BBQ Fishes of Sim-Sim Market

BBQ fish
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My mouth was watering when I wrote this. BBQ Fish (“Ikan Bakar” in Malay language, means BBQ Fish), in Sim-Sim Pasar (market), only a few KM away from Sandakan town, is probably one of the “must-try” food for people who come to Sandakan, and everyone who had tried it always give a thumb-up and come back again. It is a sin if I don’t share this with you.

Picking fish

BBQ Fishes
Pic: BBQ fresh seafood. They use charcoal so the grilled fishes have appetizing aroma.

The location map of Sim-Sim market:

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Sim-Sim Pasar (Market)
Pic: Sim-Sim Pasar (Market)
Sim-Sim Market is open from 8am to 10pm daily.

dining area inside the market
Pic: dining area inside the market

Even in afternoon and at night, Sim-Sim Pasar is still a busy place coz of its famous tasty BBQ fish. There are a few stalls selling this food and many local people queue up and pick the fish they want. You just choose your fish and they will BBQ it over the charcoal for you on the spot. Depends on your liking, you may have something such as whole fish, fish tail, fish head and even BBQ shrimps.

food menu
Pic: food menu with price list. (USD1 = RM3 in Malaysian currency)
Translation: RM (currency Ringgit Malaysia), Kecil (Small), Sederhana (Medium), Besar (Big), XL (Extra Large), Ikan (Fish), Kelapa (Coconut)

Ikan bakar

Note the BBQ fishes served with red sauce below, a recipe in Indonesia Bugis style.

Ikan bakar Sapi-Sapi fish
Pic: BBQ Sapi-Sapi fish, RM8 each

Ikan bakar - trigger fish
Pic: BBQ Trigger fish, RM10 each

Ikan bakar - squid
Pic: BBQ squid for RM10

vegetables
Depending on the size of the fish you order, the price ranges from RM5 – RM28 (USD1.70 – USD9.30). The great thing is – white rice and vegetables are included. No cut-throat 3-digit price there, unlike other seafood restaurants that show you the eye-popping bill after a happy meal.

Making BBQ Fishes

BBQ Fishes

Sabah is famous for its seafood and the secrets of nice seafood is fresh, fresh, and fresh! They use bigger fishes and apply special sauce on the them during the BBQ. It looks yellow and I don’t know what it is, may be some spices that makes the fishes so tasty, in addition to the BBQ aroma.

Ikan bakar

BBQ Fishes

Spoon and fork are not given unless you ask. Try eating it with your bare hands is a more enjoyable experience. Rice is provided. For tourists who are not used to eating rice, you need to be careful with the fish bones. Just don’t chew rice and fish in your mouth at the same time.

BBQ Fishes

BBQ Fishes ready to be served

After the BBQ, the fish skin is harden a bit and hold the “juice” in the meat, so it doesn’t taste dry. I love spicy stuffs, so I always dip the meat in “sambal belacan”, a very hot shrimp paste. This further wet my appepite that I can eat 2 more plates of rice. Life is so beautiful with mouthful of fresh seafood.

BBQ chicken and shrimps
Pic: BBQ chicken and shrimps are also available.

You are dripping now, aren’t you?

Photos taken in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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By Murphy Ng
  • Emily

    Yes I am hehe. You’re bad for showing delicious food that we can’t have :-p

  • MySabah.com

    Emily> you also can find this behind the KK handicraft market in the evening. I haven’t tried so not sure how good they are. But many locals and tourists going. presume good..