Ikan Chuan Chuan

Recipe By Damian D’Silva, Executive Chef of Restaurant Kin

Ikan Chuan Chuan – a classic Perankan dish of pan-fried fish, seasoned with a piquant sauce made from preserved bean paste and sharp hints of ginger. Join Damian D’Silva, Executive Chef of Restaurant Kin, as he shares with us a family recipe passed down from his very own grandparents.


Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

For the Ikan Chuan Chuan

  • 400g local black pomfret
  • 120ml cooking oil
  • 30g ginger, julienned
  • 45g garlic, sliced
  • 45g shallots, sliced
  • 30g tau cheo (fermented soy bean paste)
  • 2 chillies, sliced and deseeded
  • 300g water
  • 15g vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • sugar, to taste
  • 4 local cherry tomatoes, just slit (add more, if desired)
  1. Clean black pomfret and pat dry with kitchen towel.
  2. Heat about 60ml of oil in a deep pan over medium-low heat and fry ginger, garlic and shallots, stirring gently for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. Remove ginger, garlic and shallots from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add in the remaining cooking oil. Gently slide black pomfret into the pan and fry over medium-high heat, flipping the fish halfway, until crispy.
  5. Remove fish from the pan and set aside.
  6. Pour cooking oil into a bowl, leaving about 1 tbsp of the oil in the pan. Add tau cheo over low heat, stirring until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add the ginger, garlic and shallots back into the pan, along with the chillies, water, vinegar, and salt and sugar to taste. Bring to the boil and allow the sauce to reduce for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add cherry tomatoes and the fish into the sauce, cooking for a few minutes on each side of the fish until the sauce is sticks and coats the fish nicely. The consistency of the gravy should neither be too thick nor too thin.
  9. Garnish dish with fresh coriander and serve hot.