Ikan Makarel Panggang with Sambal Kecap Petis Recipe (Grilled Mackerel with Petis Sambal)

Back to my homecity, Sidoarjo (a suburban city of Surabaya, the capital city of East Java province) which we can call for a home of petis udang (shrimp paste) and petis kupang (a kind of tiny clam paste). People there love to eat almost every savoury fritters, appetizers or snacks with sambal petis, such as fried tempeh, fried tofu, bakwan (vegetables fritters) or ote-ote (oyster fritters), sate kerang (clam sate/satay). We also add petis as ingredients to some Eastern Javanese dishes, such as krengsengan, lontong kupang (tiny clams soup with rice cake), rujak cingur (cow lips and vegetables in spicy peanut and petis sauce), tahu tek (bean Sprouts, fried tofu and potatoes in petis sauce), bandeng asap (smoked milkfish) with shrimp paste and soy sauce sambal, lontong balap (bean sprouts and tofu in beef broth soup) etc. if I have to translate lontong balap literally, lontong means rice cake and balap means race, it literally translates as race rice cake :-P.

Back then, at home, iyuk loved to barbecue fresh milkfish on charcoal with a very simple marinade. Sidoarjo is also a milkfish producer city, we always had fresh milkfish not frozen one which fresh milkfish tastes better. We enjoyed barbecuing milkfish with sambal kecap petis (shrimp paste and sweet soy sauce sambal) for the dipping sauce.

Pacific mackerel is still a family of tenggiri (Indonesian) aka Narrow-barred spanish mackerel ( Scomberomorus commerson), tenggiri papan/bunga (Indonesian) aka spotted mackerel (Scomberomorus guttatus), tenggiri batang aka mackerel spanyol aka Atlantic Spanish mackerel (Scombremorus maculatus) and mackerel raja aka kingfish (Scomberomorus Cavalla). I still had a pacific mackerel in my freezer and being inspired by mbak Retno of Kedai Hamburg, I decided to make grilled mackerel, I decided to grill mackerel. The different between my recipe and mbak Retno, I inserted finely sliced of shallots into deep cuts on both sides of fish to give more flavour and also I used the Eastern Javanese style sweet soy sauce sambal (shrimp paste and sweet soy sauce sambal) while mbak Retno used sweet soy sauce sambal for dipping.

When I cleaned up the fish, I found fish eggs inside. Hmm I love them, I just added lime and salt, then fried. Enak bangetttt! (slang Indonesian’s term for so yummy).

Category: Barbecue & Grilling
Style: Indonesian

400 g pacific mackerel (it can be substituted for any kind of fish) (bisa diganti ikan lain)
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 lime
salt as desired

sambal kecap petis
2 tbsp black shrimp paste (Indonesian: petis udang)
2 tbsp Indonesian sweet soy sauce
1 tsp ready to use frieid garlic, crushed
finely sliced fresh shallots
finely sliced fresh bird’s eye chilies
fresh calamansi (Indonesian: jeruk kestur / lemon cui),
hot water

Preheat a grill pan.

Clean fish by cleaning out the stomach cavity, removing the gills and surrounding tissue, then clean well with tap water.

Cut several deep cuts on both sides of fish. Rub fish inside and over with lime juice and salt. Insert finely sliced shallots into deep cuts. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Grill fish until the skin lightly golden brown.
Combine ground ingredients with spice ingredients, oil and coconut milk, and marinate the fish in it. Set aside in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours.

Sambal Kecap Petis
Combine all ingredients for sambal, except calamansi and hot water. Squeeze calamansi, add the juice and hot water into sambal mixture, stir evenly.

About the Author

An Indonesian born who lives in Winnipeg, Canada for more than a decade and decided to move a bit west. Edmonton is now where she is based on. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.