Singapore Hawker BBQ Stingray

  • 750 gm - 1 Kg (~1½-2 lb) whole Stingray or Pomfret fish cleaned
  • 1½ tsp palm sugar or dark brown sugar
  • salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 cup warm water
  • a large piece of banana leaf [Substitute: aluminium foil]
  • 2-4 toothpicks, soaked in water
  • 3-4 fresh kalamansi limes, cut into halves [Substitute: kaffir or key limes cut into wedges] [optional]
  • 1 onion, sliced, for garnish [optional]
  • A few sprigs fresh coriander leaves [cilantro], for garnish [optional]
  • 8 shallots, peeled
  • 4 garlic, peeled
  • 2.5 cm (1 in) fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tender ends only
  • 4-6 dried chillies, softened in hot water
  • 1½ tsp belacan, [dried shrimp paste] or Anchovy Extract Powder
  • 3 tbsp or to taste, chillie paste

  1. Rub stingray with lemon juice and salt, set aside for 10 mins
  2. In a small bowl, using your fingers, mix tamarind paste with warm water, strain, discard seeds, set aside
  3. Using a mortar & pestle or blender, grind shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, dried chillies, belacan and chillie paste
  4. Heat wok on high, add oil, stir-fry ground paste till quite toasted, 3-5 mins
  5. Add tamarind, sugar, salt to taste, reduce heat to med, simmer till sauce is thicken slightly
  6. Remove from heat, allow sauce to cool
  7. Soften banana leaf in hot water, dry well with a tea towel, lightly coat with vegetable oil
  8. Spoon and spread half the sauce on the banana leaf, lay the stingray fillets on top, spoon the rest of the sauce on the fish
  9. Fold the banana leaf into a packet, secure with toothpicks
  10. Grill on a hot charcoal bbq grill or indoor grill or stovetop grill pan, 10-15 mins, depending on the thickness of the fish, turn over once
  11. Garnish with sliced onions, coriander leaves and lime wedges
  12. Serve hot with steamed rice or a fresh salad