Ikan bakar
Ikan Gurame Bakar, grilled gourami served with sweet soy sauce, served in Jakarta
CourseMain course
Associated cuisineIndonesia,[1] Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsFish, seasoned with garlic, shallots and other spices grilled on charcoal

Ikan bakar is an Indonesian and Malay dish, prepared with charcoal-grilled fish or other forms of seafood. Ikan bakar literally means "grilled fish" in Indonesian and Malay. Ikan bakar differs from other grilled fish dishes in that it often contains flavorings like bumbu, kecap manis, sambal, and is covered in a banana leaf and cooked on a charcoal fire.

Origin and popularity

Grilling is one of the oldest and earliest cooking methods to prepare fish. Freshwater fish and seafood are among the main source of protein intake for the inhabitants of islands. Naturally, this method is immensely popular and quite widespread in the maritime realm of the Indonesian archipelago. Thus the grilled-barbecued fish is regarded as a classic dish of Indonesian cuisine.[2][3]

As an archipelagic nation, ikan bakar is very popular in Indonesia and is commonly found in many places, from an Acehnese beach to a restaurant perched over Kupang's harbour in East Nusa Tenggara, to the center of Jakarta's business district.[2] Various specific versions exist, including Sundanese ikan bakar Cianjur,[4] which is usually grilled freshwater fish, such as carp and gourami, and Balinese ikan bakar Jimbaran, freshly grilled seafood fish in warung clustered near Jimbaran beach and fish market in Bali.[5] Barbecued seafood, however, is especially popular in Sulawesi and Maluku, where most of the people work as fishermen, and both areas have vast seas which bring them different kinds of seafood.[6] Usually, the fish is marinated with a mixture of spice pastes, sometimes with belacan or kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), and then grilled, sometimes protected with a sheet of banana leaf placed between the seafood and grill to avoid the fish being stuck to the grill and broken to pieces.[6]

Marination and spices

Padang style ikan bakar served in rich spices with reddish color.

The fish is usually marinated with a mixture of sweet soy sauce and coconut oil or margarine, applied with a brush during grilling. The spice mixture may vary among regions and places, but usually it consists of a combination of ground shallot, garlic, chili pepper, coriander, tamarind juice, candlenut, turmeric, galangal and salt.[7] In Java and most of Indonesia, ikan bakar usually tastes rather sweet because the generous amount of sweet soy sauce either as marination or dipping sauce.[8] It is commonly consumed with steamed rice and the sweet sticky soy sauce poured over finely chopped green chilies and shallots.[2] The ikan bakar of Minangkabau (Padang), most of Sumatra and also Malay Peninsula are usually spicier and yellow-reddish in colour because of the generous amount of chili pepper, turmeric and other spices, and the absence of sweet soy sauce.[9]

Ikan bakar is usually served with sambal belacan (chili with shrimp paste) or sambal kecap (sliced chilli peppers and shallot in sweet soy sauce) as dipping sauce or condiment and slices of lemon as garnish. The East Indonesian Manado and Maluku ikan bakar usually uses rica-rica,[10] dabu-dabu[11] or colo-colo condiment.[12]


Ikan bakar and udang bakar (grilled shrimp) served with sambal and dabu-dabu in Jayapura, Papua.

There are many variants of ikan bakar, differ from the recipes of marinate spices, dipping sauces or sambals, to the species of fishes being grilled. Almost all kinds of edible fish and seafood can be made into ikan bakar, the most popular are freshwater gourami, patin and ikan mas, to seafood tongkol or cakalang, bawal, tenggiri, kuwe, baronang, kerapu, kakap merah (red snapper), and pari (stingray).[13] Some of the popular forms of seafood besides fish include sotong (squid), and udang (shrimp).



Grilling fish in Jimbaran, Bali.

Enjoying ikan bakar on a beach is a popular culinary itinerary during a visit to popular Indonesian tourism destinations; such as Jimbaran beach in Bali,[14] Losari beach in Makassar, and Muara Karang harbor in Jakarta.

In Indonesia, ikan bakar might be consumed any day throughout the year. However, in recent years, barbecuing fish and grilling corn cobs has grown to become a tradition on celebrating New Year's Eve.[15][16] Ikan bakar and jagung bakar has become a New Year's barbecue party essentials among Indonesians.[17]

See also


  1. ^ "Cook Indonesian Ikan Bakar Barbecue Fish Asian BBQ Series". 15 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Epicurus (10 November 1999). "Savoring 'ikan bakar' against backdrop of Jakarta at night". The Jakarta Post. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  3. ^ Schonhardt, Sara (24 October 2017). "40 Indonesian foods we can't live without". CNN. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  4. ^ AbraResto (10 November 1999). "Sampling the Best of Indonesia Without Leaving Jakarta". Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  5. ^ Brown, Samantha (10 February 2015). "6 dishes every Bali visitor needs to try". CNN. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Ikan Bakar". Tasty Indonesian Food.com. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  7. ^ "107 resep bumbu oles ikan bakar enak dan sederhana". Cookpad (in Indonesian). Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  8. ^ "11 resep sambal kecap ikan bakar enak dan sederhana". Cookpad (in Indonesian). Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  9. ^ "43 resep ikan bakar bumbu padang enak dan sederhana". Cookpad (in Indonesian). Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Ikan Bakar Rica-Rica – Spicy Grilled Fish – Daily Cooking Quest". Daily Cooking Quest. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 1 January 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Begini Cara Membuat Ikan Bakar Siram Sambal Dabu-Dabu Khas Manado". grid.id. Archived from the original on 20 February 2020. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  12. ^ "IKAN BAKAR COLO-COLO". grid.id. Archived from the original on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Ini Nih Jenis-Jenis Ikan yang Lezat untuk Dibakar". gohitz.com (in Indonesian). Archived from the original on 14 October 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Restaurants in Jimbaran, Indonesia". Lonely Planet. Archived from the original on 1 January 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Bikin Ikan Bakar Rayakan Tahun Baru 2018, Simak Resep Berikut". Tempo (in Indonesian). Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  16. ^ Indonesia, CNN. "Kembang Api dan Bakar Ikan Sambut Tahun Baru di Timur" (in Indonesian). CNN. Retrieved 1 January 2018. ((cite news)): |first= has generic name (help)
  17. ^ "Mau Pesta Jagung atau Bakar Ikan di Malam Tahun Baru? Cari Bahannya di Jalan Raya Bogor". Tribunnews.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 1 January 2018.