Resep Pepes Ikan Tempoyak (Banana Leaf Wrapped Spiced Fish with Fermented Durian Paste)

resep pepes tempoyak ikan pedas brengkes durian palembang

Pepes ikan tempoyak is a popular dish in across southern Sumatra. Pepes is an indonesian spiced dish that usually wrapped  with banana leaf. It possibly consist of chicken, fish, shrimp, tempeh, egg, frog or even tofu.  Pepes called Pais in West Java, Brengkesan in Center Java, Pelasan in West Java (Banyuwangi), Brengkes in South Sumatra.  Palai in West Sumatra, and Payeh in Aceh. Pepes can be steamed, broiled, grilled, or even baked, sometimes people like to steaming it first until throughly cooked and then drained and infused some smokey aromas by following grilling or broilling. The banana leaf wrapper remain the food moisture inside while giving some nice leafy scent too. Today i’m making pepes using ikan tapah (Wallago attu), a rather rare freshwater giant predatory catfish with some tangy fermented durian called tempoyak.

resep ikan tapah pepes tempoyak palembang

Pepes Ikan Tempoyak khas Palembang

ikan tapah wallago attu fish

Ikan Tapah (Wallago Attu)

ikan tapah gigi wallago attu fish teeth

Gigi Ikan Tapah (Walago Attu Teeth)

Ikan tapah (Wallago attu) got many name around the world, it is known as Boal and Borali in Bengal. Sareng in Manipur,  Valah in Malayalam, Mali In Pakistan, Nim Yue in China (Cantonese). Ikan Tapah is common called for wallago fish in  Indonesia and Malaysia, it’s originnaly from athe name of a Malaysian town, Tapah, where wallago fish is easily catch. Other known name of wallago fish is  Boal Fish, Mully Catfish, and Freshwater Shark due to its ferocity. This catfish can reached 2.4 meters long and weighted more than 50 kilos. The mouth of ikan tapah is fullfilled with several colonnade of gillette sharp teeth. Contrary to the ugly and scally looking, ikan tapah got a very sweet,  white and succulent meat. The best part of ikan tapah is actually the head because it’s mostly consist of collagen tissue and carlilageous-like bone.

pepes ikan tempoyak palembang banana leaf wrap fish

Resep Pepes Ikan Tempoyak, Banana Leaf Wrap Spiced Fish with Fermented Durian Paste

tempoyak duren fermented durian paste

Tempoyak Durian (Fermented Durian)

Tempoyak is a salted and fermented durian. It usually made from over ripe durian that is unsuitable for direct consumption. You can  made tempoyak by yourself, simply add about 3 tbsp coarsed salt to  about 500 grams over ripe durian flesh, then put it in a sterilized glass jar and let it fermented in a dark and cold place for about 7 days until it got a nice tangy flavour. Some local descent people like to eat tempoyak either cooked or uncooked. Tempoyak  eaten with rice, and can also be used for making gulai (curry), usually fish curry like my Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Belido. Tempoyak is usually served as Sambal Tempoyak, it’s a Sumatran dish made from the mixture of tempoyak, shallots and chilli pepper. Once you using tempoyak to flavouring your dish, don’t forget to watch over the saltiness level, you probably didn’t need any salt addition due the salt content of the tempoyak.

Resep Pepes Ikan Tempoyak :


  • 1 kg Ikan Tapah (You can substitude with tilapia, red snapper,mekong catfish, grass carp or any kind of fish), cut into single portion
  • banana leaf for wrapping the spiced fish, heated in direct flame to soften it
  • butcher twines for tide up the pepes ikan (i’m using the banana leaf fiber)
  • 100 gr Tempoyak (Fermented Durian Paste), you can replace with 100 gr fresh durian flesh and 2 tbsp lime juice
  • alumunium foil for wrapping the pepes ikan
  • 10 cherry tomato, halves
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt for taste
resep bumbu pepes tempoyak ikan palembang

Resep Bumbu Pepes Tempoyak khas Palembang

Bumbu pepes/ spice paste:

  • 50 gr red cayenne/chilli pepper (adjust the amount for your preference hotness)
  • 10 shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 5 cm turmeric
  • 4 lemongrass, use  the soft white part only
  • 3 cm ginger
  • 3 cm  galagal


