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BBQ Trevally with Sambal Bajak Makassar

This spicy, delicious recipe is comes to us from Taste Of Sydney 2013.


  • 2x 2kg fish

  • Basting oil

  • Coconut oil infused with chilli

  • Garnish:

  • Shallots, bean sprouts, lime wedges to serve

  • Sambal Bajak

  • 4-6 red/green/birds eye chilies

  • 4 shallots (whites only)

  • 25g galangal

  • 25g ginger

  • 2 Kaffir lime leaves

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 50g tamarind

  • 150 mL boiling water

  • 2 teaspoons Terasi paste

  • 2 teaspoons lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon palm oil


  • 1.

    Pour the boiling water over the tamarind paste and allow to cool.

  • 2.

    When cool, mix together and then strain the mixture throughout a fine strainer.

  • 3.

    In a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, place all the ingredients except for the tamarind pulp, sugar and Terasi paste and grind to a coarse paste.

  • 4.

    Add the Terasi paste and sugar and grind.

  • 5.

    Heat the oil in a wok and stir in the paste; fry for 2-3 minutes.

  • 6.

    Stir in the tamarind paste and reduce by 1/2.

  • 7.


  • FISH::

  • 1.

    Using a sharp knife, score the fish on both sides, making sure the incisions do not go all the way through to the bone.

  • 2.

    Heat a char-grill or wood barbecue to high, then make sure the coals have burned down so there is no flame before cooking the fish.

  • 3.

    Brush the fish on both sides with the coconut and chilli oil, then place on the grill and cook for about 6 minutes on each side, basting the fish each time you turn it. (The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish. To check whether the fish is cooked, press it lightly just below the head. If it gives, then the fish is done).

  • 4.

    Serve the fish on a large platter scattered with thinly sliced shallots, chopped chilli, bean sprouts and lime wedges with the sambal passed separately.


A sumptuous, social and indulgent foodie’s day out, Taste of Sydney provides an unbeatable opportunity to explore breathtaking cuisine and discover new delicacies at the ultimate alfresco dining experience. Check out for more information.

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