Sarawak Umai Ikan

11:00 am on 26 September 2011

This raw fish dish is unique to Sarawak and the Melanau people who live on the coast. The limes used here are tiny calamansi limes, which are lightly sweeter than regular limes. Sadly I have never seen them in NZ. When I ate this it was always served with roasted sago pearls – sago starch that has been mixed with coconut milk, rolled into balls and roasted.


  • 300 grams super fresh white fish fillets, boned
  • juice of 2-3 limes
  • 1 medium large red chilli, seeded and very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • Small piece ginger, julienned


Slice the fish thinly. Toss with the lime juice and leave to marinate for no more than 5 minutes - any longer and the fish will start to ‘cook’ in the acid. Gently ‘squeeze’ out the juice and then add the other ingredients. Serve immediately.

John Hawkesby’s wine recommendations

Waimea Edel 2010

Sauvignon Blanc
Maui 2011

From Nine To Noon

Find a Recipe

or browse by title

What's in Season - August