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Rempah Fish Recipe (Fried Fish Stuffed with Sambal)

Here is our recipe for rempah fish—a Penang Nyonya specialty that is well-loved by many Peranakan/Nyonya-Baba families. If you go to Penang, you might find it at economy rice stalls if you are lucky!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Nyonya
Keyword Fried Fish Stuffed with Sambal
Servings 2 people
Calories 113 kcal



  • 2 hardtail mackerel, ikan cincaru

Spice Paste:

  • 3 fresh red chilies
  • 5 dried chilies
  • 10-12 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon belacan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamarind pulp, soak in 1/4 cup water, extract juice and discard pulps
  • 1/4 cup oil


  1. Clean and rinse fish with water. 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.

  2. Blend the spice paste with a mini food processor or use mortar and pestle to pound the flavoring paste.

  3. Heat up wok with 3 tbsp oil, add in spice paste and stir-fry with low heat until aromatic. Add tamarind juice and continue to stir-fry until the spice paste is smooth and somewhat moist, but not overly runny. Season to taste with salt and sugar. Dish out and let cool.

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

  5. Heat up 1/4 cup oil in a wok, deep fry the fish until cooked. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Rempah Fish Recipe (Fried Fish Stuffed with Sambal)
Amount Per Serving (2 people)
Calories 113 Calories from Fat 576
% Daily Value*
Fat 64g98%
Saturated Fat 32g200%
Cholesterol 297mg99%
Sodium 1838mg80%
Potassium 2510mg72%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 101g202%
Vitamin A 1255IU25%
Vitamin C 116.9mg142%
Calcium 195mg20%
Iron 8.1mg45%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.