Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Ikan Bakar - Street Food Grilled Fish in Jakarta, Indonesia

Ikan bakar, or grilled fish, has been one of my favorite Indonesian foods to eat ever since I tried it for the first time years ago. To make ikan bakar, the fish is often butterfly cut, then a sauce is brushed onto the fish, and then it’s grilled over a very hot fire. The key is using a very hot charcoal fire. This way the fish cooks really fast and has a wonderful smoky flavor, but the flesh of the fish remains juicy and not overcooked. Ikan bakar is incredibly delicious.

Gebang Seafood 49 Restaurant

From the Mangga Besar area, we walked to a restaurant called Gebang Seafood 49 Restaurant to get some Indonesian seafood dishes, and to especially eat some ikan bakar. The menu was all in Bahasa Indonesia, but the menu was pretty simple - you could basically choose your different type of seafood - fish, squid, shrimp, or shells, and they would cook it for you in a number of different ways.

Ikan bakar can refer to any type of fish, but they had about six different types of fish to choose from, and so I ikan bawal, which after doing some research, I think is black pomfret. Again, the fish was butterfly cut, then brushed in a yellow sauce, and grilled over hot charcoal. The fish itself was delicious, nice and flaky and moist and the sauce was filled with turmeric and salty with a tinge of sweetness. 

In addition to ikan bakar, I also ordered cumi saus Padang (Padang sauce squid), squid with Padang sauce, which is a hot and sour sauce that’s very tangy. It was also delicious. And finally, I ordered kangkung cah (stir fried water morning glory), stir fried water morning glory with shrimp paste I think. The side dishes went well with the ikan bakar.

Gebang Seafood 49 Restaurant
Address: Jalan Hidup Baru / Kalimati, Jakarta Pusat, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
Open hours: I think from about 5 pm - midnight daily, it’s a street food tent so hours may vary
Total price for everything - 180,000 IDR ($13.77)

Balinese Ikan Bakar (Balinese Grilled Fish)

1 large / 2 medium sized whole fish (about 600 g) – either Snapper, Tilapia, Seabass, etc (I’m using yellow tail)
Juice from 1 lime
3 candlenuts (buah keras)
4 shallots
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
Basting sauce:
¼ cup (60 ml) kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 tbsp (15 g) butter or margarine – melted
2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
Serves 2 – 3 hungry persons
Recipe source: