226 Bumbu Rujak with Fish

Bumbu Rujak with fishDo you remember Indonesian rujak? That spicy, sweet fruit dish? Well this rujak is completely different ;-). It’s a mouthwatering fish dish. Rujak means something like salad or mix.

Beb Vuyk makes it with 1 kg mackerel. I choose salmon today. My daughter loves salmon and it’s a oily fish just like mackerel. So it seems possible. This salmon rujak turns out great. The small amount of coconut cream in combination with the lemongrass and galangal make this a finger licking dish. For everyone who loves ikan, here is Beb’s bumbu rujak fish recipe.

This bumbu rujak is good for 2 to 3 people
Marinade the fish for 45 minutes
Than finish in 15 minutes

Boemboe Roedjak with Fish from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 206


1 kg of mackerel
1/10 piece of coconut cream
1 tablespoon of oil
2 cups of water


3 tablespoons of chopped onions
3 chopped garlic cloves
2 teaspoons sambal trassi (chili sauce with prawn paste)
1 teaspoon of galangal (laos)
1 teaspoon Javanese sugar
6 roasted kemiri or candlenuts
2 tablespoons ‘asem’ water, made with a piece of tamarind the size of a walnut 
1 lemongrass root

Wash and cut the fish into slices, rub her with the tamarind water and let it marinate for about 1 hour.

Rub onions, garlic, chilli, galangal, sugar and roasted kemiries together to form a paste. Fry the paste in the oil. Bring water with lemongrass and the coconut cream to the boil, add the fish and the paste and let it simmer for +/- 10 minutes. If necessary, add some salt and asem water.

bumbu rujak with fish

The fish marinades in the tamarind water. It makes it tender and a bit acidic. Probably invented to disguise fish gone bad. But when used with fresh fish it makes it even better.

I let the salmon marinade for about 45 minutes. Now your almost done already!

Bumbu rujak with salmon

Rub the onion, garlic, chilli, galangal, sugar and roasted candle nuts together. I always use candlenut paste from a jar I get at my supermarket or local Asian shop. I rub the paste and add some extra onions finely chopped at the end. I like some texture in a sauce.

I fry the onion paste in a pan and when yellow brown I pour the water with the coconut cream and lemongrass on top. It’s easier this way and you only need one pan. ;-).

I place the fish in the middle and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Occasionally I pour some of the broth over the fish, while simmering. I turn the gas of and leave it in the pan for a minute or two.

It is perfect. The salmon was done and not overcooked at all. Make sure that does not happen. Better to take it of the heat too early than too late.

Selamat makan. Healthy fish dish!

Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.

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