Yes! I am proud to say I have finally perfected this recipe, after the first trial and the second trial— it tastes almost the same like the ones I had growing up in Muar. This time around the otak-otak is much softer and moisted, and has a sheen layer of chili oil. I was out time and chose to steam cook, instead of wrapped with banana leafe and pan grilled.
Muar “Otak-Otak” Trial #3 麻坡乌达 Recipe (makes 1 round deep dish plate of 11 inch diameter)
1 container (12 oz) fish paste– see note below
1 cloves garlic– minced
1 shallot– minced
2-3 red hot Thai peppers (optional)– finely chopped
2 tbsp sambal or chili paste
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika powder (optional– for more brilliant color)
6 tbsp oil– see note below
4 tbsp water
150 ml (about 2/3 cup) thick coconut milk
- Saute garlic, shallots and red peppers with little oil until aromatic. Set aside to cool.
- Combine all seasoning (except water) in a big bowl. Mix in sauted garlic, shallots and red peppers. Add in fish paste and blend well.
- Add in water, follow by coconut milk, and mix well. Pour mixture onto a greased deep dish round plate, smooth the surface. Steam for 10 minutes until otak-otak is cooked.
- Fish paste: different brand of fish paste does make otak-otak taste differently. I prefer 佳发brand (see picture below)– it is frozen and can be found in Asian grocery stores. I tried 味全brand frozen fish paste, but found it is not good for making otak-otak. (1/31/12 update: I have bought 佳发brand frozen fish paste a couple of times later but they were bad both times, which was disappointing. I now use 港榮 brand fresh lady fish paste (see bottom picture). This brand is available at 99 Ranch Market, under packaged fresh seafood section.