OTAK-OTAK – Grilled Spicy Fish Cake in Banana Leaf

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I was asked to submit my Otak-otak recipe for publication somewhere so I figured I might as well post it here as well.  For the record I used to use Knorr chicken stock granules instead of Poloku mushroom stock granules but that bothered

1)  people on a meat-free but not-quite-vegetarian diet (I’ve never used it in vegetarian dishes)

2) people against msg, which Knorr’s contains

I do still like Knorr’s product a lot – it’s the pièce de résistance in a lot of my recipes.

Makes about 20-25


500g redfish fillets

100ml water

2 TBS tapioca flour

½ tsp pepper

1 TBS Poloku mushroom stock granules or Knorr chicken stock granules

1 TBS fish curry powder

2 eggs

200ml coconut cream

¼ TBS chilli powder

1 tsp belacan granules

2 TBS minced kaffir lime leaves

½ cup fried shallots

Banana leaves for wrapping – 5 x 4-inch pieces

Stapler or bamboo skewers to secure the leaves


  1. Mix tapioca flour and pepper in the water.
  2. Put the fish and water/flour/pepper mixture in a food processor and pulse it until the fish turns into a paste.
  3. Transfer into a mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients.  Mix well.
  4. Put 2 TBS fish mix on a banana leaf, fold in the sides and staple the ends.
  5. Brush with a little oil and cook in a frying pan or on a BBQ for about 4 minutes each side, or until cooked through.
  6. Serve (remove banana leaf wrapper before eating).

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