Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘otak-otak’

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-- best version!

Muar "Otak-Otak" Trial #3 麻坡乌达-- best version!

Muar “Otak-Otak” Trial #3 麻坡乌达 Recipe (makes 1 round deep dish plate of 11 inch diameter)

Ingredients:
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

Seasoning:
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

Method:

  1. Saute garlic, shallots and red peppers with little oil until aromatic. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine all seasoning (except water) in a big bowl. Mix in sauted garlic, shallots and red peppers. Add in fish paste and blend well.
  3. 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.

Regina’s Note:

  • 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.
This is the brand of frozen fish paste I used for making otak-otak.

This is the brand of frozen fish paste I used for making otak-otak.

港榮 brand fresh lady fish paste

港榮 brand fresh lady fish paste

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

With my first trial of otak-otak, I baked it in the oven. The flavor was good but it was missing the charcoal flavor with traditional otak-otak. So, when I made otak-otak this time, I decided to use banana leave,  and grill my otak-otak in my wok over the stove. The result is that the otak-otak is much better this time– burned banana leaves give it a nice grilled flavor. I also added more water and oil so the texture of otak-otak is much softer, but still no sheen of oil…hmm, I think I have to add more oil on my next trial.

Muar Style "Otak-Otak" Trial #2 麻坡乌达

Muar Style "Otak-Otak" Trial #2 麻坡乌达

Muar “Otak-Otak” Trial #2 麻坡乌达 Recipe

Ingredients:
1 container (12 oz) fish paste
1 cup coarsely chopped Sierra Mackerel fish (boneless)
1 cloves garlic– minced
1 shallot– minced

Seasoning:
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)
2 tbsp oil– see note below
4 tbsp water

150 ml (about 2/3 cup) thick coconut milk

2 pieces of banana leaves (11″x 11″ each piece)

Method:

  1. Blanch banana leaves in boiling water to soften it. Rinse and drain.
  2. Mix together fish paste, fish meat, garlic, shallot and seasoning. Add in coconut milk and mix to combine.
  3. Coat the bottom of a large wok or frying pan with a little oil. Lay down 2 pieces of banana leaves. Coat the top of banana leaves with a little more oil. Spoon otak-otak mixture on the top of the leaves, spread to form a even layer as big as possible, and smooth the top. Cover the wok/pan with a lid, cook on medium high heat until otak-otak is cooked through. As the bottom of banana leaves burns, it will give otak-otak a nice grill flavor.

Regina’s Note:

  • Oil: I added 4 tbsp of oil but there’s still no sheen of oil on my otak-otak. Maybe I should add another 2-3 tbsp oil/chili oil?…
This is the brand of frozen fish paste that I used for making otak-otak.

This is the brand of frozen fish paste that I used for making otak-otak.

Read Full Post »

“Otak-otak” is a Malaysian food that is made of spicy minced fish paste (usually mackerel fish), wrapped between coconut leave fronds then charcoal grilled. In my hometown Muar, “otak-otak” can often be found in Chinese traditional coffee shops, where people always eat it along with some noodle dishes they order from other vendors selling food inside the coffee shops. There is even a bakery in Muar selling bake buns with “otak-otak” filling and the buns sold out fast. My family likes to serve it with steam rice as part of a meal, or make “otak-otak”sandwiches as a breakfast or tea-time snack.

The typical fish for making “otak-otak” is mackerel. Years ago, I made my first “otak-otak” using mackerel but it didn’t turn out good. Back then I didn’t follow any recipe– it was really an experiment for me. This time I saw this recipe online and decided to give it a try because the picture of “otak-otak” looks just like the ones from my hometown. I happened to have some grouper fish leftover so I used it instead of mackerel. Actually this is quite an easy dish to prepare especially I always have sambal chili on hand– all I did was mixing chopped grouper fish, store bought fish paste, coconut milk and some spicy seasoning, then bake in the oven. Easy enough?

The outcome? The flavor is very closed to the ones found in Muar. But my “otak-otak” is a bit firm and dry. Next time, I should add more liquid (water, oil and maybe more coconut milk?), and I shall cover the baking pan with foil to keep in some moist during baking. There will be next trial for sure…

Muar Style "Otak-Otak" Trial #1 麻坡乌达

Muar Style "Otak-Otak" Trial #1 麻坡乌达

Muar Style “Otak-Otak” Trial #1 麻坡乌达 Recipe– original recipe from Y3K Free Recipes

Ingredients:
1 lb fish paste– see note below
1/2 lb minced sierra mackerel or grouper fish– see note below
1/2 tsp salt
150 ml coconut milk

Seasoning:
2 tbsp wheat flour 澄面粉– see note below
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp chili paste or sambal
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chili powder– see note below
1 clove garlic– minced
1 shallot– minced

Method:

  1. Season minced fish with 1/2 tsp of salt, then mix with fish paste to combine. Add in seasoning and coconut milk, stir to combine well.
  2. Pour mixture into a shallow baking pan, smooth the top. Bake at preheated 400°F oven for 12-15 minutes.

Regina’s Note:

  • Fish paste: different brand of fish paste has different taste and texture (mushy soft or “bouncy” firm). The one I used is a frozen fish paste sold in a plastic container brand 佳发鱼浆. This brand can be found in Foodnet Supermarket in San Leandro, CA or Marina Foods in Union City, CA.
  • Minced fish: mackerel fish is typically used here. Or, you can use chopped small shrimps and make it shrimp “otak-otak”.
  • Wheat flour: wheat flour is used to produce a little firm texture to “otak-otak”. If a softer, mushy texture is preferred then use corn flour or tapioca flour instead. Taste the texture of fish paste first, then decide if wheat flour or corn flour should be used and adjust accordingly.
  • Chili powder: chili powder is used to make it more spicy, and also gives a more vibrant color to “otak-otak”. Next time I should use “BABA” brand chili powder. If you want the color but without the heat, use paprika powder instead.
  • My “otak-otak” was dry and no sheen layer of oil on the surface– should try add may be 1 tbsp water and 1/2 tbsp oil to the mixture, and cover with foil before baking?
Muar Style "Otak-Otak" Trial #1 麻坡乌达

Muar Style "Otak-Otak" Trial #1 麻坡乌达

Read Full Post »