Credit: Anna Jamil (Indonesia) Description: Abdel Rahman El Gamal and Anna Jamil
This photo for otak-otak was taken in a fish market in Indonesia. The product is a type of added value fish product that is popular for people across Southeast Asia especially in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
In Indonesia, the otak-otak is made by mixing fish meat of most available fish in the province whether freshwater or salt water fish including king mackerel, feather-back fish or others. Fish paste is mixed –according to consumer preference- with shallots, garlic, scallions, egg, coconut milk, and sago flour along with selected spices. The mixture is then wrapped in a banana leaf that has been softened by steaming before being lightly grilled or steamed. While fish otak-otak is the most common type, there are other varieties that exist in Asian markets made with prawns, cuttlefish, crabs or fish head.
Otak.Otak means brain in Indonesian and Malay, and the name of the dish is derived from the idea that the product somewhat resembles brains, being grey, soft and almost squishy.
The main Indonesian cities famous for their otak-otak are Palembang, Jakarta and Makassar.
The prepared product which is commonly sold in small stalls can be eaten as a snack or could be bought and prepared at home and eaten as a as part of the meal.
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