Ikan Panggang/Ikan Bakar Recipe (Grilled Fish with Banana Leaves) http://rasamalaysia.com/recipe-ikan-panggangikan-bakar-grilled/
February 05th, 2007 37 Comments

Ikan Panggang/Ikan Bakar Recipe (Grilled Fish with Banana Leaves)

Ikan Panggang
Ikan Panggang pictures (1 of 3)

(Updated with new photos on May 28, 2012)

A true Malay classic, ikan panggang/ikan bakar (grilled fish with banana leaves) is very popular in Malaysia. Loaded with dollops of sambal or spice paste, the fish is grilled with banana leaves over charcoal fire.

The smell of burnt banana leaves imparts the fish with a smoky flavor and the sambal infuses the fish fillet with layers upon layers of spicy taste.

Ikan Panggang/Ikan Bakar Recipe (Grilled Fish with Banana Leaves)

Ikan Panggang/Ikan Bakar is usually served with sambal belacan with sliced shallots. I love the sambal as it adds that extra kick to this wonderful street food, found throughout Malaysia.

The key ingredient of ikan panggang/ikan bakar is the sambal. I used chilies, shallots, lemongrass, etc., and a little bit of belacan as the ingredients. For the fish, stingray wings/skate wings are ideal, but I substituted it with a sole fillet (you can also use any flat fish).

Preparation might take some time as you will need to pound the sambal with a mortar or pestle (traditionally) or you can just use a food processor. As soon as the fish is grilled and the inviting aroma of the burnt banana leaves and the fish fills the air, you will realize that the end result is well worth the effort.

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37 comments... read them below or add one

  1. sue says:

    The pictures are gorgeous! Although I barely understood the ingredients you mentioned. It looks so tasty and I love food that is cooked on charcoal.

  2. Tummythoz says:

    Almost wish monitor enable scratch&sniff. Almost because it’ll b dangerous. Dun think monitors digest well.

  3. Claude-Olivier says:

    Salut ;-)

    Wouaw, it looks great !!! I have not tested that during my journey in malaysia…too bad. But I will try to do that by myself ! Yours pictures are like always so nice !!! you’re an artist ;-)


  4. Dr ve Thru says:

    RM, it looks scrumptious. Banana leaves must be easily available near you. Can’t wait for the recipe.

  5. pip says:

    ok, where is that recipe already?! not sure my keyboard can cope with my salivating much longer ;) great blog btw, and tummy growling food …

  6. Tricia Lee-Chin says:

    Wow! Looks sooooo delicious! This is one of my favourite! A must have when I’m back in KL! Still prefer it with Stingray!


  7. malaykid says:

    i miss the ikan panggang place behind istana negara.
    btw, did u grill them inside ur house? charcoal is the way to grill! ;)

  8. tigerfish says:

    yummy yummy :p~~~~~~(u know what are ~~~~~ hor?)
    after u “air-freshened” your kitchen with smell-friendly hors’doeurves, you are inviting this aroma back again! Prefer this kind of food lah, the peng kang(grilled) fish in banana leaves…MmmMmmmMmmmMmmmMmmm

    (the top-right corner of 5th pix…may invite imaginative wildest thoughts that it look like something though…just like how the omelet look like brain thingy…heh heh)

  9. simcooks says:

    Can use tilapia fillet or not? They are easily found.

  10. Passionate Eater says:

    I can’t believe that you weren’t a “natural” cook when you first got started! Well, it is clear that you are a fast learner, the fish looks wonderful.

    You definitely have skills!

  11. Flower says:

    Wow sedapnye. For me this and hot rice will do. No need for other thing.

  12. fatboybakes says:

    wow, i would never do this myself, seems like too much work. guess when its readily available in shops, there’s more tendency toward laziness. looks fantastic as always.

  13. UnkaLeong says:

    tummythoz : Wait till you see the ‘gnaw’ marks on my monitor. It’s a flat screen, but you r right, still hard to swallow.

    Bee : *closes eyes, breathes deeply* Know what? I can almost smell it..almost.

  14. Chris says:

    Hi Bee, long time no see, just an out-of-topic comment, I’m terribly busy with work lately, just joined a new company, a BIG company. I’ve missed so many delicious posts by your good self. Lemme settle down 1st and I’ll be back soon.

  15. Rasa Malaysia says:

    Sue – I love anything grilled over charcoal or BBQ…it’s just the best…the burned taste and smell…mmm.

    Tummythoz – I wonder if the new Windows Vista will be able to do that. :P

    Claude – thanks! I hope you will try this out…I think this is one of the must-try in Malaysia. I once took some American friends to try this dish and they almost ate everything, including the banana leaves!

    Dr. Ve Thru – correct, I bought a pack of frozen banana leaves for my nasi lemak dish so I used them for this dish. They are almost like fresh. Smells good!

    Pip – thanks and welcome. Recipe is up. :)

    Tricia Lee-Chin – exactly, a must have.

