Pepes, a fish dish predominantly, is served widely in East Timor as a local dish. It is common all over Indonesia and has many variations and various primary ingredients including Tofu, Chicken or Mushroom.

  • 1 kg whole fish (carp or snapper)
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 stalk green onion
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 5 salam leaves
  • 50 g kemangi leaves (sweet basil)
  • salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbl. salad oil
  • banana leaves or aluminum foil to wrap
Spice paste, grind the following ingredients:
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 shallot
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 2 cm turmeric
  • 50 g fresh chili pepper
  • 5 candlenut
  • 5 g tamarind
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 25 ml water
  1. Scale and clean the fish.
  2. Take out the intestines but not the egg.
  3. Make three diagonal slashes on each side of the fish for spice paste flavor to immerse.
  4. Marinade the fish with salt and tamarind for 15 minutes then wash the fish with a bowl of water to remove excess salt.
  5. Add cooking oil to the spice-paste, mix.
  6. Coat fish with spice paste.
  7. Put kemangi leaves, salam leaves and sliced lemon grass for the flavor.
  8. Wrap the fish in banana leaves or aluminum foil.
  9. Steam with medium fire, 30 minutes.
  10. Let it cool and grill the wrapped fish over charcoal fire.
Notes, tips and variations:
  • The use of Kemangi leaves is optional.