Salt Grilled Snapper

with sambal matah

Not a typical dish you may find in Bali, but delicious nonetheless.

Today I explain you how to cook up a grilled salt crusted snapper enriched with Balinese sambal matah.

The fresh snapper is stuffed with lemon basil and lemongrass, then coated in organic salt and baked or in this case, grilled over charcoal to ensure the fish is filled with flavour.

The savoury tender fish then topped with Balinese sambal matah which gives a refreshing spiciness into the dish.

Will Meyrick




Main Ingredients

  • 1 whole snapper
  • 2 cups salt
  • 1 bunch fresh lemon basil
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised


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.


1 piece lemo (Balinese lime) or any kind of lime, halved or cheek
sprigs of lemon basil

Step by Step Instructions

step 1 : fish prep

Clean the snapper stomach from the gills and add in the fresh lemon basil and bruised lemongrass inside the snapper stomach.

step 2 : coating

Then coat the whole snapper with salt evenly.

step 3 : embers

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

step 4 : grill

Place your snapper in a wire mesh and start to grill it on one side and flip it to grill on another side.

step 5 : sambal

Meanwhile prepare your sambal matah.

step 6 : pan searing

Heat up coconut oil in the pan and combine the sliced lemongrass, dried shrimp paste, sliced chilli, sliced shallot and fresh lime juice.

step 7 : oil step

Pour over the hot oil and use your fingertips to lightly mix it together.

step 8 : seasoning

Add in the sliced ginger flower, sliced tomato and salt to taste. Mix through.

step 9 : grill check

Check your grilled snapper, when it has firm hard crust then you know your fish is good to serve. Lift it from the grill and take out from wire mesh.

step 10 : serving

Place on the plate, open the skin on one side and nicely arrange sambal matah on it and garnish with sliced of lemo (or lime cheeks) and fresh lemon basil.

selamat makan

Bon appetit!