Otak-otak is a fish cake found throughout Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.Otak means brains in Malay and Indonesian, and the name of the dish is derived from the idea that the dish somewhat resembles brains, being on the soft and squishy side.
Otak-otak is made by mixing fish paste (usually mackerel) with a mixture of spices, and then wrapped in a banana leaf and steam or grill. In Indonesia, it's also common to serve otak-otak with spicy peanut sauce and can be eaten as a snack or with bread or rice as part of a meal.
The famous Otak-otak is from Ujung Pandang (formerly Makassar), South Sulawesi. Once a friend brought me and it was really delicious, especially the sauce. I actually want to try to make it by myself but since I still haven't found any credible recipe, so I tried to make some other version which is Otak-otak Goreng (fried Otak-otak).
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 250 g boneless white fish fillet skinned (or Mackerel)
- 100 g tapioca flour
- 100 ml thick coconut milk
- 1 stalk of spring onion, finely chopped
- 3 shallots
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 cm ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cm galangal (laos)
- salt to taste
- 50 g fried peanut
- 3 pan-broil candlenuts
- 2 red chilli, seeded
- 2 bird's eyes chillies
- Salt and sugar to taste
- 100 cc water
1. Grind or blend the spice paste ingredients.
2. Add the fish and spring onion, process until fine, then put into a large bowl and stir in all together with tapioca flour and coconut milk (pour it little by little).
3. Shape the mixture into long oval and deep fry in hot oil until cooked and golden brown.
4. To make peanut sauce: grind or blend all the ingredients (except water) until smooth, then add water and simmer over low heat for few minutes.
4. Serving suggestion: you can serve it with plain rice (nasi putih), urap-urap and cucumber or if you want to eat it as a snack, you can serve it with peanut sauce.