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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.

See Also: Assam Fish Curry

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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34 Responses to “Otak-Otak”

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  1. tigerfish — March 21, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    Have not made Otak Otak for some time and you just ignited the desire :) But getting the ingredients ready + the prep. is always a barrier for me. Hmmm…don’t know when I will make this again.

    I like your huge Otak Otak. So good in sandwiches too!


    • wiffy replied: — March 21st, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

      oh yes, forgot about otak sandwich – love it and very nostalgic!


  2. Stephanie — March 21, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

    Beautiful photos! I love reading your blog because it makes me want to try foods that I have never even heard of before.


  3. masterofboots — March 21, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

    I can’t believe you did it either! that is so much work!


    • wiffy replied: — March 21st, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

      not that difficult, really!


  4. Cincin Chong via Facebook — March 21, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

    Looks so yummy!!


  5. Wendy Chin via Facebook — March 21, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing. This is what i am looking for homemade otak.


  6. TasteHongKong — March 21, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

    Fantastic snack, and no objection to go with rice too. Wiffy, your otak-otak looks really great :)!
    By the way, seems that there are lots of shallots.


  7. Ann@Anncoo Journal — March 21, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe. I must make this otak otak at home as my family loves it very much.


  8. busygran — March 21, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

    Yummy! Good to make a big batch, pack to size and freeze. Whenever you feel like having otak, thaw and grill or steam etc.


    • wiffy replied: — March 21st, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

      great idea!


  9. Little Inbox — March 21, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

    Add some kadok leaves. It makes huge different.


    • wiffy replied: — March 21st, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

      can’t find it at my wet market :(


  10. Beanie — March 21, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

    Really looks good!
    Can I get the fish, candlenut, kaffir lime leave, belacan, blue ginger, turmeric powder from ntuc?
    What curry powder shd I get?


    • wiffy replied: — March 21st, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

      Yes you can get them at NTUC. But kaffir lime is usually not sold on its own at NTUC, but bundled with the tom yum spice pack. If you want to buy separately, can get at wet market. Any type of curry powder will do – I’m using leftover chicken or vegetable curry powder.


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