How to make Otak Otak
Otak Otak

How to make Otak Otak

Otak Otak is a fragrant dish made with a variety of blended spices and grilled fish paste. It is a famous dish amongst Malaysians, Indonesians and Singaporeans. The fish cake is cooked in spices and grilled inside banana or coconut leaf making it even more fragrant than ever. Feel the unique taste of each spicies with every bite of Otak Otak.

Level: Easy

Time: 20 mins

Yield: 3

Otak Otak Recipe:


10 grams chilli peppers (dried)

3 chilli peppers

15 grams turmeric

10 shallots

 3 garlic cloves

30 grams galangal 

3 lemongrass stalks

10 grams ginger

100 grams oil

150 grams fish fillet

100 grams coconut milk

100ml water

1⁄4 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

15 grams tapioca flour


Otak Otak
Otak Otak


To cook a delicious Otak Otak follow the recipe below.

  • Soak and boil chillies for 4 minutes or until soft over medium heat.
  • Remove the seeds or chilli membrane to reduce the spiciness.
  • Set the boiled chillies aside. Then, add turmeric, shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass stalks, ginger (all ingredients finely chopped) and oil in a blender.
  • Blend all the ingredients until fine paste. Add oil to ease the blending process.
  • In a pan, add some oil to sauté the spices paste over medium to low heat until fragrant. Continue stirring until the oil separates or floats to the surface. Set the chilli paste aside to let it cool.
  • Once chilli paste is no longer warm(room temperature), remove the excess oil. Then, add chilli paste with the fish fillet, water, coconut milk, salt, tapioca flour, sugar and blend until it becomes a fine paste.
  • Take 40 grams of fish paste onto a banana leaf – 6 inches long and 4 inches wide. Then, wrap the fish paste and secure the ends with toothpicks. Repeat until the fish paste is finished.
  • Heat up a pan over medium to low heat to cook the otak-otak (banana leaf with paste) for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. If there is a lot of fish paste in each leaf, the cooking time may be longer.

Cook more such delicious recipes coming right out of the kitchen of our expert chefs or Order at Urban Tummy.

To explore more cuisines, try out our new Char Kway Teow – a traditional recipe right from the streets of Malaysia.

Leave a Reply