    Malaygrill – yeah, I cheated with an indoor grill…shhh, don’t tell. :P

    Tiga – Smell-friendly food is good, but tak puas hati after eating…have to eat stinky food again…well, can’t help it. What does that picture look like? Tell me tell me?

    Simcooks – Sure, but I don’t like Tilapia, it has that fresh water muddy taste. You should be able to get frozen sole in 99 Ranch or you can also use red snapper fillet.

    PE – thanks and yes, I didn’t learn everything by observing my mother and my aunt in the kitchen, it takes a lot of practices and dedication. I will write a post about how I learn cooking soon! :)

    Flower – correct, and dollops of sambal belacan…best sekali!

    FBB – no need to cook lah, just go out at hawker center can get oredi, what for make at home? Hehe.

    Unka – First you drool, now you gnawl, perhaps you are going to jilat your LCD next…I kesian your monitor! LOL!

    Chris – welcome back and congrats about the new job. Do pop in soon okay? :)

  16. Precious Pea says:


  17. BuddingCook says:

    looks lovely! nice pictures.

  18. pablopabla says:

    You keep cooking like this, then no need to come back Malaysia liao. Applause! Applause!

  19. tigerfish says:

    RM, you really wan to know? Look again and think hard. :O
    No wan to say lah…you will know it when you know it! ;p

  20. team BSG says:

    Looks as tempting ( as you ). Issit ah ?

  21. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    That fish looks fabulous! I’m sure that it also tastes wonderful…

  22. Karen says:

    Yum! Thanks for posting this… we obviously grew up eating the same type of food. Every time you post something, I get a craving and have to call my mum to make it. She’s always asking where these cravings are coming from all of a sudden…

  23. lucia says:

    i love ikan panggang – chinese style or malay style. the sambal condiment should be nice… then the fish will be nice!

  24. Vero says:

    Oh gosh…..
    I usually steam my banana wraps, I’ve never tried to put it on a barbecue… I’ll try this as soon as it stops raining over here…
    That ikan panggang looks gorgeous,as usual…

  25. Rasa Malaysia says:

    Precious Pea – :)

    Budding Cook – Are you going to make it?

    PabloPabla – Mine is still not as good as those found at home!

    Tiga – aiya tell me lah…izzit something very geli? I think it looks like 1 slab of fish eggs.

    Karen – cool. Can you share your mom’s recipes with me? ;)

    Team BSG – Not as tempting as Melting Wok I must say. :P

    Rosa’s Yummy Yum – I like your name. Very cute. Hehe. :)

    Lucia – You’re spot on. If the sambal is good, even the fish is not marinated well, it will still taste good.

    Vero – I like mine grilled…steamed is good, but it won’t get rid of the fishy smell sometimes. :P

  26. Jackson says:

    aiyoyoyo..tak boleh tahan! ikan bakar satu! tambah pedas!

  27. Rasa Malaysia says:

    OK taukeh Jackson, ikan bakar satu tambah pedas, mo mun tai!

  28. wie says:

    It looks soooOooo good.

    Two questions:
    1. Which indoor grill do you have?
    2. Where do you get toasted belacan and the banana leaf?


  29. Rasa Malaysia says:

    Wie, I used this, you can buy it from my Store.

  30. Rasa Malaysia says:

    Wie – for the toasted belacan, I just bought Malaysian belacan at Asian store, and then pan roast it. For the banana leaves, I got them from the Asian store too, in the frozen food section.

  31. wie says:

    Thanks for the info….
    Okay.. what does Malaysian belacan looks like the in the store? For what I know, they comes in blocks and usually wrapped with paper and maybe plastic too.

    Are we talking about the same thing?

  32. Rasa Malaysia says:

    Wie – correct, good luck finding it. I do not like Vietnamese or Thai shrimp paste…they are overly pungent for my taste plus they come in this gooey wet form…Malaysian one is dried and in block and wrapped with paper and plastic.

  33. Anne says:

    OMG! looks delicious! thanks for the tips!

  34. shantihhh says:

    I have been searching for this recipe for a friend who lived in Malaysia years ago and she loved the “curried” skate wing in banana leaf that was grilled.

    When we were in Penang and KL last year I tried to find the recipe for her without success-so I know she is going to be excited to see this!

    I kept finding recipes for Otak Otak which is a bit like Amok in Cambodia and Haw Mok in Thailand-but each uses a varying group of spices.

    Love this type of food and I a delighted to have found your site.

    Just returned from our first trip to Cambodia and my 32 or so trip to Thailand. Love learning of these cultures via cuisines. BTW I m the Thai Food Editor on Bellaonline.com-so if you ever need help on things Thai-let me know!

    hanks again for potingthis recipe.

    San Francisco Bay Area

  35. Shidah says:

    Oh my. This grilled fish in banana leaves looks delicious. My family dont eat bone-in fish but with your grilled fish in banana leaves recipe, they will.

  36. veronica says:

    Thanks for the assam laksa recipe, i tried out, superb then recipe. thanks

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