Jimbaran Style
Grilled Fish

with sambal matah and sambal kecap manis

A Balinese easy-to-cook recipe

Today I am in Pemuteran, the area known for its fish farms producing groupers for global market. Here I show you how to cook Jimbaran style grilled snapper fish. Want to taste the delightful dish of Bali?

Will Meyrick




Main Ingredients

  • 1 whole snapper
  • 2 sprigs lemon basil
  • 1 piece Balinese lime (any lime will do), halved
  • Sambal matah
  • Sambal kecap manis

Marinade I

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 knob turmeric
  • 1 knob ginger
  • Juice of 1 lime


Marinade II

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 knob turmeric
  • 1 cup butter/margarine

Marinade III

  • 8 pieces shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup candlenut
  • 1/3 cup red curly chilli, chopped
  • 1 knob ginger
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • Salt to taste
  • Palm sugar to taste (but quite sweet)
  • 1/3 cup small red chilli, chopped
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind juice

Sambal Matah

  • 8 pieces shallots
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 3 pieces red birds eye chilli, seeds intact
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried shrimp paste
  • 3 pieces Balinese lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Finely chop shallots, lemongrass and chillies.
Combine with dried shrimp paste, Balinese lime juice and heat up coconut oil until smoking and then pour over the sambal.
Use your fingertips to lightly mix together with the oil. Serve immediately.

Sambal Kecap Manis

  • 1 piece shallot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup small green chillies, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced

Simply combine the chopped chillies, soy sauce and lime juice together. This can be kept in airtight container in the refrigeration for several days to use as desired.


lime halves

Step by Step Instructions

step 1 : butterfly

* Take the snapper and open it up from the back so it butterflied.

step 2 : marinade I

Blend your “Marinade I” until smooth, then rub the fish thoroughly with it. This is to take the smell away of the insides.

step 3 : marinade II

Prepare the “Marinade II” by softening butter/margarine and blend all the ingredients to a fine paste.

step 4 : marinade III

Then combine and blend the ingredients from your “Marinade III” list together to create third paste.

step 5 : embers

Make sure your BBQ is hot and there are no yellow flames.

step 6 : first grill

Place your fish in a wire mesh with the first marinade and grill for 3 minutes each side.

step 7 : marinade spread

Then add the second marinade of butter and lightly spread onto fish.

step 8 : second grill

Put it back on the grill and cook for another 5 minutes, turning a couple of times.

step 9 : second marinade

Finally take it off the grill and apply the last marinade. Brush this on evenly and not too thick, otherwise the paste will be raw.

step 10 : final grill

Put the fish back on the grill and cook until the skin is nicely caramelized and served with sambal matah and sambal kecap manis.

selamat makan!

Bon appetit!