Ikan Pari Bakar or Grilled Stingray in English, a popular dish in Malaysia where marinated stingrays are grilled in banana leaf with a special hot and spicy sauce. A very unusual fish to grill but trust me this is really good, once cooked correctly imagine tuna which have a very tender and juicy texture, it flakes so easily and you won’t have problems with fish bones there is none obstructing the meat and it’s all located in the middle like a soft pork cartilage.
If you’ve been to Malaysia and ate in Food Courts like “Ming Tien” Food Court in SS24, Petaling Jaya, “Asia Cafe” in SS15 Subang Jaya or any Food Courts or Hawker Stalls in Malaysia then most probably you know what this dish is all about. They cook this as you order so you feel tortured with the aroma of this wonderful dish as you wait.
1 big chunk of stingray
large piece of banana leaf
6 cloves garlic
1/2 thumb sized ginger
1 small shallot
2 stalks lemongrass
2 tsp Belachan or bagoong (shrimp paste)
3 tbsp chili paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp tamarind paste or powder
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup water
Soy Sauce with Lemon Juice
Chilli Garlic Sauce
1. Rub stingray with lemon juice and salt then set aside for 15 minutes
2. In a stove top or grill, run the banana leaf in heat until it releases its natural oil and soften, be careful not to burn the leaf. Set it aside.
3. In a food processor blend together garlic, ginger, shallots, lemongrass, Belachan/bagoong and chili paste to form a paste.
4. Heat up a wok on medium high then add oil. Once it’s hot add paste and stir fry until caramelized and fragrant.
5. Add stingray then sear on one side for 2 minutes, then do it again on the other side.
6. Place the banana leaf in a sheet of aluminium foil, fold edges to form a packet. Remove the stingray leaving the sauce in the wok then place on top of banana leaf. Set it aside
7. Back to the wok, add tamarind paste, salt, sugar and water to deglaze then simmer until sauce thickens. Remove from heat then pour on stingray. Place stingray on grill or barbecue and cook for 5 minutes on each side or more depending on the thickness of the stingray.
8. Serve with rice while hot.