Pepes Ikan Recipe

Pepes Ikan Recipe : The Ultimate Guide to Mouthwatering Indonesian Pepes Ikan

Pepes Ikan is a traditional Indonesian dish made with fish, herbs, and spices, then wrapped in banana leaves and steam-cooked. Originating from the Sundanese culture, this flavorful and aromatic dish is popular throughout Indonesia.

The moist and tender fish infused with the fragrance of the banana leaves results in a delicious and healthy meal. Pepes Ikan can be made with a variety of fish, such as tilapia or mackerel, and is seasoned with a blend of aromatic herbs and spices like lemongrass, turmeric, and galangal.

The unique cooking method of wrapping the fish in banana leaves not only adds a distinct earthy flavor but also seals in the natural juices and aromas, creating a sensational dining experience. Whether prepared for a family meal or a special occasion, Pepes Ikan is sure to delight the taste buds with its unique blend of flavors and textures.

Pepes Ikan Recipe  : The Ultimate Guide to Mouthwatering Indonesian Pepes Ikan


What Is Pepes Ikan?

Pepes Ikan is a traditional Indonesian dish that is prepared by wrapping fish in banana leaves and then steaming or grilling it. This unique cooking method helps to infuse the fish with flavors from various herbs and spices. The dish is typically seasoned with a mixture of shallots, garlic, turmeric, galangal, and lemongrass. The banana leaves not only impart a subtle aroma to the fish but also help to keep it moist and tender during the cooking process. Pepes Ikan can be made with various types of fish, such as snapper, mackerel, or even catfish, and it is often served with steamed rice and a side of sambal, a spicy chili paste. This flavorful and aromatic dish is a popular part of Indonesian cuisine and is enjoyed by many for its unique blend of textures and flavors.

Ingredients For Pepes Ikan

Pepes Ikan Recipe Ingredients:

Fresh Fish: Use fresh, firm-textured fish such as tilapia or mackerel.

Aromatic Herbs and Spices: Gather lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, garlic, and turmeric.

Banana Leaves: These will be used to wrap the fish parcels for a delightful aroma.

Preparing Pepes Ikan

Cleaning and marinating the fish is the first step in preparing the delicious Indonesian dish Pepes Ikan. Begin by cleaning the fish thoroughly, removing any scales and entrails. Next, marinate the fish with a blend of spices such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, and lemongrass. The aromatic paste is essential for adding flavor to the dish. To make it, grind together shallots, red chili peppers, and candlenuts. Wrapping the fish in banana leaves helps to seal in the flavors and moisture while cooking. Place the marinated fish on a banana leaf, spoon the aromatic paste onto it, and wrap it securely. Finally, cook the wrapped fish by steaming or grilling until it is cooked through and tender. Enjoy the fragrant and succulent Pepes Ikan with steamed rice for a satisfying meal.

Pepes Ikan Recipe  : The Ultimate Guide to Mouthwatering Indonesian Pepes Ikan


Cooking Techniques For Pepes Ikan

Grilling and steaming are two popular cooking techniques for Pepes Ikan, a delicious Indonesian dish. Grilling imparts a smoky flavor to the fish, enhancing its taste. Start by marinating the fish with a blend of spices such as turmeric, ginger, and lemongrass. Then, wrap the fish in banana leaves to help retain moisture during grilling. Grill the fish over medium heat until cooked through, periodically basting it with a mixture of coconut milk and spices for added flavor.

Steaming, on the other hand, is a healthier alternative that preserves the natural flavors of the fish. Place the marinated fish in a steamer basket over boiling water, making sure the fish doesn’t come into direct contact with the water. Steam the fish for about 15-20 minutes or until it flakes easily with a fork. This gentle cooking method ensures the fish remains moist and tender.

Both grilling and steaming are excellent techniques to prepare Pepes Ikan, providing distinct flavors and textures. Experiment with different spices and herbs to personalize your dish and savor the authentic taste of this Indonesian delicacy.

Tips For Perfecting Pepes Ikan

In order to create the perfect Pepes Ikan, it is crucial to start with choosing the right fish. Opt for fresh and firm fish, such as snapper or sea bass, that can hold up well during the steaming process. This will ensure that the flavors are properly absorbed and the texture remains tender.

To add a personal twist to your Pepes Ikan, experiment with different combinations of spices and herbs. Consider using ingredients like lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, and kaffir lime leaves to infuse unique flavors into the dish. Additionally, you can add a tablespoon of coconut milk for a creamy and aromatic touch.

Once the Pepes Ikan is ready, serve it in banana leaves for an authentic and visually appealing presentation. The natural fragrance from the leaves will further enhance the dish. Pair it with steamed rice and sambal for a complete Indonesian meal. Enjoy the tantalizing flavors of Pepes Ikan with your family and friends!

Pepes Ikan Recipe  : The Ultimate Guide to Mouthwatering Indonesian Pepes Ikan


Frequently Asked Questions Of Pepes Ikan Recipe

What Are The Ingredients In Pepes?

Pepes is a traditional Indonesian dish made by steaming fish or chicken in banana leaves. The ingredients typically include fish or chicken, various spices like garlic, shallots, and chili peppers, along with coconut milk and lime juice for added flavor.

Q: What Is Pepes Ikan?

A: Pepes Ikan is an Indonesian dish made by wrapping fish, spices, and herbs in banana leaves, then grilling or steaming it. It is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy fish, with the banana leaves imparting a unique aroma and taste to the dish.

Q: How Do You Make Pepes Ikan?

A: To make Pepes Ikan, clean and marinate fish in a mixture of spices and herbs such as shallots, garlic, turmeric, lemongrass, and lime leaves. Wrap the fish in banana leaves and grill or steam until cooked. Serve with steamed rice for a flavorful and aromatic meal.

Q: What Fish Is Best For Pepes Ikan?

A: A variety of fish can be used for Pepes Ikan, such as snapper, tilapia, or mackerel. Choose a firm and white-fleshed fish that can hold its shape while cooking. The fish should be fresh and cleaned properly before marinating and wrapping in banana leaves.


The Pepes Ikan recipe is a delicious and nutritious dish that brings the flavors of Indonesia to your table. With its simple ingredients and easy cooking process, anyone can enjoy this traditional dish at home. Whether you’re a seafood lover or looking to try something new, Pepes Ikan is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

So why not give it a try and impress your friends and family with this flavorful Indonesian delight?

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