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Kicking out the carbs of an Asian Meal: Grilled Red Snapper Fillet with Urap

By: Erna Dyanty

What?! No carbohydrates in an Asian meal?

Some say to diet while you are in Malaysia is an impossible task as the various options of food available 24 hours here just doesn’t do justice to your efforts. Everywhere you go, you are bound to find either rice, noodles or bread options as a spread of choices. How will you balance your calories with the carbohydrates and oil offered daily? An option is to skip all the carbohydrate type of food and just keep to proteins as well as fibrous meals.

Red Snapper with Urap

Red Snapper with Urap

You can watch your calories around Asian food better if you know what you are eating and how to prepare it. You do not have to starve yourself during your diet, the idea is to watch what you eat and keep to the routine. First of all, check with a nutritionist or doctor to talk about how you to adjust your calories and meals to a diet best suited for you.

On an average, if you are 30 years old at 80kg in weight and about 170cm in height, you will need to keep between a 1300 to 1500 calories a day to lose 10 kilograms in 3 months. This is also inclcudes regular exercise. So, in support of your efforts to shed some weight and live a healthier lifestyle, here is a recipe for you to start on. With this, you still get that Asian inspired meal yet kick out all the fat and carbohydrates. Win!


For the fish – 1 fish fillet = 150 calories


1 fish fillet (Spanish mackerel or Red Snapper)
2 banana leaves cut into about A4 sized paper/optional foil

1 tbsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

How to Make Grilled Red Snapper Fillet

  1. Clean the fish wash it with tamarind juice and rinse with water.
  2. Rub the fish all over with turmeric powder and salt.
  3. Fold the banana leaf over the fish and grill in oven or over a grill.

For Urap (Asian Greens with Grated Coconut Salad) – 1 serving cup = 240 calories


50 g bean sprouts
50 g cabbage, shredded
50 g long beans, cut
1 bundle of spinach, cut
2 cups of fresh grated coconut

Spice Paste

½ cup of pan roasted anchovies pounded to a powdered consistency
1 red chilli, seeded
2 bird’s eyes chillies
2 garlic slivers
salt to taste
1 cup of grated coconut

How to Make Urap

1. Heat up a wok or a pan. Then pan roast the anchovies till slightly crisp. Pound or blend the anchovies till they become a powdered. Set aside.

2. Boil up a pot of water, once the water is boiling – blanch all the vegetables. Place cooked vegetables in a bowl and let cool.

3. Pound together the garlic, red chilli, birds eye chilli and salt.

4. To the bowl add the coconut, anchovies and chilli garlic paste mix well.

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