Perfectly cooked fish, with a flavoursome aroma to go with.


  • 1 sea bass, descaled and gutted

  • Small bunch of kemangi leaves (Indonesian basil)

  • 3 salam leaves (bay leaves)

  • Lime juice from 2 limes

  • Banana leaves to wrap

  • For the paste

  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 7 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 3 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

  • 1/4 tsp white pepper

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/4 nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp tail pepper

  • 1/4 tsp cumin seed

  • 1/4 tsp aniseed

  • 1 long pepper

  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds

  • 2 cm fresh turmeric (fried)

  • 2 cm fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 cm galangal peeled and finely chopped

  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste

  • 4 candle nuts

  • 1 stalk lemongrass

  • 1tsp coconut sugar


  • 1.

    Set the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

  • 2.

    To make the spice paste, toast the white pepper, black pepper, nutmeg, tail pepper, cumin seeds, aniseeds, long pepper and coriander seeds in a dry pan over a moderate heat for 5 minutes.

  • 3.

    Use a pestle and mortar to pound all the toasted ingredients and then add garlic, shallots, red chillies, ginger, galangal, tamarind paste and candle nuts. Continue to pound until you have a rough paste.

  • 4.

    Clean the fish under a tap. Rub with lime juice and leave for 5 minutes.

  • 5.

    Coat the fish with spice paste and season with salt and stuff the fish with a bunch of kemangi (Indonesian basil) leaves.

  • 6.

    Place the fish in the centre of a banana leaf that is approximately 70cm by 40cm fold the edges over, enveloping the fish and fasten with wooden skewers.

  • 7.

    Bake for 40- 50 minutes.

Metric Converter

Tell us what you think in the comments below


Sign Out

Click to Rate

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.

0 0 0 0 0
Average Rating
0 comments • 0 ratings