Fried Mackerel with sambal or sambal ikan is a very popular Malay dish in Malaysia. There are many variations of sambal sauce, with a range of hot chilli pepper used as primary ingredients. Likewise, other secondary ingredients including spices, garlic, ginger, shallot, onion and spring onion (scallion). As well as sugar, lime juice, lemon juice, shrimp paste (called belacan in Malay). Plus rice vinegars or other types of vinegars. Besides, they serve all these varieties of sambal sauce normally as hot and spicy condiments. Usually for Malay dishes like fried fish (ikan goreng), grilled fish (ikan bakar) and fried chicken (ayam goreng).
About Sambal Sauce
Conventionally, they make sambal sauces with the use of a mortar and pestle. Likewise, they pound these ingredients in the mortar with the pestle. Moreover, you can serve freshly prepared sambal sauces either cooked or fresh. Besides, they also use sambal sauces as a spice paste for fried rice or fried noodles . As well as for cooking and braising meat, seafood or vegetables. Nowadays, there are also many brands and varieties of pre-prepared sambal sauces readily available in Asian groceries stores and supermarkets.
Gluten Free Fried Mackerel with Sambal (Sambal Ikan)
For my gluten free Fried Mackerel with Sambal (Sambal Ikan) recipe. My ingredients include long fresh red chillies, small dried red chillies, garlic, onions, onion shallots and ginger. As well as assam (tamarind) paste and spices like paprika, turmeric and curry leaves. Then, I served my gluten free sambal sauce as a hot and spicy condiment alongside pan fried mackerel cutlets. You can also serve the sambal chilli sauce on top of the pan fried Mackerel if preferred. This gluten free recipe is also low carb, soy free, dairy free, nut free and egg free.
You may also like my other gluten free fish recipes:
- Assam (Tamarind) Fish;
- Teochew Steamed Whole Fish;
- Steamed Whole Fish with Shiitake Mushrooms & Goji Berries; and
- Chinese Steamed Whole Fish with Ginger Shallot.
Fried Mackerel with Sambal (Sambal Ikan)
For the Spice Paste:
For the Sambal Chilli Sauce:
For the Marinade:
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon medium dry sherry
For the spice paste:
- Add the ingredients for the spice paste into a food processor and blend until you get a smooth paste. Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle if preferred.
For the sambal chilli sauce:
- Heat up the non-stick frying pan with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on medium to high heat. Pan fry the garlic, shallots, onion and ginger on low to medium heat until the garlic are lightly golden and onion are caramelised.
- Then add in the spice paste, curry leaves, tamarind paste or puree, sugar and salt and pan fry for 3 minutes on medium heat until the spice paste is aromatic. Add in the water and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove and set aside in a bowl. Clean wok with kitchen paper towel.
For cooking the mackerel:
- Marinade the mackerel cutlets with the marinade prepared. Rub and mix well into the mackerel cutlets.
- Lightly coat the mackerel cutlets with corn starch, shake off excess.
- Heat up a non-stick frying pan with some rice bran oil and pan fry the mackerel cutlets for 3 minutes on each side or until mackerel are golden brown. Pan fry in 3 to 4 batches, adding more rice bran oil as needed.
- Pre-heat fan forced oven to 160C or 320F. Place the mackerel cutlets in a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake the mackerel cutlets for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mackerel pieces are well browned.
- Serve with sambal chilli sauce and steamed basmati rice.