Pesmol Ikan Kembung (Short Mackerel in Spicy Onion Sauce)

by Dewi Martha Indria
I was tempted to short mackerel since I was child. Nowadays, I never let through to buy this fish whenever it was displayed in grocery. Usually I just deep fried this fish and eat it with Sambal (one of Indonesian staple food that has spicy flavor). But today I try to make something different. Then I remembered that I have ever eat Fish Pesmol in Sundanese Restaurant and I like the spicy onion sauce of Pesmol. I searched the recipe in the internet and Voila…. Here they come….

In the original recipe, she used White Pomfret fish (Ikan Bawal), so I just substitute the main ingredients. Overall I love this recipe, fresh and spicy. If you don’t like spicy food, you can eliminate or reduce the bird-eye chilli. Hope you enjoy it..

Pesmol Ikan Kembung 
(Short Mackerel in Spicy Onion Sauce)

  • 500 gram Indonesian mackerel (Ikan Kembung), you can substitute to other kind of fish that you like
  • 1-2 lime, squeeze to get the juice
  • 3 cm fresh galangal, crushed
  • 1 lemon grass, bruised
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 Indonesian bay leaves
  • 6 shallots, halved, sliced
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 lemon grass, sliced
  • 1 small size tomato, sliced
  • 1 long red pepper, angle sliced
  • 5 whole bird’s eye chillies
  • water as desired
  • 1/2 tablespoons vinegar (can be substituted by tamarind juice)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
Ground Spicy Paste:
  • 3 shallots
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 5 candlenuts
  • 3 cm fresh turmeric 
  • 1 cm fresh ginger
  • salt, sugar, and pepper as desired
  • Rub fish with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Marinate for 15-30 minutes. Deep fry until golden brown, then set aside.
  • Stir fry ground spicy paste, galangal, lemon grass, bay-leaves, and kaffir lime leaves in a small amount of oil until fragrant.
  • Add water, salt, pepper, and sugar. Bring to boil. Add whole sliced shallot, spring onion, lemon grass, tomato, long red  pepper, and bird’s eye chillies.
  • Add vinegar/tamarind juice. Cook until chillies and shallots wilted then add fish. Stir evenly in small heat until all the paste seep into the fish. Serve with warmed rice.

Recipe in Bahasa Indonesia version

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