Violet Oon’s Recipe: Ikan Masak Kicap

Recipes and tips from local chef Violet Oon!

#104_food_violetoonRed Snapper or Sea Bass fillets are both delicious when pan fried. I use a small amount of oil to achieve a crispy brown colour and texture.

It is heartening to know that Red Snapper and Sea Bass are some types of fish which are also bred and supplied by our local fish farms. Local farms certified under the GAP-FF scheme adhere to stringent farming guidelines and provide you with greater quality assurance.



  • 400g fillet of red snapper (Ikan Merah) or sea bass
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Sauce & Garnish

  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 red chillies, sliced
  • 3 green chillies, sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 3 pods cardamom, smashed to open pods
  • 10g (2 cm) ginger, peeled and cut in thin strips
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp salt, or to taste


Pic 1
Pic 1

1. Rub fish with salt, wash it well, and cut it into 2 large or 4 small pieces. Pat dry and coat fish with turmeric powder (Pic 1).

Heat oil in a flat bottomed frying pan. When hot, pan fry the fish for about 3 to 4 min on each side till golden brown and cooked (Pic 2).

Pic 2
Pic 2

Set aside.
2. Peel and slice the large red onion, fry with green and red chillies in 2 tbsp of hot oil, till lightly browned. Set aside 3 tbsp of this mixture for garnish.

3. Add cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom (Pic 3), ginger and garlic, and stir fry over medium high heat for about 3 to 4 min (Pic 4) till fragrant.

Pic 3
Pic 3
Pic 4
Pic 4









4. Meanwhile, mix the tamarind pulp with water and extract the juice, discarding the seeds.
5. Add tamarind water, dark soya sauce, tomato ketchup, honey and salt into the onion mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 3 min till the sauce is thick.
6. If desired, you can place the fish in the sauce to simmer for 1 min.
7. Alternatively, serve the fish topped with the sauce and garnish.
8. Ready to serve.


Food Safety Tips

When buying fish, choose those that are shiny, bright, and with scales intact. Fresh fish should have bright, clear and full eyes and firm flesh. Fish gills should be red to liver-red and free from slime.
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For the Freshest, Go Local

Choose locally farmed fish supplied from farms that are certified under the Good Aquaculture Practice for Fish Farming (GAP-FF) Scheme. Look out for the GAP-FF quality assurance logo and be assured of buying the best.