Sumba Style Grilled Snapper

Main ingredients

  • 1 snapper
  • 1 cup raw marinade paste
  • 1 cup cooked marinade paste
  • 5 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 bunch lemon basil
  • Sambal Sumba on the side (see pantry)

Raw marinade paste ingredients

  • 5 knob turmeric, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 fresh lime, juiced
  • Salt
  • White pepper powder

Cooked marinade paste ingredients

  • 2 big knobs ginger, peeled
  • 1 big knob galangal, peeled
  • 10 big knob turmeric, peeled
  • 7 small knobs wild ginger (kencur)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 20 pieces shallot
  • 6 pieces bird eye chillies
  • 4 pieces red big chillies
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 pieces tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 pieces candlenut
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste


  • Prepare the cooked marinade paste first by pounding all ingredients except tomato in a mortar and pestle until to a smooth paste.
  • In the sauce pan, heat cooking oil, add in the paste and sauté until cooked.
  • Then add in chopped tomato and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Stir continuously so it doesn’t stick at the bottom of the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.  
  • Then prepare the raw marinade paste by pounding fresh turmeric, salt and fresh lime juice into a fine paste.
  • Apply the raw paste on the snapper skin and sprinkle some salt and white pepper powder.
  • Put some paste inside the snapper stomach as well to flavor the meat.
  • Prepare your charcoal grill and make sure it’s hot and there are no yellow flames.
  • Place your snapper in a wire mess and grill for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Then brush the cooked marinade paste and lightly spread onto the fish.
  • Put it back on the grill and cook for another 5 minutes, turn a couple of times.
  • Take it off the grill when it’s cooked.
  • Served with sambal Sumba.

Sambal Sumba


  • 6 pieces shallots
  • 1 small bunch green shallot
  • 20 pieces red bird eye chillies
  • 2 pieces tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 1 piece fresh lime, juiced
  • ½ cup cooking oil


  • Pound shallot, green shallot, chillies, tomato and shrimp paste into a fine paste.
  • Then heat cooking oil in the sauce pan, stir fry the paste until cooked then mix with lime juice.
  • Ready to serve.
45 minutes
2 portions