It’s a wrap…

This is one of the traditional ways of cooking in the kampung (village) where fish or prawns are wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked over an open wood fire or burning hot charcoal (like satay/sate). We call it pa’is…so if it is fish, we call it pa’is ikan.

Pa'is ikan 1

I think there are people who will add all kinds of things to the fish or prawns such as chillies, serai (lemon grass), kunyit (turmeric) and what not but actually, if the fish or prawns are very fresh, there is no necessity to add anything at all, not even salt.

The banana leaf bundles are grilled slowly over the heat…and when ready, you can enjoy the natural taste and sweetness of the fish or prawns enhanced with the delightful flavour of smoked banana leaf…

Pa'is ikan 2

I was so thrilled to stumble upon these at my regular Malay food stall at Bandong the other day as it is not easy to get hold of them except perhaps, during the Muslim fasting month at the Ramadhan stalls (but more often than not, most of those that I had bought from there previously had been somewhat disappointing). These were selling at only RM3.00 each and there were four fish inside. I could not tell whether they did it the authentic way or whether they had just used an oven or perhaps they just grilled it on a metal plate or frying pan on a gas stove…but regardless, it still tasted heavenly.

Pa'is ikan 3

If only I could have keli or buris with its very lemak (rich) natural Omega 3 oil oozing out, cooked in this manner, I’m sure it would be simply out of this world….

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

19 thoughts on “It’s a wrap…”

  1. Fish kah? Oh no… not for me… no tankiu…I see liao oredi horrified with all the tulangs tulangs. Scary man! But I think I can makan if you replace the fish that’s full of teeny weeny tulangs with a piece of stingray’s meat. LOL!

    Stingray? Eyew….. You don’t know fish…and stingray sometimes smell of urine – I saw on AFC…they say either male…or they add ammonia to keep the fish from spoiling. But the ikan bakar stingray I had in Penang – no smell, fresh. Those here – all smelly! Far from the sea bah…seafood expensive or not that fresh.

    1. am not good at eating fish also. I take mostly talapia, ikan taufo, ikan ayam and bawal. Those not much bones

      All these fish…no small bones leh…not like ikan terubok or those worth-their-weight-in-gold fish from upriver here. Those, when you eat – you will break out in cold sweat. So many small bones…so must eat really slowly and carefully and savour the exquisite sweetness and taste of the fish – like going to seventh heaven! πŸ˜‰

  2. Looks heavenly. I’ve seen these but never bought them, will have to try them next time. BTW, I like that recipe from your old ikan buris blog, will try that soon with the tinfoil. I used to catch those sai seng on the wharf. We called them chiak sai hoo.

    Yes, we used to do our business at those floating toilets on the river in the kmapong…and you would see them – huge ones…coming to have a feast. Very expensive now…and very nice!

  3. RM3 for 4 fishes? Wow! I love simple ways of cooking, especially food cooked this way. Yumz..

    Cheap! At the stall, if fried or cooked in other ways, fish like kembong – RM1-1.50 each depending on the size…but at the Chinese so-called economical fast food stalls, no less than RM2.00!

  4. ohhh……i love pa’is ikan and bbq’d ikan. Any fresh fish that’s cooked plain tastes the best! Eat with kicap cabik…..yums! Heaven!

    Yes…only add ingredients if the seafood isn’t fresh or else it will be so bland, so tasteless…

  5. Mmmmmm… I love pais… or the ones (ikan sungai) grilled on fire and then remove the bones and mix with chilli, onion, upa’ kecala and calamansi juice…wawawa…. very2 nice…yums2

    Ya…don’t we all? Simply yummy! I hope the stall will have pa’is regularly then I will be able to eat to my heart’s content…

  6. OMG! Even for RM3 for 4 fishes…it still looked terrible for me. LOL πŸ˜€

    You city people, got class…not used the the simple ways of us, kampong folks…but you don’t know what you’re missing… >.< Given a choice between this and any fish burger at any fast food joint or even fish and chips anywhere, I would choose this anytime….but with ikan bakar, then it will be a tough decision…

  7. Let’s go back to the days of cavemen & natural fresh flavours!

    p/s: KFC was gr8! I had rojak from the pasar malam as dessert. Wish you were there!

    Ya…bet you can do a lot of that in Katibas…and cooking meat or fish in bamboo as well. Ooooo….simply out of this world.

    Sorry, couldn’t spend the night with you – not fully recovered from my flu and cough…old man, takes a little longer but I had Sibu-style sio bee at my friend’s house for lunch – VERY nice and he said he got if from the pasar malam. Gee!!! Haven’t been there for ages – let’s go together sometime… Wink! Wink! πŸ˜‰ Muahahahahaha!!!

  8. RM3 for 4 fish! am drooling now… can actually ‘smell’ the wangi wangi of the banana leaf panggang-ing… haih!!!!!!!!!

    Smells great, tastes great too…yum!!! LOL!!!

  9. That’s a tasty fish, my dad loves that and any other flat fishes. Cooked foods in banana leaf tastes good, I like rice wrapped in banana leaf too.

    Ya…I’ve seen that done on tv – steamed rice packets in banana leaves. I’ve never tried that but I always put screwpine (pandan) leaves in when cooking rice. Makes it fragrant and they say the leaves have special health benefits as well.

  10. I haven’t try making my own “ikan bakar”… i think i prefer to pay and save all the hassle. Lol..

    Ya…especially when it’s only RM3.00. πŸ˜‰

  11. Aiyor, it’s one of my ‘must order’ dish when I go for hawker food, but I never thought it could be cooked at home too! One day ‘die die’ must try!^-^

    My problem here is getting the banana leaves. When buying at the native produce market, you’ll get a bundle of so many leaves…and end up using a few – a whole lot wasted. Cannot keep some more…

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