- 3 Hardtail Scad (Ikan Cencaru).
- Tamarind mixture, Balacan (Shrimp paste), soaked Dried Shrimps.
- Lemon grass (just the stalk), Fresh Chillies, soaked Dried chilies, Onion (sliced some for later use), Ginger, Shallots, Garlic, Chilli Padi (Birds Eye Chilli) – all roughly cubed (just for easy Blending). Curry leave – optional. (** Note : Just a handful of everything; if U prefer a stronger flavor of a certain ingredient, simply add a little extra of that ingredient (no rocket scientific measurement here). Always taste your Seasoning !!!
Side Condiment :
- Lime (halved).
There are two parts; first – preparing the Sambal and then – stuffing and frying the fish.
Preparing the Sambal
Blend all Sambal ingredients (except the Curry leaves) into a smooth paste. Leaving aside a small amount of the sliced Onion for later use. Heat up some oil, saute the Sambal paste with the Curry leave in low heat. Stirred constantly to prevent the bottom from burning. After about 30 minutes, the paste should get really aromatic and U can see the oil separating to the top. Add in the sliced Onion that was kept aside ealier. This will give that extra texture – optional. Add the Tamarind mixture, Salt and Sugar to taste. Dish out and let to cool.
Preparing the Fish
Meanwhile, make two slits lengthwise along the dorsal side of the fish (one on each side) to form a pocket. Stuff the slits with the cooked sambal, as well as in the fish stomach. Press firmly. Fridge the stuffed fish for about 30-mins, this will help the Sambal settle plus a little marinating time. Heat oil to smoking hot. Lower to medium and fry for about 10 minutes (or more until lightly charred) before flipping them over. Avoid flipping too many times to prevent the sambal from getting displaced. Dish out and let it rest for a few minutes to drain excess oil. Serve alongside with some halved lime.