Fish Floss / Abon Ikan

Did I tell you that batang or tenggiri fish was on sale in the supermarket back then? Yes, I did in my post here. So, as a result of buying the whole fish, I ended up with lots of fish meat and I was in a point that I didn’t know what to do with it.

As I tried to find inspiration from my dear friend Mr. Google, I stumbled upon fish floss recipe, and I thought: “oh, this would be good to try” as it looked so easy to make and so delicious too. Besides, we never buy fish floss here as it is so expensive and we never really like the taste of store bought fish floss. How do we know that we don’t like it if we never buy it? Oh, it’s very easy, we just need to taste any samples that the stores offer us whether in mall, supermarkets, food bazaar, or food expo.

My favorite is always meat floss from beef with lots and lots of crispy fried shallots in the mixture (that was what I ate when I was still living in Jakarta when my mom didn’t have time to cook as meat floss was not that expensive back then ), but for a healthier choice I wouldn’t be making meat floss at home. Instead, I would try to make fish floss from scratch (raw fish), and I had a great hope that it would turn great too.

As Indonesians, I always love to cook with many kinds of herbs and spices, so I added red onion, garlic, coriander powder, galangal, and lime leaves. You can always skip galangal, coriander powder, and lime leaves if they are too difficult to find and exchange them with any kinds of herbs and spices that you like, or you can just stick with garlic and onion.

Some recipes add soy sauce and sesame oil when making fish floss, but I still preferred not to add any sauces and only used natural ingredients. You can also add sugar (about 1/2 tsp) if you want a bit of sweetness in your fish floss. I also try to avoid refined sugar for health reason, so I didn’t add any sugar in this recipe.

Anyway, there are many ways to make fish floss and there is no exact recipe of what to add when making fish floss, so you can always have your own creation.

And how was my home made fish floss taste?

We loved it…………… It smelt really good, so crispy, salty (we all love salty food), melt in our mouths, and most of all…………….cheap, hahaha…………….and we could have as much as we wanted…………..

Bu the way, when I searched for the recipe in the internet, everyone said it would take 20 to 30 minutes frying the fish meat, but I ended up with 1.5 hours in front of my stove to turn the fish into floss, and it was just the frying process. I didn’t count the time I used to steam or blend my fish meat, so overall time was definitely longer than 1.5 hours. Oh well, I guess it all depends on the heat and how much fish that you use.

I really loved they way it turned out to be a great floss, so maybe next time I will try making chicken floss too.


  1. Batang / tenggiri fish
  2. 1/2 large red onion or 4 shallots
  3. 5 garlic
  4. 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  5. 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  6. 2 tbsp olive oil
  7. 8 lime leaves
  8. 1 thumb of galangal, thinly slices
  9. 3 tbsp fried shallots (ready to use)


  1. Steam the fish in a steamer until the fish turns white and thoroughly cooked (check with a fork to make sure)
  2. Once the fish is cold, remove all the bones and skin. I had 450 gr of fish flesh after removing the bones and skin
  3. Shred the fish flesh roughly with a fork or with your fingers. Set aside
  4. Place large red onion, garlic, salt, and coriander powder in a blender and process until they form a paste (you can also use mortar and pestle)
  5. Heat a non stick pan with 3 tbsp of olive oil, then add galangal, lime leaves, and the paste of onion, garlic, coriander powder, and salt and stir fry until fragrant
  6. Add the shredded fish to the pan and immediately switch to low heat
  7. Mix the fish flesh with other ingredients. Do not stop stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn. It is better to use a wooden spatula
  8. Shred the fish with the spatula while stirring it
  9. Fry for about 30 minutes. Reduce the heat of this dish and pour into a plate, then use your hand to shred the fish gently to make it floss
  10. Once again pour this fish mixture into pan, fry for another 30 minutes or until the meat starts to dry
  11. Add 3 tbsp of fried shallots and mix well with the fish meat
  12. Since I saw that the meat didn’t completely turn into fine floss, I processed everything in a blender (or you can use a food processor) in batches until it was finely chopped and turned into floss
    I processed everything in a blender until evenly shredded

    Before and after I processed the fish meat in a blender. Before: there were some while parts that were not finely shredded. After: the fish meat was evenly and finely shredded into fine floss
  13. Fry again until the meat is completely dried (the color should be golden brown)
  14. Turn off the heat. Discard galangal and lime leaves
  15. Wait to get cold and store in an air tight containers
  16. The floss will turn even crispier once it gets cold

In total, it took me 1.5 hours to fry the fish meat and turned it into fine floss. Working with low heat is very important because if you fry too fast, the fish meat will be moist and will not taste good

This fish floss is good to be eaten with hot steam rice, as topping for porridge, or you can even eat it with slices of white bread (this one was also my favorite breakfast or snack back then when I was a little girl, I like to sandwiched the floss in between white bread), or to be made as fish floss roll which I will share the recipe later. Anyway, there are many ways to enjoy fish floss and since making it at home would be cheaper and more delicious, please try this too at home.


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