Calamansi and Grilled Ikan Tude with Dabu-Dabu Sambal

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As I mentioned on my old posts, I was born and grew up in Java island of Indonesia. Most of the Javanese use key lime (jeruk nipis), kaffir lime (jeruk purut), jeruk limo (Citrus amblycarpa Hassk., nasnaran mandarin, leprous lime) for making sambal or reducing the smell of fish before cooking. So, I didn’t really know until my friends on multiply who are from North Sulawesi province told me about lemon cui long time ago. The first time, I wasn’t aware that Calamansi is what the North Sulawesi call for Lemon Cui or Lemon Cina while other parts of Indonesia call for jeruk keturi or jeruk kasturi until mbak Ima‘s post. She posted a recipe of Ikan Asap Sambal Matah. After reading her recipe, I had a suspicion that calamansi, lemon cui and jeruk kesturi are the same citrus. I have been using calamansi lots for substituting jeruk limo and jeruk purut (Citrus hystrix, Englsih: kaffir lime), such as making Pelecing Kangkung or just making es lemon cui (literally calamansi iced).

This citrus has been using in Filipino’s culinary as well as in North Sulawesi and East Kalimantan culinary. Two provinces of Indonesia where is close to the Phillippines.

Acording to . The calamansi/ calamondin is believed native to China and thought to have been taken in early times to Indonesia and the Philippines. It became the most important Citrus juice source in the Philippine Islands and is widely grown in India and throughout southern Asia and Malaysia. It is a common ornamental dooryard tree in Hawaii, the Bahamas, some islands of the West Indies, and parts of Central America.

After reading all about calamansi, now it’s my turn to share a simple Manadonese’s recipe using calamansi; Grilled Ikan Tude with Dabu-Dabu. Ikan Tude is what the Manadonese called for Ikan Kembung while in English it’s called as Indian Mackerel. Don’t get confused one I say Manado and another one I say North Sulawesi. Manado is the capital city of North Sulawesi.

Thank you to mbak Rieke of Sexy Chef for the recipe. A different style of grilled ikan tude that I made, I just inserted sliced shallot in the fish. I found the different between using calamansi and lime for marinating fish. No fishy smell after marinating and cooking the fish with calamansi.

I’m sending calamansi and this recipe for my entry at WHB (Weekend Herb Blogging) # 112, hosted by Simona of Briciole. In Winnpeg, you can find fresh calamansi at Young market on Mc. Phillips.

Grilled Ikan Tude with Dabu-Dabu

375 g Indian mackerel (Manadonese: Ikan Tude; Indonesian: Ikan Kembung)
1 shallots, finely sliced
1 tbsp fresh calamansi
salt as desired

Sambal Dabu-Dabu (Dabu-Dabu Sambal)
6 shallots, finely sliced
6 bird’s eye chillies, finely sliced
100 g tomato, diced
2 fresh calamansi, squeezed
sugar and salt as desired to season


Grilled Ikan Tude
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 salt and calamansi juice. Insert finely sliced shallots into deep cuts. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Grill fish until the skin lightly golden brown.

Sambal Dabu-Dabu (Dabu-Dabu Sambal)
Combine all ingredients for sambal.

Enjoy this fish with dabu-dabu and warmed rice

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About the Author

An Indonesian-born who lived in Winnipeg Edmonton, Canada for more than a decade prior to move to Edmonton in 2017. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.