Recipe Fish Pesmol

Pesmol fish is a traditional Indonesian dish that tantalizes the taste buds with its rich and aromatic flavors. This dish is characterized by its use of various spices and herbs, creating a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and savory notes. Here's how you can prepare this delightful dish at home.


  • 500g of fish fillets (such as snapper or mackerel), cut into pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 cm piece of galangal, grated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised
  • 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • Cooking oil


  1. Heat some cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté the minced garlic, grated ginger, and galangal until fragrant.

  2. Add the sliced onion and cook until translucent.

  3. Put in the fish pieces and cook until they are slightly browned.

  4. Pour in the water, followed by the sliced tomatoes, bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass stalk, tamarind paste, sweet soy sauce, salt, and sugar. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

  5. Cover the pan and let the dish simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the flavors have melded together.

  6. Once cooked, remove from heat and serve hot.


  • For a richer flavor, marinate the fish pieces with a mixture of lime juice, salt, and a pinch of turmeric powder for about 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Adjust the sweetness and sourness of the dish according to your preference by adding more sugar or tamarind paste.
  • You can add diced carrots, bell peppers, or potatoes to add more color and texture to the dish.


  • Substitute the fish with prawns, squid, or even tofu for a vegetarian option.
  • Experiment with different spices such as cloves, cinnamon, or cardamom to add depth to the flavor profile.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro or fried shallots for an extra burst of flavor and texture.


The calorie content of pesmol fish can vary depending on factors such as the type of fish used and the amount of oil added during cooking. On average, a serving of pesmol fish (approximately 200g) contains around 250-300 calories.


Pesmol fish is a delightful Indonesian dish that showcases the vibrant flavors of the archipelago. With its aromatic spices and tangy-sweet sauce, it's sure to be a hit at any dinner table. By following this simple recipe and adding your own twist, you can recreate this classic dish in your own kitchen and delight your family and friends with a taste of Indonesia.


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