  • Preheat oven on 175 C
  • Season the fish with salt and lime juice, le it marinate for about 30 minutes on fridge
  • Mix the spice paste with tempoyak, cherry tomato, salt and sugar. (i add some turmeric powder too)

resep tempoyak duren pepes ikan pedas

  • Drain the fish and  mix it with the spice paste mixture until the fish is well coated

resep ikan tapah pepes tempoyak

  • Wrap the pepes ikan mixture with banana leaf
  • Tide the banana leaf  pepes ikan parcell with the butcher twine (or the banana leaf fiber)

resep pepes ikan tempoyak palembang

  • Wrap it with alumunium foil and bake it for about 45 minutes

resep ikan tapah pepes bumbu pedas

  • Keep it warm in the oven
  • Grill or broil it for about 5 minutes, open the peppes ikan banana parcel and served it immediately

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Steamed “Sun Hock” Marble Goby Fish with Preserved Fermented Soybean (Tauco/Miso) Paste

Resep Ikan Betutu/Ikan Malas Tim/Kukus Tauco

Recipe steam soon hock taucho  preserved soybean paste miso

Steamed “Sun Hock” Marble Goby Fish with Preserved Fermented Soybean (Tauco) Recipe

Marble Goby Fish or Oxyeleotris marmorata, the marbled sleeper or marbled gudgeon, or Soon Hock in Cantonese, Betutu or ketutu fish in Indonesian is a widely distributed species of freshwater fish in the family Eleotridae. It lives in the Mekong and Chao Praya basins, rivers and other water bodies in Malaysia, Singapore, Indochina, Philippines and Indonesia. It is probably the largest Gobioid fish, reaching up to 65 cm (26 in) in length.

steam fish recipe fermented soybean paste miso tauco steam fish recipe soon hock fish recipe sun hock fish dentist chef

Recipe Steamed “Sun Hock” Marble Goby Fish with Preserved Fermented Soybean (Tauco)

pop out flesh is the sign for a very fresh succulent steamed fish

This species is an economically important fish in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. It is highly popular among the Chinese community due to its fine texture, tasty white flesh and is believed to have healing properties. It is said, best eaten after surgeries or childbirths. Some says it can lead to prolonged life. In Malaysia, commercialization of this type of fish is not widely established. Demands are largely dependent on wild populations thus fetching high prices in the market.

ikan betutu hidup live marble goby sun hock fish

Live Marble Goby “Soon Hock” Fish, Ikan Betutu Hidup

Keep the marble goby fish or soon hock in clean water tank 2- 3 days before steaming to remove the fishy odor

The local Indonesian names for Marble goby is betutu, bakut, bakutut, belosoh , boso, boboso, bodobodo, ikan bodoh, gabus bodoh, ikan sioto, ketutuk, ikan malas, ikan hantu or ghost fish. Marble goby derived from the marble stone colored skin. This fish is ultimately pricey because it’s white and succulent meat and rarely farm raised because the fish neglect a commercial pellet . Marble goby like live catch for their prey and it’s become a cost production problems.

ikan betutu tim ikan malas tauco resep tim ikan betutu steam ikan betutu tauco

Chinese Steamed “Sun Hock” Marble Goby Fish with Preserved Fermented Soybean Recipe (Resep Ikan Betutu/Malas Tim Tauco)

It’s ugly fish for being pricey, but it’s  worth every cent…..


1marble goby/ ikan betutu, about 700 gr, cleaned, buterflied from the belly bottom
Marinade : 1 tbsp lemon juice + 1 tbsp chopped ginger+ 1 tbsp chopped garlic
3 cherry tomatoes,finely chopped
3  bird eyechili, finely chopped
1 tbsp tauco/ fermented soybean paste
1 tbs of rock sugar
2 tbs of premium light soy sauce
1/2 tsp of sesame oil
2 tbsp  of  angciu /Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp oyster sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cm knob of ginger, chopped
Garnish: spring onion, Julienned, soaked in ice water until it become to curl.

Instruction :

  1.  Rub the fish lighly with marinade, set aside
  2. Saute ginger, garlic, chilies and the rest ingredient until fragrant, set aside
  3. Put the fish in steaming pyrex bowl, steam the fish about 2 minutes until half done, discard the liquid
  4. Add the sauteed mixture, spread all over the fish.
  5. Steam the bowl in your highest fire for about 5 minutes
  6. Put the fish in a serving plate, garnish with spring onion

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