Ikan Santen

Fish in a hot coconut sauce.


  • 500 gr Mackerel
  • Salt
  • 2 Onions
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Ulek
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 teaspoon trassi
  • 1 slice galangal
  • 400 ml (one tin) Coconut milk
  • 1-2 laurel leaves
  • 1 Daun jeruk purut
  • Oil


Season the fish and fry on both sides in the oil to a golden colour. Don’t overcook, the fish must remain firm. set aside. 
Using a mortar & pestle or food processor, make a paste from the onions, sambal, lemongrass, trassi and galangal. Add the coconut milk and, on a low flame, reduced the sauce to about halve its volume . 
Place the fish in the sauce and add the laurel and jeruk purut leaves and simmer for a few more minutes. Serve with boiled rice.
You can replace the mackerel with any type of “oily” fish that’s available to you locally. 
The sambal ulek can be replaced with 3 or 4 red chillies and the lemongrass with a tablespoon of lemon zest.
Lemongrass, Ginger and Galangal are also widely available as a paste in jars which will keep for a long time.


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