Otak-otak isa snack made up of fish meat and spices. It is widely popular across SoutheastAsia, where it is traditionally served fresh and wrapped inside a banana leafor coconut leaf. However, with Southeast Asian food gaining popularityinternationally, they could be commonly seen being sold in many Asian stores inthe frozen or canned form.
Otak-otak is essentially made of minced fishmeat mixed together with a variety of herbs and spices. It is then wrapped in abanana leaf/coconut leaf, before being grilled lightly over a burning charcoalfire.
Otak-otak is well known in several Asianregions, and although the direct translation of its name in Malay means“brains”, it’s a name that was derived from its soft, mushy texture rather thanwhat is used to make it.
While fish otak-otakis the most common, you’ll also be able to find other variations made with prawns,cuttlefish, crab and fish head. Otak-otak is best eaten on its own as asnack, and is a great complementary dish to other local favourites like nasilemak and fried rice. Those who have never tried it might find it an acquiredtaste, but otak-otak is so commonly sought-after in Singapore that everyfood centre has one or two stalls that often also sell them in bulk foroccasions such as private parties and office lunches.