Nasi Tim Ikan / Steam Rice In a Bowl With Fish and Mushroom in Sweet Soy Sauce

Batang fish or tenggiri was on sale in the supermarket few days ago, but in order to get that price, I had to buy the whole fish………………and so I did! I didn’t know what I would do with so much fish flesh and bones and (0nly one) fish head, but I still bought it anyway. It was more than 2.5 kg of whole fish, so it was huge and the cleaning part after that was not so nice, hahaha………….Luckily, I already asked the staff at the supermarket to debone the fish, cut the head and tail, and separated them in different plastic bags, so I just had to clean with tap water, cut, squeeze lime juice, and separate them into different containers for further use.

Then I was thinking of why not making them as toppings for one of my signature dish, which was nasi tim or steam rice with toppings in small stainless steel which everyone in the house always loved. It’s a very common dish usually served as breakfast in Jakarta, Indonesia, but also suitable for lunch or dinner. It is also one of the food that mothers usually introduce to their babies once they were allowed to eat rice as solid food (this should be the next step after rice porridge for the babies ). The texture of the rice is not as soft as porridge but also not as hard as rice being cooked in a rice cooker. So it is very suitable for babies above 1 year old who start eating rice.

For my nasi tim dish or steam rice in bowls, I usually used chicken as the main topping and I’ve posted the recipe in here.  This time, I replaced the chicken with fish. I want my family to reduce the amount of chicken that we eat as the source of protein and change it into mainly fish, tofu, and tempeh (tempeh is one of my son’s favorite food). So, replacing the topping of this steam rice dish from chicken to fish was a very good option. The good thing was……………..everyone one loved it. Daddy said it was super delicious…………………..he even thought it was chicken and was surprised when I told him there was no chicken in the dish. After the cooking process, the fish taste resembled like chicken so they didn’t know the difference, hahaha……….. Even the soup which I made from fish stock also tasted so good, more delicious and healthier than chicken stock of course, but you have to eat them hot, it will not be so good anymore once the soup is cold.

The recipe is for 8 servings (8 X 300 ml stainless steel or ceramic bowls).

There are several steps to make this dish and it really takes time to do everything from beginning till the end, yet everyone eats this dish in less then 15 minutes…………….sigh…………..

First, we have to make the fish stock, prepare the topping, cook the rice on a pan, and finally steam the rice and the toppings. I usually prepare the fish stock several days before and put it in containers to freeze it and just take it out whenever I need it. This time, I made the stock one day before and just put it in a big bowl in my refrigerator, and it really saved my time the next day when I had to make everything else.

This dish taste so delicious………………but the making process really took time……….

How to make fish stock


  1. Fish heads, spine, and any other remaining parts from the fish carcasses (I used fish head and bones from 1 whole tenggiri / batang fish)
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 2 thumbs of ginger, thinly slices
  4. 1 large onion / bawang bombay, cut into 8
  5. 1 large red onion / bawang merah besar, cut into 8
  6. 3 garlic, crushed
  7. 10 kafir lime leaves
  8. 2 L water


  1. Heat a large wok with 2 tbsp of olive oil, and fish head and bones, ginger, large onion, large red onion, and garlic. Stir fry until aromatic and the fish turns color into white. Then stir again for another 5 minutes
  2. Add water and lime leaves and bring to low heat
  3. Bring the water to boil. Cook for another 30 minutes
  4. Turn off the heat, and let it cool
  5. Set up a sieve  over another soup pot or large bowl and strain stock from other ingredients
  6. Keep the stock and discard everything else
  7. Set aside the fish stock. At this time, there will be about 1.5 L of fish stock ready to use

How to make rice topping


  1. Batang fish fillet without skin (make sure there are no bones). Steam the fish fillet until soft. Poke with a fork to make sure the fish is thoroughly cooked. After steaming, I had 250 gr of fish flesh
  2. 3 tbsp olive oil
  3. 5 garlic, minced
  4. 5 shallots, minced
  5. 20 gr coriander leaves, minced
  6. 20 spring onion, minced
  7. 5 shiitake mushroom, minced

Sauce Ingredients (mix everything below in a small bowl):

  1. 1 tbsp fish sauce
  2. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  3. 1 tbsp sesame oil
  4. 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  5. 3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  6. 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  7. 200 ml water


  1. Place the steaming fish in a bowl and shred it into small pieces with a fork

    Shredded fish
  2. Heat a pan with olive oil, then add minced garlic and shallots. Stir fry until fragrant
  3. Add mushroom and fish flesh
  4. Turn to low heat, then add the sauce and mix well with mushroom and fish flesh
  5. Stir fry and cook until there is only 1/4 of the water left
  6. Turn off the heat, then add minced coriander leaves and minced spring onion. Mix well with other ingredients
  7. Set aside in a bowl

How to cook the rice

  1. 300 gr rice (2 cups)
  2. 500 ml fish stock. The amount of the stock used is depending on the rice. Look at the rice package to find out the ration between rice and water, and that will be the amount of fish stock that you will use to cook the rice
  3. 5 garlic, minced
  4. 5 shallots, minced
  5. 2 thumbs of ginger, thinly slices
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1 tbsp sesame oil
  8. 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Heat a large wok with olive oil, then add garlic and shallots. Stir fry until fragrant
  2. Add rice, sesame oil, and salt. Stir fry for about 3 minutes
  3. Add fish stock
  4. Cook until the rice absorbed all the water
  5. Turn off the heat, let it cool in the wok for 15 minutes
  6. Set aside in a bowl

How to cook steam rice in bowls with toppings:

  1. Prepare some stainless steel or ceramic bowls (my bowl was around 300 ml each). I only had 3 bowls, so I arranged and cooked everything several times
  2. Prepare half cooked rice, rice topping, and fish stock
  3. Add 3 tbsp of fish and mushroom topping to the bottom of the bowls
  4. Add rice on top of the topping until 3/4 of the bowl
  5. Add fish stock (4 tbsp or more if you want the rice to be softer)
  6. Add 2 tbsp of leftover soup from the fish and mushroom 
  7. Steam until the rice is thoroughly cooked and no more water left in the bowls (about 30 minutes after the water in the steamer boils)
  8. Turn off the heat and take out the bowl. Wait for about 5 minutes until it is cool enough to handle
  9. Place a plate as a lid on top of the bowl, then quickly turn the bowl upside down in the plate so the topping is at the top of the rice. Serve with the soup
  10. While waiting for the rice to cool, prepare the soup: bring to boil the remaining fish stock, add salt, minced coriander leaves, minced spring onion, and fried shallots. Serve in small serving bowls



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