Some spell it as Otak-Otak while some spell it as Otah. Whatever it is, this dish is well-loved by many in Singapore and Malaysia.
Here’s a fun fact! Otak means "brains" in Indonesian and Malay. The name of the dish is derived from the idea that the dish resemblance a brain, by being whitish grey, soft and almost squishy.
This traditional and homemade Nonya Otak-Otak is shared by home cook, Molly Leong. She suggested ramping up on the chillies to give your otak-otak an extra punch! With her recipe, forget about a grill pit, you can easily create this dish with a simple wok or pan from home!
How you consume this dish is entirely up to you! You can eat it on its own as a snack or with steamed rice as part of a meal!
Let’s proceed onto making the dish now!
Here are the ingredients required: Spanish mackerel, banana leaves, eggs, coconut milk, sugar, cornflour, salt, chilli paste, red chillies, galangal, lemongrass, Belachan, candlenut, onions, shallots and turmeric.
Firstly, prepare the banana leaves and fish.
Using medium-low fire over the stove, run banana leaves over to soften it. Cut into equal sizes.
De-bone and scrape the meat and skin from the fish.. Set aside a quarter of the portion.
Secondly, prepare the chilli paste and make the otak.
Combine the remaining three-quarter portion of the fish with ingredients for the chilli paste and seasoning into the food processor. Chop it finely.
Pour in thick coconut milk gradually and blend it till it becomes a smooth paste. Here’s an important note - Do not pour in all the coconut milk in at one go as the paste will become too runny.
Add in egg and a quarter of fish meat that was previously set aside. Mix well. At this point, you can still adjust the consistency of the paste as you like it! If the consistency is too thick, mix in two tablespoons of coconut milk at a time.
Thirdly, wrap and grill the otak-otak.
Scoop 100g of otah paste into each banana leaf. Secure it with two toothpicks.
Heat up frying pan and grill the otak-otak for about ten to fifteen mins. Flip accordingly and grill until both asides of the leaves have browned evenly.
To check if it is cooked, press the tong on the otak meat. You know that it is cooked when the otak is firm.
Here you have it! Your very own otak-otak made from scratch. Wasn’t that simple?
|8 person||1 hour|
Load up on the chillis to give your otak-otak an extra punch! Cooked over a wok, Molly Leong brings the fragrant taste and smell of otak-otak straight from the home. There's no need for a grill or bbq pit because you can do this with a simple wok or pan from home.
- 1 kg spanish mackerel also known as “Ba-Tang” (1kg鲭鱼，也在湿巴刹称为 “Ba-Tang” 鱼。)
- 6 pcs banana leaves （6片香蕉叶）
- 2 eggs （2个蛋）
- 1 thick coconut milk extracted from 1 coconut （1个椰子的浓浆。无加水。）
- 2 tbsp sugar （2汤匙糖）
- 2 tbsp cornflour （2汤匙蜀粉）
- 1 tsp salt as desired (1汤匙盐随意）
- 10 red chillies （10红辣椒）
- 10 dried red chillies （10干红辣椒）
- 10 slices galangal （10片高良姜）
- 2 stalks lemongrass cut into small pieces（2枝香茅，切成小块）
- 50 g Belachan （40克峇拉煎）
- 8 candlenut （8个蜡烛坚果）
- 2 big onion （2大洋葱）
- 10 shallot （10葱头）
- 2 inch turmeric （2寸黄姜）
- Turn on medium-low fire over the stove. Grab the 2 ends of a leave using 2 metal tongs. Run the leaves over fire to soften it. Cut into equal sizes 6” x 6” for wrapping. Wash and set aside. （在火炉上开中低火。使用2个金属钳抓住香蕉叶的两端。将叶子放离火20公分，让它软化。将叶子切成6“x 6”。清洗并放在一边。）
- Using a spoon, debone and scrape the fish meat from the skin. Set aside ¼ portion of the fish. （使用汤匙将鱼肉刮出。把1/4份的鱼放在一边。）
- Pour ¾ portion fish, ingredients for chilli paste and seasoning into the food processor. Chop it finely. While chopping, add in thick coconut milk gradually and blend it till it becomes a smooth paste. NOTE! Do not pour in all the coconut milk at one go to prevent the paste from becoming too runny.（将¾部份的鱼，辣椒酱的材料和调味料倒入搅拌器。将材料剁碎。当材料剁碎后，逐渐加入椰浆，搅拌直到滑顺。注意！不要一次过倒入所有的椰浆，以防止乌达变得太水。）
- Remove the blade from the food processor. Add in egg and remaining fish meat, mix well using a spoon. If the consistency is too thick, mix in 2 tbsp of coconut milk at a time（从搅拌器中取出刀片。加入鸡蛋和剩余的鱼肉，用勺子拌匀。如果乌达太浓，倒入少许的椰奶，混合。）
- Scoop 100g of otah into each banana leaf. Secure it with the tooth pick.（将100克乌达舀到香蕉叶中。用牙齿固定两端。）
- Heat up a flat frying pan. Grill the otak for about 10 - 14 mins. Flip occasionally until the leaves have browned evenly. To check if it is cooked, press the tong on the otak meat. It is cooked when the otak is firm. (加热煎锅, 烤乌达约10 - 14分钟。偶尔翻转直到叶子均匀地变褐。要检查是否煮熟，用金属钳按乌达。如果乌达的肉已结实，这代表它已经熟了。)