This fried fish with turmeric and lemongrass is one of the tastiest ways to make a fried fish. The combination of turmeric and lemongrass enhances the fish flavor. This recipe is relatively simple to make, and it is so incredibly delicious.


  • 2 small Dorade or red snapper
  • Vegetable for deep frying
For the Spice Paste:
  • 3 to 4 garlic
  • 2 to 3 shallots
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric or 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried chilli
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste, mix with 2 tablespoon water
  • Salt, to taste
For the Sambal Tomato:
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 to 5 shallots
  • 4 to 5 Bird’s Eye Chilli
  • 1 cup dried anchovies or pusu, separate 1/2 cup into a small bowl
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste or belacan
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, separate 1/2 cup into a small bowl
  • 3 tablespoon palm sugar
  • Salt, to taste


1. Let’s prepare the fish: Clean and gut the fish. Rinse the fish and pat dry with towel. Slit across the body at an angle a few times. Each slit should be 1/2 an inch apart.

2. In a food processor, blend the spice paste ingredients. In a bowl add the turmeric powder, tamarind paste and spice paste. Mix well into a spice paste.

3. Rub the spice paste onto the fish including the slits and stomach cavity. Let it marinate for a 10 to 20 minutes.

4. In a frying pan, add the oil on medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, gently add the fish. Fry the first side for 6 minutes, then the other side for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Once your fish is cooked through, and golden yellow brown, it’s time to take them out of the oil and put them in a draining strainer or paper towel.

Let’s prepare the Sambal Tomato

5. In a pan, add oil. Sauté the garlic, shallots, tomato, shrimp paste, dried anchovies, Chilli. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Then transfer all into a food processor and blend until fine.

6. Add the paste back into the pan on low heat. Then add palm sugar, the remaining dried anchovies and cherry tomatoes. Let it cook for 5 to 6 minutes.

6. Serve fish with steamed rice and Sambal tomato over the fish.

Bon appétit!
If you’ve tried the recipe, don’t forget to tag us on instagram at #thespatulaandwok

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