Grilled Fish in Spicy Coconut Milk


what will you end up with when you combine:
fresh fish
spiced coconut milk
fiery coconut shells


(Err, I certainly have never been there. But, trust me, this dish wont disapoint you :-) )

Cooking food directly on top of fire may be one the oldest trick on earth. A great respect is owed to those neanderthals. Our great great grandmas and grandpas seems to have gone enough evolution when it comes to discovering ways of cooking. I Guess, we’ve figured out where all these good genes –in terms of cooking– are coming from ;-p.

People cook on top of fire using various methods. Some use woods, hot stones, or charcoals. We, in Indonesia, have long inherited a unique way to prepare our food using this fiery technique. We use burnt coconut shells. It creates a distinct wonderful smell that is so inviting; one helping is certainly will never be enough.




4 medium-sized fish
400 gram thick coconut milk
5 shallots
3 cloves of garlic
1 cm turmeric
1 cm ginger
1 cm Galingale
2 1/2 tbs ground fresh chili
lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

- Blend all the spices and run it through the food processor (or grind it manually)
- Clean up the fish, drench them in the lemon juice.
- Mix the spice with the coconut milk. Make sure it is thick enough. If not, let it cook for awhile (at least until it thickens). Add salt to taste.
- Burn all the coconut shells. Your fire is ready when all the coconut shells is just about to turn into ashes. Fan the fire every time it dims.
- Put the fish on top of the fire. Carefully placed the spiced coconut milk over the fish. When it is about to dry up, flip the fish and burn the other side.
-Continue to sauce the other side of the fish with the spiced coconut milk. Keep doing this until no coconut milk is left.

Take a bite! How do you feel?
Me? I am entering heaven already ! :-)

6 Responses to “Grilled Fish in Spicy Coconut Milk”

  1. CaféT Says:

    I suddenly feel that one of my first purchases for the new house must be a grill. Do I correctly assume that this kind of food is eaten after thanking God?

  2. shashakoe Says:

    i am not using any grill though. I just burnt some coconut shells on top of a fireproof surface, placed two good size of stones on both sides, and position the fish on top of it

    i know it sounded very archaic.. but hey you’ve got a grill already :D

  3. CaféT Says:

    It’s not archaic but a different method in which you effectively created a grill by using those two wire meshes. There is even the improvement of keeping the grill marks in the same places. :P Not being willing to do that myself, I would probably use a manufactured contraption.

    It seems to me that coconut shells are an analog to mesquite charcoal, as both are enjoyed for the aroma and taste imparted upon the food. (It basically seems like a heat source and spice in a convenient combination.) Do you think they would go well together?

  4. shashakoe Says:

    I vaguely remember that you are one of those that will turn red as soon as a jalapeño hits your tonsil. Ermm this dish is quite spicy, thus you can reduce the amount of ground chili used.

  5. CaféT Says:

    Yes, ma’am, I probably would do just that. I like to be able to chew my food thoroughly, and the burning sensation of capsaicin tends to limit success towards that end.

    That being said, sometimes a food will either contain a reasonable dose or be worth the trouble.

  6. senaz Says:

    hey tis..aku dah bales pertanyaanmu loh..
    btw, ini bakar2 ikan di belanda gitu???..asik bangeeet..huhuuhhu..pengeeeen..

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