The popular British Chef Jamie Oliver has recently cooked something on his cooking show, ‘Jamie And Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast’ that captured the attention of all Malaysians. Recently aired on January 15th, the chef decided to make a Malaysian-style sea bass (siakap) on his segment and was also seen eating the food with his hand.
When we see people from other countries trying to whip up our local food, it makes us super proud in the inside especially when it’s coming from the well-renowned chef himself. The lovely baked sea bass was served with some jasmine rice, rainbow salad and a chilli pickle.
In terms of making the paste, he went used the staple lemongrass, ginger, red chillies, lime leaves, unsalted peanuts, shallots and some salt. All of it being pounded evenly by using a pestle and mortar (such a Malaysian way). After adding fish oil, lime juice and tomato puree, he slattered the paste onto the fish and wrapped the whole fish up in a banana leaf to get that perfect bakar effect.
Once the dish was done, he dove right in with his fingers.
“I would usually use a knife and fork for this, but I’m not going to. Today I’m going to use my very clean hands,” he said.
As Malaysians, seeing a foreigner eating the Malaysian (Asian) way just makes us super proud. But he could learn a thing or two of not tilting his head up when he’s going in for a bite.
Ever since the video was posted on his Instagram six days ago, it has garnered 966k views and 56,684 likes. Well, I know what I’ll be having for dinner tonight!
To make things easier for our reader, we thought of including the full-on recipe here so check it out.
1 stick of lemongrass
5 cm piece of ginger
3 fresh red chillies
6 lime leaves , (fresh or dried)
100 g unsalted peanuts
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 x 800 g whole sea bass , scaled, gutted, from sustainable sources
1 large banana leaf , optional
1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce
3 mixed-colour chillies
1 pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 fresh coconut
75 g sugar snap peas
75 g mangetout
¼ of a Chinese cabbage
¼ of a red cabbage
¼ of a cucumber
1 ripe mango
½ a bunch of fresh mint, (15g)
½ a bunch of fresh coriander, (15g)
½ a bunch of fresh basil, (15g)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon creamed coconut
1 mug of jasmine rice
How to cook
– Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.
– Whack the lemongrass against your work surface and remove the tough outer layer. Peel the shallot and ginger, deseed the chillies, then roughly chop everything with the lemongrass. Add to a large pestle and mortar with a good pinch of sea salt and the lime leaves (discard the stalks) and pound to a paste.
– Toast the peanuts in a large frying pan over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until golden, then bash half into the paste. Add the tomato purée and fish sauce, finely grate in the lime zest and squeeze in all the juice, then muddle together.
– With a sharp knife, score the sea bass skin at 1cm intervals in a criss-cross fashion, then rub all over with the paste, both inside and out.
– Get your banana leaf (if using), or tear off a piece of baking paper five times as long as the fish and fold it in half to give you double thickness. Place the fish in the middle, then fold over to seal the fish snuggly inside. Place on a large baking tray and roast for 25 minutes, or until the flesh is succulent and comes away easily from the bone.
– To make the rice, drizzle the vegetable oil into a saucepan over medium heat. Crumble in the creamed coconut, then squeeze in the lime juice, throwing in the squeezed lime halves. Tip in the rice and fry for 2 minutes, then pour over 1 mug of boiling water and turn down the heat to low. Cover and cook for 12 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to steam for a further 3 minutes.
– For the chilli pickle, finely slice the chillies and place in a small bowl with the sugar, vinegar and a pinch of salt, then mix together and leave aside.
– Now make the salad. Crack open the coconut and finely grate 50g of flesh into a serving bowl. Halve the sugar snaps and mangetout, finely shred both cabbages and cucumber, then peel and finely slice the mango and add it all to the bowl. Pick in most of the herb leaves, squeeze over the lime juice and toss together.
– Pop the fish on a serving platter. Roughly crush the remaining peanuts in a pestle and mortar, then scatter over the salad and the fish. Drizzle the fish with the soy sauce and scatter over the remaining salad herbs.
– Take the fish, chilli pickle, rice and salad to the table and let everyone help themselves.
You can pick up banana leaves at good Asian supermarkets or online. If using, briefly hold it over the flame of your gas hob – this will make it pliable, and therefore easier to wrap around your fish, but it will also get the oils going for maximum flavour.
Pictures by Jamie Oliver & Sam Robinson