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Ikan Perchik (Fish with Perchik Sauce)

This is a popular dish from Malaysia and Indonesia which has grilled spanish mackerel served with a generous helping of perchik sauce. Perchik is pronounced perr-chick. The perchik sauce is a Malay delicacy made with coconut milk and has a zesty taste to it because of the lemon grass. Enjoy!!!


  • 4 whole spanish mackerel, cleaned

  • 1 grated coconut, squeezed for coconut milk (with no water)

  • 5 stalks lemon grass, sliced

  • 2 medium sized red onions, peeled & quartered

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder

  • salt, sugar & pepper, to taste


  • 1.

    Season cleaned fish lightly with salt and pepper. Grill till done and set aside.

  • 2.

    For perchik sauce, pound/blend together the lemon grass, red onions, garlic and turmeric powder. Heat a saucepan and bring the coconut milk to boil. Add the pounded/blended ingredients. Continue stirring until the sauce is thick and fragrant. Season to taste with sugar and salt.

  • 3.

    Spoon the percik sauce over the grilled fish and serve with cooked white rice.


Based on experience, I have found that ANY food tastes better when it's ingredients are pounded instead of blended. Which is why my Mum still slaves over the Mortar & Pestle or Stone Grinder even when my kitchen is equipped with the latest gadgets. Thanks to her, I rarely use my advanced kitchen gadgets and opt for the traditional methods instead. That is precisely why Mum's food is always the best.

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