Sarawak Terubok

I have heard so much about the terubok from Sarawak.


When I was small, my mom used to grill the terubok, which is an oily fish with a lot of scales and Y-shaped bones. She wrapped the fish in banana leaves and it smell heavenly! Normally, she makes a dip of tamarind juice, chillies and shallots.

The above photo is the Sarawak Terubok which my hubby bought from the Pasar Ramadhan in Kampung Melayu. The stall owner told him the fish is air-flown. They have two version, the fresh or fried. He bought the fried version which is like salted fish. They also provided a dip made of dark soya sauce, garlic and lime juice.

It is very nice to be eaten with white rice. However, the fish is a tad too salty. I wonder why they salted it so much. However, they had fried the fish till crispy and there is no worries of any bones as all are crispy already.

Is this the regular Sarawak terubok? Do they have any unsalted version?

10 Replies to “Sarawak Terubok”

  1. Yes, there is. I brought 2 fresh terubok from Sarikei, Sarawak (straight from fishing boat) on my way back last month.

    I’m not sure how it taste when you “bakar” it but it taste wonderful when you steam it!!! The flesh is so sweet & “slippery” in cantonese sense.

    The salted one is heavenly too. You should consume a little bit and go down with a few spoon full of porridge. Let it melt in them and only then you know the good taste of it 😉 …

    Been hunting for some in KL but most that I saw are not fresh … *sigh*

  2. I luuuurrrrve salted terubuk from sarawak. whenever somebody in my family goes to sarawak we always get stock. keep it in the freezer wrapped in newspaper and it keeps forever.

    my sis lyza’s husband saaaangat suka hot rice and terubuk and nothing else, fish also must be hot-hot.

    soak it in plain water for a couple of hours to remove the saltiness before deep frying until crispy. serve with lemon juice and kicap hitam.

    a sarawak friend taught me how to make it: butterfly and clean your fish. rub salt and sugar and sun it for two days (not more and not dry). wrap in newspaper and freeze to keep.

    so it is actually ikan jeruk rather than ikan masin/ kering.

    the whole fish fetches for about RM8 to RM10. but the salted roe/ egg fetches for about over RM100 per kilo.

  3. Rizlan – Aisay..soak in water lah? Jadi siap, the next round, I ask hubby buy the fresh one and I try and see. Thanks for the info. I jakun, first time makan.

    JW – Though salty, nice lah…I even ate the scales. LOL.

  4. Ikan terubok = Shad 🙂

    Steaming is still the best way to cook the fish. And the insane way to cook it is steam fresh Terubok and salted Terubok together.

  5. Lilian – LOL!!! I misunderstood …

    Oppss … I forgot the best part!!!! The fish eggs!!!! slurrppp …

    Mia – any common steaming recipe should work … I think the important thing is the timing when you steam it. I steamed mine for 20-25 minutes … the texture of the flesh is just nice & juicy!!!

  6. i am sarawakian, n yes, de salted terubok is best eaten with white rice and porridge..steamed ones are usually the best.

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