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Ikan Goreng, which translates as ‘fried fish’ in English, is an Indonesian and Malaysian dish. Ikan Goreng is a deep-fried fish served along with other condiments and can be cooked in many different styles.
With that said, there are many varieties and recipes to cook the ikan goreng. They differ from the recipes of marinating spices, dipping sauces, sambal, to the different species of fish. Almost all kinds of fish can be made into ikan goreng. However, the most popular fishes are freshwater gourami, carp (ikan mas), red snapper (kakap merah), garoupa (kerapu), tuna, pomfret (bawal), catfish (patin), and mackerel (tenggiri).
Tips for Making Ikan Goreng
Before frying, fishes can be marinated with a variety of sauce and spices according to your preference. For example, you can marinate the fish with sweet soy sauce or turmeric powder and paste. The spices mixture may vary among different regions. Still, usually you can never go wrong with a simple blend of salt, lemon juice, ground shallots, garlic, chilli pepper, coriander, turmeric, and ginger.
Another tip to prevent your fish from sticking onto the pan while frying is to wait for the oil to be very hot before you place the fish in for deep-fry. When the oil is hot enough, the fish will be ready for frying, and it will turn golden brown with a crisp texture.
Ikan Goreng Recipe
Ikan Goreng can be cooked in many different ways and styles. For this recipe, we will go simple by using mackerels to make Turmeric Marinated Fried Fish. You may also mix all the spices with an electric blender or by using a mortar and pestle.
4 pieces of mackerels
1 inch (2.5cm) of the turmeric plant (or ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder)
2 cloves of garlic
½ teaspoon of salt
- Clean the fish by using a knife and slice into the fish belly. Then, spread the body topen and remove all the entrails inside the fish. You can also remove the fins of tthe fish as it may be prickly. Scale the fish until it is smooth.
- Make a few slices on the body of the fish so that it is easier to pick the flesh off when it is done cooking.
- Combine the salt, turmeric and garlic into a mortar. Crush and grind them until it is fine. (If you are using turmeric powder, you will only have to mix it with salt and water).
- Use the crushed mixture and apply it on the fish. Marinate the fish all over on both sides.
- Let it rest and marinate for about 10 minutes.
- Next, pour in the cooking oil onto a pan. The amount of oil should be enough to drown the bottom side of the fish. Make sure the oil is hot before placing the fish in.
- When the oil is hot enough, put the marinated fish into the pan. Flip the fish over when one side of it is getting crisp.
- When both sides are done, you can lift the fish up and onto a plate to cool down. Repeat the steps with the remaining fishes.
Ways to Enjoy Ikan Goreng
Ikan goreng is best enjoyed with steamed white rice and some vegetables for a hearty meal. Besides that, locals also love pairing fried fish with some condiments such as sambal and chopped chilli padi with soy sauce. You can again try cooking with other types of fishes besides mackerels that were used in this recipe.
For more Malaysian cooking guides, food ideas and recipes; check out Lokataste Recipe!