Otak Otak - Fish Cake

Otak Otak - Fish Cake Recipe

Otak-otak is fish cake from Malaysia. Muar, a small town located at Johor is particularly famous for it. It is made by mixing fish paste with a mixture of spices, including chilies, garlic, shallots, turmeric, lemon grass and coconut milk. The mixture is wrapped in banana leaf and grilled or steamed it. Other versions of otak-otak also utilize crab meat, prawn meat, cuttlefish, fish head or chicken.
  • 500g fish fillets (minced)
  • 4 shallots (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon belacan (dried shrimp paste)
  • 2 stalks lemon grass (leaves and root removed, only around 2 inches of stems, cut into ½ inch long)
  • 1 inch galanggal ( cut into small pieces)
  • 3 red chilies (remove seeds and cut into small pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • 180ml coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • banana leaf or aluminum foil (around 12x10 inch, grease with cooking oil)
  • toothpicks (or a stapler)
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • In a blender or food processor, grind the shallots, belacan, lemon grass, galanggal and red chilies with coconut milk to a fine paste. Add turmeric powder. Mix well.
  • Mix in the fish meat, egg, brown sugar, salt and pepper and cornflour. Beat the mixture until smooth.
  • Place fish paste mixture in the center of banana leaf or aluminum foil, adjust according to the size of banana leaf.
  • Fold and secure both ends with toothpicks or stapler.
  • Bake fish until firm to touch. (Approx 15-20 minutes.)
  • Cool before cutting.