Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Nyonya otak otak

I should edit this post to nyonya otak otak, a modern revision for lack of certain ingredients and patience? Lol.

This is one of my favourite dish which I have been craving for quite a while but was unable to find anything good enough. Forget Melaka's so called nyonya shops around the town. I have had one disappointments after another or maybe it's just my luck. And I have been to a lot of the nyonya shops in town there since I frequented the city? Quite frequently. I'd say an average of once or twice a month? In terms of days at least... Until a while back whn I'm finally back for good in my hometown in Sarawak.

Anyway, back to the main topic... The reason of this whole post... Otak otak! It is basically a spiced chilli based coconut custard with fish inside or in some shops, seafood. That reminds me. Soul Thai in JB serves very good seafood otak otak! Oh yeah! That is one forgettable seafood otak otak!

For my version, I omitted the daun kaduk since markets in Swk don't seem to sell them. Grr!!!
And the usual lengkuas I replaced with ginger cos the one I thought I had in the fridge is bad already prolly cos I left them unused for too long already.

10-12 shallots
3 cloves garlic
6 red chilli (deseed)
5 dried chilli (deseed)
3 stalks lemongrass
6-7 kaffir lime leaves (cut into thin strips)
2 eggs
1 cup coconut milk and a little extra for blending the chilli paste
2-3 small pieces of ginger
1 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp toasted belacan
2 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp sugar
700g fish fillet (cubed) - I used dory cos I do not know where will people fillet the freshly caught fish for me here unlike in west Malaysia where every fish monger would be more than happy to help you.
Banana leaves (soften in hot water)

1) Blend chilli (fresh and dried), lemongrass (cut into thin circles), ginger, garlic, shallots, turmeric, belacan and the lil extra coconut milk together. Do make sure all are in small or medium pieces to ease the work of your food processor.
2) Lightly beat the eggs and add salt, pepper, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk,rice flour and the chilli paste from (1) and stir until fully incorporated.
3) Wrap individual bags made out of banana levee by placing some of the fish first den adding the liquid into them and then securing with toothpicks. Or if you are lazy like me or just too clumsy to tie the bags without them leaking out, just line a plate with banana leaves and fill them up with the fish and paste then cover with banana leaves and fasten with toothpick.
4) Steam on high for 10-15 minutes for individual bags and 30 minutes for the single plate portion. Or until the custard sets.

I would advise using mini packages of banana wrap or the pao steamer or any plate/dish with holes. Another option would be to bake them in water bath. This way you avoid getting soggy otak otak

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