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Otak-otak is a South East Asian delight, made of spicy fish paste wrapped & grilled in fragrant banana leaves.
- 100 grams tengirri fish meat (spanish mackerel) or any white fish you like
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
- 2 tbsp rice flour
- 1-2 tbsp corn flour/starch
- 1/2 tbsp coconut cream or milk
- banana leaves
(A) Otak-Otak Spices
- 150 grams shallots peeled
- 4 candlenuts
- 5 kaffir lime leaves finely snipped
- 1 stalk lemongrass outer green leaves removed, sliced as thinly as possible
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 10 grams belacan (dried shrimp paste)
- 15 grams galangal (blue ginger) sliced
- 10 dried chilli soaked in water to soften & sliced
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Add fish meat to blender and give it a few pulses. If you don’t have a blender, you can use a knife to chop the flesh to smaller bits. Set aside.
- Add (A) in an electric blender. Grind until you get a smooth paste.
- Place blended paste in a stain-proof mixing bowl and add egg white, curry powder, tumeric powder, rice flour, corn flour and coconut cream. Mix well.
- Return fish meat you prepared in step 1 into the spice mixture; mix well. Your otak-otak paste is ready.
- Soak banana leaves in hot water till softened and wipe dry with kitchen towel before use. Cut to 25x20cm sizes. The longer width must run parallel to the lines of the banana leaf.
- Place about 2 ½ tbsp otak-otak paste in the center of the banana leaf.
- Fold one edge of the banana leaf to cover the otak paste. You must fold along the lines of the banana leaf and not against, else the banana leaf will crack and break.
- Fold the other edge in and press down gently. Use bamboo toothpicks to secure both ends of the otak-otak. Repeat until all the otak-otak paste is used up.
- Bake or grill the otak-otak in preheated oven of 200°C (392°F) until the leaves have browned evenly, about10-14 minutes. Tip: Position grill rack close to the top heating coil.
Noob Cook Tips
- Note that the lemongrass, kaffir lime and chilli have to be finely chopped (see photo above) before adding to the blender. This will ensure a smooth paste when you grind them.
- Fold otak-otak along the lines of the banana leaf and not against, else the banana leaf will crack and break.
- Grill the otak-otak on a higher rack in the oven closer to the top heating coils.