Grilled fish cake in banana leaves (Otak Otak)

Grilled fish cake in banana leaves (Otak Otak)

Servings: 12 -15 pieces
Author: Marvellina
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Otak otak:

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless mackerel fillets- roughly chopped
  • 5 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 Tbsp of corn starch
  • 1/2 cup of coconut cream
  • 1 egg white beaten
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of white pepper powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 stalks of spring onion finely chopped
  • 10 pieces of 6 x 6-inch square of banana leaves and few extra in case some of them has some tear, or use aluminum foil if you can't find banana leaves
  • Toothpicks or stapler

Tamarind peanut sauce:

  • 1 cup of unsalted roasted peanut
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups of water
  • 3 Tbsp of tamarind paste
  • 2-3 bird's eye chili more if you like it spicier
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lime


You can prepare the tamarind peanut sauce few days before:

  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process into a smooth runny paste. Have a taste and add more salt and sugar to your taste. Store in a glass jar and refrigerate

Preparing otak otak:

  • Place the shallots, garlic, and fish in a food processor and process into a smooth paste. Stir in the rest of the ingredients (except for banana leaves) and stir well to mix in everything. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes
  • Wipe both sides of banana leaves cleaned with damp towel. Place about 1-2 heaped tablespoon of the fish paste in the center of the leaves and spread it with the spoon into a long vertical shape
  • Roll both sides of the leaves over and then fold the leaf near your side over and secure it with toothpick or stapler. Repeat with the opposite side. Continue until you are done with the fish paste
  • I cook the otak otak directly on fire on the stove top to get that char. Use a heat-proof tong to flip the otak otak over as you grill them. The aroma of the banana leaves are heavenly !
  • Serve with tamarind peanut sauce


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