Ikan Balado

2010 July 15
by linda

Few days ago, I was deep frying chicken. I had to mix canola oil with some olive oil because I was short on canola. I thought what an expensive deep fried chicken because of the olive oil. Actually I wanted to discard the used oil straight away, but I felt sorry for the olive oil ;) So down I went to hunt for yellow fish tail, or any other fish suitable for Balado. YAY yellow tail fish was actually available at reasonable price, $4.95/kg. It would make a perfect Ikan Balado. By the way, Ikan means fish and Balado means stir fried chilli paste. So, there it is Ikan Balado, served with a warm steam rice and nice to be eaten with bare hand. This was actually my childhood and teenager meal at least once a week and I absolutely love it and can’t get enough of everything with Balado.


  • 1.8 kg or 10 pcs yellow tail fish, clean, gutted, and chopped into 3
  • 1 lime, strain the juice
  • 2 tsp of salt to marinate
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of garlic puree
  • 1 1/2 cup of red long chilli puree
  • 1 tsp of salt or to adjust accordingly
  • 1 tbsp of vinegar or to adjust accordingly
  • 2 tbsp of sugar or to adjust accordingly (see note)
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • oil for deep frying and stir frying


  1. Marinate the fish pieces with lime juice and salt for about 15 minutes. Deep fried the fish until crunchy.
  2. Heat generous amount of oil in the wok. Add in garlic and stir until the fragrance comes out.
  3. Add in chilli puree and let it simmer under low medium heat for 5 minutes or until the oil bubbles start to reduce.
  4. Add salt, vinegar and tomato sauce, stir it to mix evenly.
  5. Add sugar and taste to adjust the flavour. You need to be quick after the sugar is in because it could darken the colour of the chilli as the sugar starts to caramelize.
  6. When the taste is right, add the deep fried fish. Stir to coat evenly.
  • The heat of red chilli may be varied, so adjust the amount sugar to suit your heat preferences.

Preparation time (duration): 60

Culinary tradition: Indonesian

Please leave your comment/suggestion if you find this recipe useful. Can’t wait to hear from you and Thank You !!!

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2012 January 21
    Sharon Jordan permalink

    I just returned to the US from Australia, where I fell in love with ikan balado. Thanks so much for the recipe — my tongue is watering just from reading it!!


    • 2012 January 26
      linda permalink

      I love love everything in balado :) chicken and beef are good too. Hope you love the recipe as much as I do. Just keep tasting because my ingredient is just an estimate :)
      PS. I have a page at facebook My Kitchen Produce. Please do check it out if you have an account. Thanks for visiting

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