Ikan Singgang: A Taste of Malaysia

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Malaysia, a country known for its diverse culinary landscape, offers a multitude of flavors that reflect its rich cultural tapestry. One such delightful dish is Ikan Singgang, a traditional fish stew that is beloved by many Malaysians.

What is Ikan Singgang?

Ikan Singgang is a simple yet flavorful fish dish that originates from the east coast of Malaysia, particularly the states of Kelantan and Terengganu. The dish features fish, typically mackerel, cooked in a light and tangy broth made from a few basic ingredients.


The magic of Ikan Singgang lies in its simplicity. The key ingredients include:

  • Fish (usually mackerel or tenggiri)
  • Tamarind slices or juice: This adds a sour note to the broth.
  • Turmeric: Fresh turmeric root is preferred for its earthy flavor and vibrant color.
  • Garlic: Provides a subtle depth of flavor.
  • Ginger: Adds a mild heat and aroma.
  • Salt: For seasoning.


Preparing Ikan Singgang is straightforward and doesn’t require complex techniques. Here’s a simple method to make this delicious dish:

  1. Prepare the Fish: Clean the fish and cut it into pieces if necessary.
  2. Make the Broth: In a pot, combine water with tamarind slices or juice, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and salt. Bring this mixture to a boil.
  3. Cook the Fish: Add the fish pieces to the boiling broth and let it simmer until the fish is cooked through and the flavors meld together. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.


Ikan Singgang is typically served hot with steamed rice, making it a comforting meal perfect for any time of the day. It’s also common to pair it with ulam (fresh herbs and vegetables) and sambal for added flavor and texture.

Cultural Significance

In Malaysia, food is more than just sustenance; it’s a reflection of heritage and tradition. Ikan Singgang holds a special place in Malaysian cuisine as a dish that is both humble and deeply satisfying. It represents the ingenuity of using minimal ingredients to create something delicious and nutritious.

This dish is a testament to the Malaysian way of cooking, which often relies on fresh, local ingredients and straightforward techniques to produce complex flavors. For those looking to experience authentic Malaysian cuisine, Ikan Singgang is a must-try.

Ikan Singgang is a beautiful example of Malaysia’s culinary simplicity and flavor. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, enjoying a bowl of Ikan Singgang offers a taste of the country’s rich culinary heritage and a glimpse into the heart of Malaysian home cooking. So, next time you’re in Malaysia, don’t miss the chance to savor this delightful dish.

Article by Muhammad Ghani Rahman