Otak-otak Nyonya 

Steamed Otak Otak - Nyonya-style


  • 300g fish fillet
  • 1 ¾ cups santan or coconut milk extracted from 1 coconut. 
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 20-30 daun kaduk or leaves of plu in Thai
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp light soya sauce
  • Banana leaves

Grounded ingredients A:
- 6 daun perut or kafir lime leaves
- 2 stalk lemon grass, chopped
- 8 shallot, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 2 cm piece of galangal or lengkuas, sliced
- Thumb-sized fresh turmeric, sliced
- 4 fresh chilies
- A stalk of fresh coriander
- 1 tablespoon of belacan granules or a slice of shrimp cake


Soak banana leaves in hot water or above a flame to soften it. Clean and dry the leaves and cut into 20cm square for wrapping. A tray for steaming can also be used.

Extract coconut milk from 1 grated coconut. (Coconut cream if used to be diluted)

Cut fish fillets into small slices, clean and drain. Add a pinch of salt and soya sauce and marinate.
Grind ingredients A in a food processor and pour into a large bowl. Mix in the pepper, salt and eggs. Pour in the coconut milk and mix well. Add fish and mix until fish is completely mixed into a thick paste.

To wrap the fish mixture in banana leaves: Put 3-4 daun kaduk on the banana leaf and scoop 3-4 tablespoon of the fish mixture on top of the leaves. Lift 2 sides of the banana leaf to the centre. Fold the other two ens towards the centre and hold it in place with staples or a sharp end tooth pick/ rib of a coconut leaf. Repeat until all ingredients are use up. Place all the packages on a tray to steam.

To steam on a plate: line the base of the plate with daun kaduk then slowly pour the fish mixture on top. Cover the mixture with another layer of daun kaduk. Cover with a banana leaf and place on a rack to steam.

Steam the otak-otak for about 8-10 minutes. Serve wrapped in banana leaves or on a tray.


Additional information