enjoy!







Aizal, Malaysia

Guest Contributor

Salutation Fitness and Wellness


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