July 15, 2024
Bandeng Presto (High Pressure Cooked Smoked Milkfish)

Pressure cooking was first introduced by French Physicist, Denis Papin. He invented Steam Digester to reduce the time needed to cook foods. Basically what the steamer do is tighten the air pressure inside it to increase the boiling point of water, therefore the food would be cooked faster.

Bandeng Presto uses high pressure cooking technique that probably was introduced during Dutch colonization in Semarang, Central Java. Bandeng or Milk Fish contains many bones that makes it harder to eat when cooked with regular pressure. Bandeng Presto is Smoked Milk Fish which cooked with High Pressure Cooker.

Bandeng is a large toothless silver fish that lives in warm parts of the Pacific and Indian oceans and related to the herring and the salmon, is commonly used in Indonesian cuisine. Presto came from Italian language “quickly”, but in this case, it refer to the pressure cooker brand “presto” – the first pressure cooker penetrated the market in Indonesia.

It is readily prepared by deep frying or bake it in the oven and serve hot/warm. There is no additional ingredients needed. A vacuum packed smoked milk fish is the most commonly used method for preserving Bandeng Presto and widely sold in Semarang Stores. It can be kept for 6 months – 1 year in the cool place without reducing the freshness and nutrition.


* 1 kg (or 3) fresh milkfishes, remove gills and stomach part

* 1 tablespoon tapai yeast (fermented black rice) , grounded

* 2 tablespoon salt

* 3 tablespoon tamarind water

* 10 bay leaves

* 10 cm galangal (see: opor ayam), sliced and pounded

* 2 1/2 litre water

Grounded spices:

* 14 cloves red onion

* 7 cloves garlic

* 4 cm ginger

* 4 cm turmeric

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 150 g big red chili peppers, boiled

* 10 small green chili peppers, boiled

* 8 cloves red onion, boiled

* 4 cloves garlic, boiled

* 1 teaspoon sugar

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1 teaspoon terasi (shrimp paste), fried

Other Ingredients:

* Banana leaves for wrapping as needed

* Egg’s white or flavoured flour as needed


1. Slice the stomach part of the fishes. Clean them up using water and let them dry.

2. Smear the fishes with tapai yeast, salt, and tamarind water. Leave them for about 1 hour.

3. Smear the fishes with grounded spices evenly.

4. Put bay leaves and slices of galangal on top of the fishes.

5. Wrap with banana leaves so that the fishes are easy to lift from the pressure cooker.

6. Pour 1 litre water into the pressure cooker. Put a sieve on top of the cooker

7. Arrange the wrapped fishes ontop of the sieve.

8. Cook until the cooker hissed, 30-50 minutes depending on the type of pressure cooker you use.

9. Let the cooker cool with open lid.

10. Pour water again and cook until the water is no more.

11. Take out the fishes and let them dry.

Method for chili sauce

1. Heat vegetable oil.

2. Sautee grounded spices until the sauce smells good.

3. Put into plate and let it cool.


1. Smear the fishes with egg’s white or flavoured flour.

2. Fry until brown.

3. Serve with chili sauce.