Crispy Dory Fillets with Sambal Matah

Crispy Dory Fillets with Sambal Matah

I made this Crispy Dory Fillets with Sambal Matah using the Sambal Matah recipe I previously posted. The dish is actually very easy and one of the most popular ways to serve with the condiment.

Originally from Bali, sambal matah can be translated as “raw sambal” or “raw chili sauce.” It is made from chilies, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, and shrimp paste. After the ingredients are chopped, hot oil is added to fuse the whole flavor and aroma of the ingredients. Just like other sambal, sambal matah is spicy with umami flavor notes. The difference is sambal matah tastes lighter and refreshing.

When it comes to cooking, the best method to preserve the soft texture and light flavor of john dory is by keeping everything simple. For that reason, I decided to deep-fried the john dory fillets in crispy batter to keep it as light as possible. The crispy fried john dory is then topped with spicy and tangy sambal matah. Nevertheless, it has me wanting to spoon the dish over and over again.


Tips on Making Crispy Dory Fillets with Sambal Matah

1. Use cold milk

Using cold milk when mixing the batter will inhibit the development of gluten. It prevents the batter from absorbing too much oil, creating a light and crispy crust.

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2. Do not over mix the batter

This recipe uses all-purpose flour, which has gluten in it. If you stir the batter, gluten will develop. Over mixing the batter will result in soggy and gummy batter because the batter absorbs a lot of oil when you fry it. That is also one reason why it is better to make the batter right before frying.


3. Cut dory in bite sizes

Fried food is hard to resist, but frying can be tricky. No other cooking method delivers such crisp, delicious browning while keeping food moist and tender on the inside. However, there are a number of risks involved when frying, especially when we lower something with larger surface into the pot, which can probably result in spillage and ignition of the oil. This case can be easily solved by cutting the dory fillets into bite sizes to reduce the likelihood of injury.

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Crispy Dory Fillets with Sambal Matah

Course Dinner
Cuisine Indonesian
Keyword Fried Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 dory fillets (about 1 kg)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour (60 gr)
  • 1/3 cup rice flour (50 gr)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup cold milk (180ml)
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 4 servings sambal matah


  1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients until well incorporated.

  2. Add milk and mix until the batter binds together and smooth.

  3. Preheat the oil in a large pot to 360F/180°C.

  4. Dredge the fish fillets in the batter, one piece at a time, and place them in the hot oil. Fry until the fish is golden brown. Drain well with paper towel.

  5. Serve the crispy dory fillets and top them with sambal matah.

fried dory PINTEREST

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