Sesame Ikan Bakar

with Szechuan Pepper Oil

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A classic Malaysian dish, Ikan Bakar translates to grilled fish and is incredibly versatile. Here’s a spicy fusion take on this dish, baked with sesame oil and Szechuan peppers.

Let's start cooking!

Sliced fish on cutting board

Step 1 - Score and marinate fish

  • With a sharp knife, score the fish by making 3 slits on each side and place fish on a baking tray. Rub 2 Tbsp sesame oil and 2 Tbsp salt in to the fish, especially into the cut. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
The snapper in this recipe can be substituted with many other fish, including pomfret, sea bass, grouper and even stingray
Fried blended spices

Step 2 - Blend and fry spice paste

  • In a blender, add dried chili, shallots, garlic, 1 Tbsp Szechuan pepper, belacan, sliced ginger, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 ½ Tbsp salt and blend until it forms a smooth paste. If mixture is too dry, you can use vegetable oil to help you achieve a smooth consistency
  • In a pan on medium heat, add spice paste and fry for at least 20 minutes, until much darker in colour and oil has separated from the paste.
Spice paste spread over fish on tray

Step 3 - Bake fish and serve

  • Coat fish with spice paste, then bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 180°C.
  • Remove from heat and drizzle with 1 Tbsp Szechuan pepper oil.
Best eaten with steamed rice

Let's plate and serve!

Squeezed lime over fish on plate

Serve hot with a slice of lime.

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