Steamed Fish - Indonesian pepes ikan - cooked in an instant pot

 fish in banana leaves

Snapper or fish steamed in banana leaves indonesian style

Pepes Ikan. It is famous throughout all the Indonesian archipelago. What this dish is called and the recipes to make it vary slightly from region to region - Balinese cook this really well - but to be fair so does the rest of Indonesia

However they are all similar : Fresh fish which rubbed with spice paste/mixture, wrapped in banana leaf, steamed and then grilled in a charcoal or baked on the oven. The combination between the spices blends with the fish - and I guarantee you will love this at first bite.
Other dialects call it Pepes in Javanese, Pais by Sundanese, in West Sumatra called Palai and many others.

Prepare Your Ingredients For Bali Steamed Fish

We started by grating our sugar - palm sugar.

If you have palm. sugar that does give a more authentic flavor - however brown or raw sugar is fine also.

grating palm sugar
Grating Palm Sugar

Next we peeled the garlic and the shallots - and then moved on to preparing the chili.

deseed chilli
Deseeding The Chili

Also slice the galangal finely as it has a woody or string texture - so the small size is better. Also slice the lemongrass into a small size. Along with these ingredients. put the shrimp powder, tamarind paste and turmeric powder also in the food processor.

fish paste food precessor
Put into a food processor to make the fish paste

Also add a little vegetable oil also - 1- tablespoon) into a food processor and blend for approximately 5 minutes, until the paste is evenly processed and into quite a fine paste. Because this paste will later be spread over the fish. 

Cook The Fish Paste
Cooking the fish Paste

Turn on the instant pot to high saute - and cook the paste for 3-4 minutes. Also after about 1 minute crush the kaffir lime leaves to release the oil and add the bay leaves also. You can tell the paste is cooked as the smell intensifies.  Take the bowl out of the instant pot and add the palm sugar, salt, and pepper to taste - stirring it in well first. Taste a small amount of the paste and adjust to your liking.

lime juice on fish
Gently rub lie juice into the fish

The look to prepare the fish by firstly removing all the bones, and then in a bowl squeeze the juice of half a lime and gently massage the juice into the fish. 

wrap the fish in banana leaves
Make the fish parcels

Take some aluminun foil - and put the banana leaf - or parchment paper on top. Take one of two of the kaffir lime leaves and place first- then add the fish. Generously cover both sides of the fish with the paste. Lastly if you have it add some basil leaves - or your favorite herb.

cook fish in pressure cooker

Wrap the fish parcels up so that the juices can not leak out and place them in the instant pot on the trivet and steamer if you have one. Add water to just cover the trivet and cook for 10 minutes and 5 minutes natural pressure release.

Then you are ready to serve.

Print
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pepe ikan steamed fish

Steamed Fish Instant Pot

  • Author: Rosie
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indonesian

Description

Pepes Ikan. It is famous in all of Indonesia.

Fresh fish which covered with spice paste/mixture, wrapped in banana leaf, steamed The combination between spices blends with the fish - and I guarantee you will love this at first bite.


Ingredients

Scale

2 Chili

1 inch Galangal

2 Garlic cloves

1 Shallot

4 Fish fillets

1 Lemongrass stalk

1 inch ginger

7 Candlenuts (can use macadamia nuts also)

½ tsp Turmeric powder

½ tsp Shrimp powder 

1 tsp Tamarind Paste

6 Kaffir lime leaves (if you have them)

2 Bay leaves

1 tbs Palm sugar (brown or raw sugar ok also)

1 tbs vegetable oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


Instructions

Prepare your ingredients, grating the palm sugar. De-seeding the chili. Peel the skin off the garlic and shallot. Then roughly cut them to put in the food processor.

Also, slice the galangal finely as it has a woody or string texture - so the small size is better. Slice the lemongrass into a small size. Along with these ingredients. put the shrimp powder, tamarind paste, and turmeric powder also in the food processor. Also, add a little vegetable oil also - 1- tablespoon) into a food processor and blend for approximately 5 minutes, until the paste is evenly processed and into quite a fine paste. Because this paste will later be spread over the fish. 

 

Turn on the instant pot to high saute - and cook the paste for 3-4 minutes. Also after about 1 minute crush the kaffir lime leaves to release the oil and add the bay leaves also. 

 

You can tell the paste is cooked as the smell intensifies.  Take the bowl out of the instant pot and add the palm sugar, salt and pepper to taste - stirring it in well first. Taste a small amount of the paste and adjust to your liking.

 

The look to prepare the fish by firstly removing all the bones, and then in a bowl squeeze the juice of half a lime and gently massage the juice into the fish. 

 

Take some aluminun foil - and put the banana leaf - or parchment paper on top. Take one of two of the kaffir lime leaves and place first- then add the fish. Generously cover both sides of the fish with the paste. Lastly if you have it add some basil leaves - or your favorite herb.

 

Wrap the fish parcels up so that the juices can not leak out and place them in the instant pot on the trivet and steamer if you have one. Add water to just cover the trivet and cook for 10 minutes and 5 minutes natural pressure release.

 

Then you are ready to serve

 

Notes

Amazing tasting and really healthy fish dish


Nutrition

  • Calories: 255
rose chef
Hello !
I'm Rose
Welcome To One Pot Dish. I have spent 20 years as a professional Chef.  I make and test all my recipes before I share them with you.