Thursday, March 22, 2007

Overdue otak otak, or otah otah

Well, lucky Singaporeans can buy them quite easily, but I could only make my own here. It's the overdue science experiment I meant, not the otak otak. Or what Melting Wok calls it...Otak Otak is the Asian Frittata...the Fish Frittata.


DOE (Design of Experiment) goes like this: One version (I call Otak A) from Simcooks (adapted & modified from Melting Wok). Another recipe (Otak B) adapted, and modified from the several virtual searches of otak recipe ingredients.

Otak A - paler in color but does not lack flavor.


Otah B - looks more "orange", just like otak, and more spicy, definitely!


I love both versions!


Dace fish paste-imported from China~right+ 1/4lb fish paste-San Jose, local~left. These two fish paste have different textures

Otak B (makes ~3-4 otak)
Ingredients:
-1/4lb fish paste(1/8lb dace fish paste-imported from China+ 1/8lb fish paste-San Jose, local)
-1/4 cup thick coconut milk
-1 egg white
-2tbsp belachan paste (that's where the "heat" came from)
-1/2 small shallot
-1/2 of one small ginger
-1/3tsp cane sugar
-banana leaves,and bamboo skewers
(Note: No tom yum paste and no galangal used here in Otak B, but much more belachan paste)

Method:
1.Blend shallot and ginger in food processor
2.Add all the ingredients to the fish paste. Mix evenly until it becomes smooth
3.Place fish paste mixture in the center of a banana leaf, adjusted according to size of banana leaf
4.Fold and secure both ends with short bamboo skewers
5.Preheat oven to 450F and bake the otak for 20-25mins.
6 Ready !


Of course, I set aside some "play time" in this serious experiment. Played around with shapes...using my muffin pan. HA!

More notes:
1. Mixing two types of fish paste improves the texture since dace fish paste is more "lumpy" and the other fish paste is smoother.
2. Using more sambal belachan paste improves the color of the otak, and increases the "spice" level as well. I like the spicy version. The use of more sambal belachan paste does not overpower the otak (as in, the otak otak still taste like otak otak)
3.Not using galangal in Otak B works as well. This short-cut works in case you still want to make your otak but does not have this ingredient (Don't worry, PROVEN, by me the "guinea pig")

Whatever shape, whatever version , this is actually quite an easy appetizer/snack to make! Hooray!


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