Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Otak-Otak - Indonesian Grilled Fish Cakes



Otak-otak is a popular Indonesian street-food, originated from Palembang, a city in the South-Sumatran island, known for its fish-based delicacies. Since my mum comes from Palembang, I grew up eating and loving those fish-based snacks from Palembang, even though fish has actually never been a preferred palate of mine.

Otak-otak is one Palembangnese snack that I very much enjoy. It is made from fish paste (usually from mackerel), mixed with minced shallots, green onions, egg white, coconut milk and tapioca flour. This mixture is then wrapped in banana leaf and subsequently grilled to perfection.

Making otak-otak at home is actually quite simple. I was rather reluctant to try in the beginning, but my mum told me that it's really very easy, as long as you have a stock of banana leaves and a non-stick pan (yes, you don't need charcoal to grill these sweeties...!)

Ingredients (makes 20)

Otak-Otak
  • 500 g fish paste (mackerel)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 150 ml coconut milk
  • 100 ml water
  • 5 shallots / 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 4-5 tbs chopped green onions
  • 150 g tapioca flour
  • 1tbs oyster sauce (optional)
  • Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
  • Banana leaves for wrapping (cut into 10x10 cm)
No-cook peanut sauce
  • 4 tbs peanut butter
  • 100 ml boiling water
  • 3-4 tbs sambal oelek
  • 2 tbs vinegar
  • 3 tbs sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tbs lime juice



Instructions


Otak-Otak
  • Mix the ingredients well (except the banana leaves, of course!).
  • Place about 1.5 tbs otak-otak paste in the centre of a 10x10 cm banana leaf.
  • Fold the leaf as the pictures above.
  • Staple the top and bottom parts of the leaf.
  • 'Grill' the otak otak on a non-stick pan (7-8 minutes on each side).
No-cook Peanut Sauce
  • Simply mix all the ingredients and stir well. That's it. If you want the elaborate version, check this out.


Usually people in Palembang eat their otak-otak with 'cuko' - a spicy sauce made from vinegar, palm sugar, minced garlic and chillies. As I didn't have any palm sugar in stock, I decided to make peanut sauce instead, which is just as tasty...!








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37 comments:

  1. What a creative way to cook savory fish! Love the peanut sauce.:)

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  2. This otak otak is a bit different from the ones in malaysia. The malaysian ones are usually orange. :)

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  3. Looks so yummy cooked in a banana leaf....

    simplehomefood.com

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  4. It looks really tasty with the peanut sauce. I'll have to try your no cook peanut sauce. Sounds good!

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  5. I always thought that this was difficult but you've made it look so straightforward and delicious CG! :D

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  6. The Indonesian otak otak is a bit different from the Malaysian kind. Ours are red in color and it is more moouse like and with no dipping sauce.

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  7. I seldom have this kind of non-spicy otah. I like the spicy ones

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  8. These otak really different from Singapore one. Really curious about its taste. Read through the ingredients, it should be very tasty!

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  9. Looks yummy! My Indonesian colleague used to bring back lots of these whenever she went home for visit. I'm going to forward this recipe to her. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. wow u make making otah looks so easy tempt me to try them out. looks delicious!

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  11. buset dah , ni org bikin ngiler ajah . ha22
    tapi disana ga ada ikan Belida or tengiri yah . Mackerel tuh kae tengiri ga ? kan beda ikan beda rasa ? green onion tuh apa ?
    awww jd ngiler otak2 , disini ada yg enak di Jl kemenangan kota tapi mahal, jd tunggu dikasih aja ha222

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  12. Looks so yummy! Love that easy no cook peanut sauce ;D

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  13. @ Michelle, ICook4Fun and Tigerfish - Yes, I think the Malaysian otak2 are quite different from the Indonesian ones. I tried the Malaysian once, but I didn't like it much. I guess, we have simply acquired and liked the ones we've grown up with better...;).

    @ Veny - Ven, mackarel itu ikan tengiri. Kalo belida, gak tau di sini mau beli dimana ;)!. Green onion tuh daun bawang/kucai.

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  14. bikin otak2 biasanya gua langsung kukus semua di pyrex hihi...males bungkus atu2 gini, abis mahal jg banana leavesnya :)

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  15. This kind of otak-otak looks completely different from our local otak-otak. Our local ones contained lots of spices. Thanks for the recipe, I might as well try this version someday. Thanks again. Hope you're enjoying your day. Btw, how can I address you? ^_^
    Kristy

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  16. @ Kartika - Iya, mmg bungkus2nya rada repot, trs musti cuci2 daunnya juga, tapi worth it sih sebenernya krn jadi ada bau2 smoky dr banana leaves nya. Tp kalo mmg mau cepet mmg tinggal goreng ato kukus aja :).

    @ Kristy - Do give it a try! I like this version very much, you might have to get used it though because our version is chewier and you have to eat it with some kind of sauce, or it wouldn't taste as good. You can call me CG, Kristy :)!

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  17. These look great - I love how versatile Banana leaves are!

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  18. Wow, you are good! Making otak at home. :) The usual otak I see is orange in color, but yours definitely looked more like fish. :D Perhaps I should try this since there are not as many spice involved and my kids might like it. Thanks for the recipe. ;)

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  19. Very delicious way to cook fish and the smell of banana leaves make it more mouthwatering! With that peanut sauce it is something that I want to have it now! Thanks for sharing a traditional recipe!

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    :D

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  21. Wish we still had banana trees in our back yard, cooking in them is so fun and rustic too!

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  22. Oh my God. What a nice looking fish cakes. Must have tasted super yummy.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

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  23. Hi,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your nice comment! Your cake decorating skills are fabulous! I'm sure your friends who are planning weddings are glad they know a great cake decorator ;)

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  24. This looks delicious. I know bannana leaves gives nice flavor to them.

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  25. You sound like making otak is so easy, my family all time favourite :)

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  26. oohoho i just had these a couple of weeks ago...

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  27. You make it sound easy!! I LOVE these photos...wish I could be eating them on the street right now. I LOVE fish cakes.

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  28. These look super delicious! I am loving them with the peanut sauce!

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  29. wow!!! mouthwatering recipe..loved it..yummmyyyy

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  30. Awesome..I could imagine the smell of banana leaves infused into the cakes...

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  31. I just had these about 2 weeks ago. A friend of mine who is a foodie as well made them for us. I visited her in Edmonton which is 17 hours driving from Winnipeg.

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  32. I never had this before...they look super delicious!

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  33. Sounds really easy! We have otak-otak in Malaysia too, but they seem to be redder than this, think it's all the added spices.

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  34. we have otak otak in Malaysia too and it's redder - how interesting! Thanks for the recipe..now I can try making this at home :)

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