Bandeng presto is a modern Indonesian dish which uses a pressure cooker for cooking. This makes the fish becomes literally tender to the bones and those bones are eaten. It is said that this dish is full of protein and calcium (maybe because the bones are also eaten). The cooking method is similar to steaming.
Bandeng or milkfish, a large toothless silver fish that lives in warm parts of the Pacific and Indian oceans and related to the herring and the salmon, is commonly used in Indonesian cuisine. Presto is the term borrowed from Italian language which means "quickly", but in this case, it refers to the pressure cooker ("presto" is the most famous brand name of pressure cooker in Indonesia).
- 1 kg (or 3) fresh milkfishes, remove gills and stomach part
- 1 tablespoon tapai yeast (read below), grounded
- 2 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoon tamarind water
- 10 bay leaves
- 10 cm galangal (see: opor ayam), sliced and pounded
- 2 1/2 litre water
Tapai yeast is made by inoculating a carbohydrate source with the required microorganisms in a starter culture. This culture has different names in different regions, shown in the table below. The culture can be naturally captured from the wild, by mixing rice flour with ground spices (include garlic, pepper, chili, cinnamon), cane sugar or coconut water, slices of ginger or ginger extract, and water to make a dough. The dough is pressed into round cakes, about 3cm across and 1cm thick, and left to incubate on trays with banana leaves under and over them for two to three days. They are then dried and stored, ready for use.
- 14 cloves red onion
- 7 cloves garlic
- 4 cm ginger
- 4 cm turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 150 g big red chili peppers, boiled
- 10 small green chili peppers, boiled
- 8 cloves red onion, boiled
- 4 cloves garlic, boiled
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon terasi (shrimp paste), fried
- Slice the stomach part of the fishes. Clean them up using water and let them dry.
- Smear the fishes with tapai yeast, salt, and tamarind water. Leave them for about 1 hour.
- Smear the fishes with grounded spices evenly.
- Put bay leaves and slices of galangal on top of the fishes.
- Wrap with banana leaves so that the fishes are easy to lift from the pressure cooker.
- Pour 1 litre water into the pressure cooker. Put a sieve on top of the cooker.
- Arrange the wrapped fishes ontop of the sieve.
- Cook until the cooker hissed, 30-50 minutes depending on the type of pressure cooker you use.
- Let the cooker cool with open lid.
- Pour water again and cook until the water is no more.
- Take out the fishes and let them dry.
Method for chili sauce
- Heat vegetable oil.
- Sautee grounded spices until the sauce smells good.
- Put into plate and let it cool.