Food Talks

Otak Otak Article Rating

Posted by howeh on November 24, 2008 - Filed under: Member Talks


In Malay "Otak" means Brain. How about Otak-Otak, is it mean Someone who have double brain? No actually it is a traditional food in Malaysia. Otak-otak, of Malay and Nyonya origins, is a blend of raw fish, chopped onions, coconut milk, herbs and spices bound together with egg. The puree is wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled over an open charcoal fire and served usually as an accompaniment to a meal of nasi lemak or "coconut rice".


In Singapore, this savoury snack is usually made from Spanish Mackerel, locally known as ikan tenggiri, which is pureed into a kind of fish mousse or fish quiche. The texture of the fish paste is soft and smooth-almost like a custard because of the coconut milk. Its unique flavour is found in its spicy rempah, a Malay term for the hand-pounded spices and seasoning. The rempah is traditionally made up of chillies, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, turmeric, candle nuts and shrimp paste. Morsels of fish paste are then wrapped in banana leaves, the fragrant aroma of the leaves grilling under charcoal adding to the otak-otak's flavour.

There are different forms of otak-otak originating from different regions. Nyonya otak-otak (Malay: otak-otak Nyonya), with Peranakan origins, from the northern Malaysian state of Penang, is steamed as a cake in pandan leaf. However, otak-otak from the south of Malaysia and from Singapore is wrapped up as a thin slice using banana or coconut leaf and grilled over a charcoal fire. As a result, it ends up reddish-orange, drier and with a more distinct smoky fish aroma. Other varieties of otak-otak do exist, however, the most common of which is a non-spicy, white-coloured version.

Costing less than $1, the otak-otak is also a favourite snack eaten on its own. Since its main ingredient is the white flesh of fish high in protein with only a small quantity of coconut milk, the fat content of the otak-otak is quite low and it makes for a nutritionally healthy addition to the weight -watcher's diet.


  • 500 gram red snapper sliced skinless
  • 500 gram mackerel sliced skinless

Method: Mince both fish in the mincer three times. Then transfer to a bowl and keep it on ice.
Otak Otak marinade Ingredients:

  • 50 gram lemongrass sliced
  • 30 gram ginger sliced
  • 50 gram shallots sliced
  • 20 gram galangal sliced
  • 50 gram turmeric root sliced
  • 10 pc lime leaves chopped
  • 10 pc daun kadok leaves chopped fine
  • 5 pc whole eggs
  • 50 mil coconut cream
  • Seasoning with salt and sugar


In a food Processor, blend the lemongrass ginger, shallots, galangai and turmeric root' until it becomes a paste. Combine lime leaves, kadok leaves, fish farce, eggs and coconut cream and adjust the seasoning with salt and sugar. Place the stuffing into small banana leaf boats. Then either steam or grill the otak otak. Steam it at 150° C or six minutes on the grill respectively.

For the coconut cream sauce Ingredients:

  • 100 ml coconut cream
  • 20 gram corn flour
  • 40 ml water
  • 20 gram turmeric powder
  • Seasoning with salt and sugar.

Method: Boil the water and the seasoning. Add the coconut cream and simmer for a while. Combine the corn flour and the turmeric with some water and mix well. Add the corn flour mix and thicken the sauce by simmering for one minute. Adjust the seasoning and top up the otak otak with some of the coconut sauce.

Garnish Ingredients:

  • 1 pc red chilli star 1 pc lime star
  • coconut milk
  • turmeric roots

Ingredients Source from

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howeh Said:

If you know where got delicious Otak-Otak food stall, please share it here!! Thanks

Monday, November 24, 2008 3:13 PM
Chieftain Said:

Now those all factory made one...hard to find home made one in KL already.

Monday, November 24, 2008 4:26 PM
Tina Said:

my neighbour like to buy from Johor Muar. Actual location i also dont know :P

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 1:33 PM
Evon Said:

hi all, I do supply home made otak-otak in Klang Valley, it's my family's business. If you're interested, please contact me through my email. Thanks a lot!

Friday, October 23, 2009 4:35 PM from:
Evon Said:

for your info, my email add is Thanks!

Friday, October 23, 2009 4:36 PM from:
howeh Said:

Hi Evon,

Do you have any website can view your otak-otak product?

Friday, October 23, 2009 4:38 PM
teng Said:

they got 1 store in pudu selling nice otak otak. they get it from muar every day. only have the contact no tel: 012 3200345 cause they move to a new place.good luck and try it

Friday, September 9, 2011 2:30 PM from:
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