Sandra Djohan


Indonesian Otak – Otak Bakar (Grilled Fish Cakes)

Cook’s Note:
In this recipe, sago flour and tapioca flour can be used for arrow root starch interchangeably.

1 package (250 grams) frozen featherback fish (ikan belida) minced/paste, thawed
100 grams sago or tapioca flour*
50 ml thick coconut milk
10 stalks Chinese chives (use 2 green onions if you don’t have), finely sliced
sugar to taste
kosher salt to taste
ground white pepper to taste
banana leaves for wrapping
Cuko (Spicy Tamarind Sauce)

Spicy Peanut Sauce:
50 grams roasted peanuts (can be substituted for crunchy peanut butter)
2 toasted candlenuts (optional)
1 long red cayenne pepper
75 mL luke warm water
1 tablepoon raw sugar
1/4 tablepoon kosher salt
spicy canesugar vinegar to taste


  • In medium bowl, stir together all ingredients for otak-otak until well- blended.
  • Place 5 tablespoons (minimum) of otak-otak dough in banana leaves and wrap it.  Repeat this direction until done and steam.
  • In the oven, broil otak-otak on high for 6 – 8 minutes for each side.  Serve with either cuko or sambal kacang.

Sambal Kacang (Peanut Sambal):

  • In small pot, add water and kaffir lime leaves, bring to a boil.
  • In small bowl, add peanut butter, garlic powder and indonesian hot sauce, stir.
  • Add the boiling water and stir.
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