Learn to Make Balinese Seafood Soup (Sop Ikan)
WRITER: Online Editor PHOTOS BY: Caleb Ming
Learn to Make Balinese Seafood Soup (Sop Ikan) 20. May 2021, by Online Editor, Photos by Caleb Ming
Sop Ikan is a traditional Balinese dish – a tart and flavourful soup that goes well with a bowl of rice. This dish is made with base be pasih, a basic spice paste that is commonly used.

You can learn to make base be pasih in our earlier article, and make use of that for this recipe below.


  • 400g prawns, cleaned and deveined
  • 200g fish fillet, sliced
  • 4 clams or mussels
  • 100g quid, sliced
  • A pinch of salt to taste
  • A pinch of ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp base be pasih (seafood spice paste)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 litre seafood or chicken stock
  • 4 salam leaves*
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 4 blimbing**
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into wedges
  • lemongrass


  1. Season seafood with salt and pepper, then add spice paste and lime juice. Mix well.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy saucepan. Add seafood and sauté quickly until the colour changes on both sides of prawns and fish.
  3. Add stock, salam leaves, kaffir lime leaves, and blimbing. Bring to boil, then braise over very low heat.
  4. Add tomato wedges and simmer until seafood is tender and tomatoes are warmed through.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve with a bowl of rice.

* Salam leaves are a cousin to bay leaves in Indonesian cooking. Dried Salam leaves are practically odourless. Flavours are released during the long cooking time often required for stews and other simmered dishes.

** Blimbing is a sour, yellow-green fruit with a thin, soft skin and crunchy, juicy flesh. The fruit resembles smooth-skinned gherkins. Bilimbing fruit are also referred to as Tree Cucumbers and are known for their tart-tangy flesh.

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