Resipi : Ikan cencaru belah belakang (stuffed fish)

I googled and found that ikan cencaru is called Torpedo Scad in English.

Well, the fish is not a very tasty fish but it is very good when cooked with anything that is spicy to make up for the lack of sweetness of the fish flesh. I often cooked it in my assam soup.

The fishes were gutted and cleaned. Slit a line at the back of the fish (the side away from the stomach). I had pried open with a teaspoon to show the slot. Some people likes to slit both sides but I prefer to do only one slit because it is easier to fry.

The raw fish stuffed with chillies waiting for the deep frying. What I like about ikan cencaru is their hardy skin which is without any scales. I hate removing fish scales and therefore, hardly cook small, local fishes.

Ingredients for sambal

  • 5 dried chillies – soaked and remove seeds
  • 5 red chillies (or just use dried chillies)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 thumb size tumeric * (can be omitted)
  • 3 candlenuts * (can be omitted)
  • 3 lemongrass
  • 1 piece belacan
  • generous amount of tamarind paste mix with water
  • salt and sugar to taste

Method : Grind till find, stir fry until fragrant. Then, add the tamarind juice, salt and sugar. Keep stirring until the paste is very dry. The above is more than enough for 6 fishes. However, the sambal itself is very tasty on its own, so some extra is very welcome.
For the sambal, all I did was to grind the above and fry them into a fragrant paste. Some people likes to stuff with sliced onions but I don’t because the onions will turned too brown and give the fish a horrible look.

Leftovers fishes keep well in the fridge. You just need to re-heat in the microwave without re-frying again.


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8 Replies to “Resipi : Ikan cencaru belah belakang (stuffed fish)”

  1. Awww, they look great. My mother used to cook this fish a lot when I was growing up. I remember I was always scared to eat this fish when I was little because the skin is tough and the flesh is dark in color, but later I discovered just how great they are.

  2. This is one dish I HAD to learn when I got married. It is one of my husband’s favourites, and my MIL makes it so gooooood ….. susahlah want to match MIL’s cooking!
    Anyway, I am frantically searching for the recipe for DAGING MASAK HITAM nasi kandar style …. Lilian, can you help??

  3. fire80 – I am dem sked of terubok lah, those Y-shape bones freaked me out. I am sked of getting a bone in my throat. Jenuh.

    QOTH – I also wish to learn, I think it is the daging masak kicap type, black-black and spicy?

    Ho Jiak – It is quite simple to do, except the sambal part.

    babe – Ya, the skin comes off easily once fried.

    mar – Ikan ber-jacket. Hahaha.

    Bee Yin – Yeah, the cencaru taste good when flavoured with spices, tamarind.

  4. Usually i make a flour paste to cover the opening so that the chili doesn’t drop out during and you won’t have tiny bits of chau tar chili on the fish or oil.

    Best to eat with raw kacang botol. *drool… and must use hand to eat ala malay style!!!

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