Malay Grilled Coconut Fish with Lime Leaves & Cucumber Relish

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

My Street Food Kitchen

My Street Food Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2015

  • About

With influences from India, Thailand and China, Malaysian food is a glorious mash-up of complex flavours, This exotic coconut marinade is dreamy on any meat or fish.

Preparation: 15 Minutes, Plus 30 Minutes Marinating
Cooking: 15 Minutes


  • 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) skinless thick white fish fillet (halibut, redfish, barramundi cod or salmon)
  • 15 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • 3 lemongrass stems, pale part only, chopped
  • 5 cm (2 inch) piece galangal or ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 red Asian shallots
  • 1 thumb-size red chilli, halved, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander (cilantro), roots and stems rinsed, leaves reserved for serving
  • 1Β½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) coconut cream


To make the marinade, put all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Cut the fish into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces. Put the pieces in a non-metallic shallow container and pour the marinade over. Cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 15 minutes to prevent them from burning during cooking.

Alternately thread the fish pieces and kaffir lime leaves onto the skewers, then brush all over with vegetable oil. Cook the fish skewers on a preheated barbecue or chargrill or under a grill (broiler) on high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden at the edges and just cooked through. Serve with steamed rice, chopped reserved coriander leaves and Sticky Cucumber Relish.