Barbecued Trevally with Sambal Bajak Makassar
- 2 whole trevally (about 2kg each), scaled and cleaned
- 100ml pure cold pressed virgin coconut oil, gently warmed with 2 finely chopped long red chillies and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes
- Thinly sliced green spring onions, finely chopped
- Chilli, bean sprouts and lime wedges, to garnish
- 50g tamarind paste
- 4-6 red or green birds eye chillies, coarsely chopped
- 4 green spring onions, white part only, coarsely chopped
- 25g peeled galangal, coarsely chopped
- 25g peeled ginger, coarsely chopped
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbs grated palm sugar
- 2 tsp terasi (shrimp) paste
- 1 tbs palm oil
- To make Sambal Bajak, place the tamarind paste in a heatproof bowl and pour over 150ml boiling water. Allow to cool, then mix together to combine well. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer, extracting as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
- Place the chillies, spring onions, galangal, ginger, lime leaves, garlic, lime juice and salt in a mortar and pestle and grind to a coarse paste. Add the sugar and terasi paste and grind until well combined.
- Heat the palm oil in a wok over medium heat. When hot, add the paste and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the tamarind liquid and simmer until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and cool.
- Using a sharp knife, score the fish on both sides making sure the incisions do not go all the way through to the bone.
- Heat a char-grill or wood barbecue to high, then make sure the coals have burned down so there is no flame before cooking the fish.
- Brush the fish on both sides with the coconut and chilli oil, then place on the grill and cook for about 6 minutes on each side, basting the fish each time you turn it.
- The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish.
- To check whether the fish is cooked, press it lightly just below the head and if it gives, then the fish is done.
- Serve the fish on a large platter scattered with thinly sliced shallots, chopped chilli, bean sprouts and lime wedges with the sambal passed separately.