Pepes Tongkol / Steamed-grilled spicy cob fish wrapped in banana leaves

March 19, 2011

Among other Indonesian food this is one of my favourite “Pepes Tongkol” ( steamed-grilled spicy cob fish wrapped in banana leaves)
I was extremely lucky when the first time I've got the recipe from my mom, listening over her explanations how to make a great Pepes Tongkol, it was truly exiting day
In the first time making, it turned just fine, to be honest I didn’t quite satisfied with the result, the fact that my mom pepes tongkol was the best, no way I can beat her.
After a view trial and more experiments until I find it as good as the one my mom made, perhaps its nearly close to a perfect one, I am very happy though...

Noted what she said, grind the chilli using stone made mortar and pestle *cobek, unfortunately I don’t have one and I have not decide to get one yet, it should be very soon…
I just process the chili through an electric grinder somehow it gaves almost to an ideal one.

Making pepes tongkol commonly using pindang tongkol *evaporated processing and preservation fish, if you are couldn’t find one just simply make use of fresh cob fish and then steamed, it should be fine.
*Cob fish may substitute with tuna or mackerel 

Do not open my pepes tongkol

  Pepes TongkoL
   Steamed-grilled spicy cob fish wrapped in banana leaves

  makes 4 pepes

  2 pindang tongkol (cob fish) / I use steamed fresh cob fish
  substitute tuna or mackerel
  10 red chillies + 4 bird eye chillies
  (skip the bird eye chillies if you don’t like spicy)
  2 candle nuts
  4 slices galangal
  a pich of terasi *shrimp paste--optional
  8 blimbing wuluh substitute tomato- slices
  A bunch lemon basil ( daun kemangi ) / steam off
  Ikan bilis granules as enhancing the flavour--prefer without msg
  Banana leaves
  Tooth picks


  Prepare the fish, head off, debone and then halved the fish. Set aside

  In the electric grinder, grind the chillies, candle nuts, galangal,  
  terasi (shrimp paste).
  In a bowl, combine chili paste mixture, lemon basil, blimbing wuluh  
  slice tomato and the fish, using spoon or spatula and then mix all
  the ingredients until all covered with chili paste
  Lay about 2 layers of banana leaves, place 1 fish on top of the banana
  Wrap and secure both ends with tooth picks, repeating the remaining  

  Meanwhile prepare the steamer until its ready for steaming.
  Transfers the wraps into the steamer, steamed to cooked
  Grilled on each sides for another 5-10 mins or until the wraps turns  
  into charred color.
  *I used non stick pan to charred-grilled, it works fine

Pepes tongkol collage

Have a wonderful weekend ...

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