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Indonesian style Spicy Braised Fish Stew Recipe

Indonesian style Spicy Braised Fish Stew Recipe

Adapted from ‘smor ikang’, an Indonesian style fish stew, this dish is a hearty and comforting one. A one pot meal with succulent barramundi cubes in a flavourful broth and rice noodles to accompany. The key spice in this stew is mace, which lends a pungent yet sweet flavour that pairs well with the fish. You may also add a mix of seafood like squid, prawns etc….

Indonesian style Spicy Braised Fish Stew Recipe
Indonesian style Spicy Braised Fish Stew Recipe


  1. 3 barramundi fillets; cut into cubes
  2. 2 medium potatoes; cut into small cubes
  3. 5-6 Asian shallots/small onion; finely chopped
  4. 3 large garlic cloves; grated
  5. 1 inch ginger; grated
  6. 2 long red chillies (less heat variety); finely chopped
  7. 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
  8. 300ml fish stock/water
  9. 3 medium ripe tomatoes; finely chopped
  10. 3 mace blades; crushed
  11. 3 cloves
  12. 2 -3 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  13. 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  14. Salt, to season
  15. 200 gms rice noodles; cooked as per packet instructions
  16. 1 cucumber; sliced
  17. Coriander sprigs, to serve
  18. Lemon wedges; to serve
  19. 1 long red chilli; finely sliced, to serve

Note: Kecap manis or sweet soy sauce is available at most gourmet food stores and online. If not available, substitute with regular soy sauce and a pinch of sugar to balance out the flavours.


  1. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water till ¾ ths done; drain and keep aside.
  2. In a food processor/grinder, blend the shallots, garlic, ginger and chillies to a paste like consistency.
  3. In a large pan, heat oil and add the ground paste. Sauté on low heat till golden and fragrant; take care not to burn.
  4. Add the mace, cloves and tomatoes; sauté till the tomatoes are softened and mushy.
  5. Then add the stock and bring to boil; lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Next add the kecap manis and the fish cubes and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Season with salt if necessary.
  7. Then add the potatoes and cook till done on medium heat (add more water if the stew appears thick).
  8. Cook the rice noodles as per packet instructions; drain and keep aside.
  9. To serve, divide the fish stew into bowls. Add the noodles, sliced cucumber, coriander, lemon and chillies.
  10. Enjoy hot.

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