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Otak-Otak

   

otak otak

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I can’t believe I actually “peng otak-otak” at home, but I really did. Otak-otak (otah-otah) is a South East Asian delight, popular in Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia, and consist of fish paste with spices wrapped & grilled in fragrant banana leaves. My family loves my home-made otak-otak because of the fresh fish used in the fish paste mixture. If your family do not take chilli, you can make your own non-spicy version. It is great as a snack on its own, or served with Nasi Lemak (local rice cooked in coconut milk). Instead of grilling them the conventional way over a charcoal fire which really smokes and stinks the kitchen, I do so in the oven and the result is great. You can also add prawn, fish head or squid bits to make different varieties of otak-otak.

otak otak

                                           

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32 Responses to “Otak-Otak”

  1. Perlink — February 19, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

    I’ve been craving otah for a while since I moved to the US, and ingredients like kaffir lime leaves, belacan and galangal are not available. Nor are banana leaves. I’m sure I can figure something out with the belacan and the kaffir leaves but what about the banana leaf wrapping? I’m positive it lends a lot of aroma and nostalgia (for me at least) but what would you suggest? I was contemplating foil. What do you think?

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  2. Martin — July 19, 2013 @ 6:44 pm

    I recently went to Malaysia and had Otak-Otak for the first time, loved it and will try to make it myself soon – hopefully I can get all the ingredients here in germany.
    Yoour recipe looks awesome, one question: After preparing the paste, do you have to grill it immediately or can you for example keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours before grilling? (I’d like to do as much prep work as early as possible so I am not stressed out when my guests arrive, but sometimes it’s better to prepare everything as fresh as possible, not sure about Otak-Otak).

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  3. Alan — November 4, 2013 @ 8:00 am

    My wife and I missed having otah since we now live in the US. I like your recipe, simple and I think I might be able to get all the ingredients. Does the amount tumeric powder make the color of the otah darker like the ones we get from the hawker centre?

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    • wiffy replied: — November 13th, 2013 @ 11:13 am

      actually I think the tumeric makes it more yellow than red. For red, the dried red chilli will make it redder and “darker”.

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