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Ikan Kembung Masak Kecap: Indian Mackerel in Sweet Soy Sauce

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Fish & Seafood
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Ikan kembung masak kecap is an aromatic dish of fried fish cooked in sweet soy sauce and various herbs and spices. No blending or pounding required!


  • 500 gr Indian mackerel (around 4 pcs)
  • 5 shallots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 cm ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 cm fresh galangal, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, removed the outer layers, bruised, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 salam leaf
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 10 bird’s eye chillies, remove the stalk
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 200 ml water
  • Enough cooking oil for deep frying and sauteing


  1. Gut and clean the fish thoroughly, then marinate in a little bit of salt and lime juice or vinegar for 15 minutes.
  2. Wash the fish one more time over running water to remove the vinegar and excess salt. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Heat enough oil for deep frying in a wok over medium heat.
  4. Deep fry the fish until golden brown (around 10-15 minutes), set aside.
  5. Remove the oil from the deep frying and clean the wok.
  6. Put 2 tbsp oil in the wok and heat it over medium high heat.
  7. Sautee the shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and salam leaf until fragrant (around 4 minutes).
  8. Add the chopped tomato, fry for 1 minute.
  9. Add water.
  10. Add salt and the sweet soy sauce. Stir all the ingredients.
  11. Add the chillies.
  12. Add the fish and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes until the liquid is mostly reduced and the sauce thickens.
  13. Transfer the dish onto a serving plate.


  • Deep fry the fish in enough oil to cover the whole fish.
  • When frying, do not flip the fish too often to prevent it from breaking apart.

Keywords: galangal, garlic, fried fish