Otak-Otak (some call it Fish Mousse) must rank as one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever tasted. Usually, I would not stop at 10 sticks of this fish mousse (this is what some call it). The most famous otak-otak in Malaysia is sold in the town of Muar (where PB hails from). So, if and whenever I go to Muar on Court duty, I would pack a big bundle back.
The usual way of cooking otak-otak is to wrap it in coconut leaves followed by grilling it over an open flame. At home, however, it is not easy to find coconut leaves or even an open flamed grill. Hence, my mum decided to steam it instead. It was actually her first attempt and we loved it. Some of the recipes for otak-otak sounds very complicated and comes with a bewildering array of ingredients. Mum’s otak-otak is a simplified version and good enough for a home-cooked meal.
This is my mum’s recipe for Otak-Otak
- 250 to 300 grammes of fish flesh (spanish mackarel aka tenggiri, use a spoon to scrape flesh from the fish and place the flesh in a bowl)
- 5 pieces dried red chilli (pre-soaked to soften and remove seeds)
- 3 cm lengkuas
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
- 2 stalks serai (lemon grass), sliced thinly
- 5 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5 limau purut leaves, finely sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup santan (coconut milk)
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
Blend (B) and place in mixing bowl. Add (C) and mix well followed by fish flesh and form into a dough-like mixture. Let it stand for 15 minutes. Then place it on suitable steaming plate and flatten it.
Steam over rapid boiling water for about 5 to 10 minutes. To test whether it is thoroughly cooked, take a toothpick and poke into the otak-otak. If the toothpick comes out relatively clean, the otak-otak should be cooked. Serve hot.
Alternatively, place mixture on a piece of pre-cleaned banana leaf followed by an outer layer of heavy-duty aluminium foil and grill over charcoal fire.
My Recommended Recipes