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Fried Fish Stuffed with Sambal

This is a typical Nyonya dish.


  • 3 Yellow Tail

  • ¼ cup oil to fry fish

  • Salt and pepper to season the fish

  • Extra 3 tablespoons of oil to fry paste

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • ½ tablespoon tamarind pulp, soak in ¼ cup water, extract juice and discard pulps

  • Spice Paste:

  • 3 fresh red chilies - remove seeds

  • 5 dried chilies - soak in hot water and drain well

  • 1½ tablespoons dried prawns, soaked and drained

  • 10 shallots or small onions

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon belacan or shrimp paste


  • 1.

    Clean and rinse fish.

  • 2.

    Pat dry with kitchen paper towel.

  • 3.

    Season with salt and pepper.

  • 4.

    Using a sharp knife, cut a deep slit from the back of the fish along the bone. Repeat the same on the other side of the fish.

  • 5.

    Blend the spice paste or use mortar and pestle to pound the ingredients.

  • 6.

    Heat up wok with 3 tablespoons oil, add in spice paste and stir-fry on low heat until aromatic.

  • 7.

    Add tamarind juice and continue to stir-fry until the spice paste is smooth and somewhat moist, but not overly runny.

  • 8.

    Season to taste with salt and sugar.

  • 9.

    Dish out and let it cool.

  • 10.

    Stuff the spice paste into the fish on both sides of the slit and also inside the fish stomach.

  • 11.

    Heat up ¼ cup oil in a wok, deep fry the fish until cooked. Serve immediately.


Mackerel can be substituted for Yellow Tail.

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