Fish Satay

By  Milly Lambert

Pressed rice cakes ('nasi impit' in Malay), are a popular accompaniment to satay. They are commonly made with broken rice, which, as the name suggests, are rice grains broken during the milling process; it’s available from Asian grocers and has a different texture to regular rice, but if it’s not available you could use regular rice or just serve steamed rice as an accompaniment to the satay. You’ll need to start the pressed rice cakes several hours before serving.

Serves: 6

Wine Match: Elephant in the Room Pinot Gris



  • 300g tuna steaks, 3cm thick 
  • 1 x 300g piece salmon fillet, skin off, bones removed, 3cm thick
  • 1 x 300g piece yellowtail kingfish fillet, skin off, bones removed, 3cm thick
  • 1 telegraph cucumber, seeded and grated
  • 3 x red shallots, halved and finely sliced (see notes)
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, finely sliced
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • Satay Peanut Sauce, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Pressed Rice Cakes:

  • 2 cups broken rice (see above)
  • 3 cups water 
  • 1 pandanus leaf, knotted

Fish Satay Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 x small red onion, chopped
  • 3 x stalks lemongrass, white part only, very finely sliced
  • 5cm piece fresh turmeric, grated
  • 2 x cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dark palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 200ml thick coconut milk



  1. Make Pressed Rice Cakes: cook rice in a rice cooker with the water and pandanus leaf. Brush a 30cm x 20cm baking dish with vegetable oil, tip rice into it, level the top, cover with baking paper and another tray. Weigh it down with something heavy, like cans of food or a mortar. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate until cold. Cut into 5cm squares.
  2. Make Fish Satay Marinade: place all ingredients in a food processor and process to a paste. Slice each fish into 12 cubes or strips (depending on shape). Place in the marinade, cover and set aside for 30 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, combine cucumber, shallot and coriander.
  4. Thread tuna onto 6 skewers, salmon onto another 6 skewers and kingfish onto another 6 skewers. 
  5. Heat a barbecue or char-grill plate. 
  6. Brush fish with oil and grill for about 1 minute on each of 4 sides, until just cooked through.
  7. Serve with Satay Peanut Sauce, cucumber mixture, lime wedges and Pressed Rice Cakes.

Notes: If red shallots are unavailable, use 2 golden shallots or ½ red onion. 
Alternative species: Bonito, ling, ocean trout, swordfish. 


Recipe supplied by Sydney Seafood School. 
Visit for more great seafood recipes and cooking tips, answers to frequently asked seafood questions and the full program of Sydney Seafood School cooking classes.


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