1 whole bandeng (milkfish) or substitute sea bass or mackerel (about 700 g)
6 tbs. grated coconut, fried in a dry pan until golden brown and pounded till fine
100 ml thick coconut milk from ¾ coconut
2 eggs, beaten
banana leaves, or substitute foil
2 tsp. coriander seeds
3 cloves garlic
1 cm fresh gangale (lengkuas)
2 tsp. sugar
salt to taste
- Scale and gut the fish through the gills. Wash the fish inside and out and dry thoroughly with kitchen towel paper.
- Carefully pound the fish with the flat of a large knife. Massage it hard all over in order to release the meat from the skin.
- Remove the backbone of the fish but leave tail and head in place: bend the tail towards the head until you feel the bone snap. Carefully pull out the bone through the gill-opening. Take care not to break the skin anywhere.
- Press out all the meat through the gill-opening by pressing the fish with a spoon from the tail-end towards the head.
- Turn over the skin by pushing the tail towards the head. Remove the bones then push the tail back through the head opening. Flake the meat and fry in a dry pan for a few minutes, then remove all the tiny bones from the meat. Mix the meat with the grated coconut, coconut milk, beaten eggs and the pounded Spice-paste. Blend till smooth. The consistency should be like soft butter.
- Put the stuffing back inside the fish through the gill-opening. Sew up the opening after stuffing the fish. Wrap in a banana leaf and secure the ends. Steam until done, approximately 15-20 minutes. Unwrap and grill over a barbecue or in the oven until brown before serving.