National dish of East Timor: Ikan Pepes

th_easttimorflag_index-thumb__60x40East Timor is one of the world’s youngest counties, established only in 2002. However, it is already sending its first athlete to the winter Olympics, skier Yohan Goutt-Goncalves. Seafood is key in the national diet in this island nation, and culinary influence from Portugal and Indonesia is strongly felt. The national dish of East Timor is Ikan Pepes / Pepes Ikan (Ikan means ‘fish’ and pepes is the cooking technique), fish steamed with chili sauce in a banana leaf. Sounds pretty good! Here are two recipes for Ikan Pepes from Latitudes and Good Chef Bad Chef, which include ginger, garlic and turmeric in the aromatic fish marinade. We love foods cooked with this technique and it is a shame we haven’t tried to do it yet – maybe Ikan Pepes will be our first attempt. Fortunately, our favorite grocery store carries banana leaves.


Pepes Ikan by Alpha

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