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Malaysian Recipe : Baked Tilapia Fish in Banana Leaf

This is a Sarawak recipe.


  • 600g tilapia fish
  • Spice paste (blended)
  • 50g lemongrass
  • 50g torch ginger bud (bunga kantan)
  • 20g ginger, sliced
  • 80g garlic
  • 80g shallots
  • 100g dried shrimp paste (belacan), toasted
  • 150ml tamarind juice (made by mixing 50g tamarind paste with a little water and strained)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 50g chili paste (such as cili boh)
  • 100g sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 piece banana leaf


  1. Clean, scale and gut the fish but leave whole.
  2. To prepare spice paste, blend the ingredients together in an electric blender or food processor, or alternatively, pound the dry ingredients together finely and then add the tamarind juice.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or small saucepan. Fry the spice paste together with the chili paste over medium-to-low flame until aromatic and oil breaks at the surface, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with sugar and salt. Turn off heat and cool slightly.
  4. Place half the spice paste on the banana leaf and place the fish on it. Top with the rest of the spice paste. Fold banana leaf to wrap the fish and place in a heatproof dish. Bake the fish in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes at 150 degree celcius.


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Last Modified: 11/27/11.