Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels

June 06, 2018
Easy, delicious Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels.

Otak-Otak photo

Its tough to choose, between Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels and Cambodian Fish Amok
Which would I choose to be my first choice? hmmm...

I love both dishes! Both has almost similar taste but not the same.

And if I were to be blind folded, and were asked to sample the two dishes, I can easily pick out which is Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels and Cambodian Fish Amok

Spicy Fish Parcels photo

There is one ingredient that stands out in Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels... its the wild pepper leaves, or daun kaduk.

Daun kaduk or wild pepper are widely used in Thai cuisines or Malaysian cuisine- especially in nyonya cooking.

Daun kaduk is the star ingredient in this Thai leaf wrap salad in a bite, known as Miang Kam.

Spicy and creamy Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels

Imagine my excitement! When I found that daun kaduk/ wild pepper/ betel leaves are available in Perth!
Bought the plant and its happily growing in my backyard.

What to do with daun kaduk/ wild pepper/ betel leaves?
Second that came to mind after Miang Kam, it this Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels!

I made a quick video (see below) on how to prepare Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels.
Making banana parcels is easy, but if you do not have or couldn't get hold of some banana leaves, or for some other reasons unable to fold the banana leaves... just steam in a shallow dish.

And if you do not have a steamer, place Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels in an oven and bake them!

delicious Spicy Fish Parcels

Top and bottom photos, show casing my baked Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels in a shallow dish. Just lined the base with banana leaves (optional), arrange sliced fish, top with wild pepper leaves and pour in the custard.
Check my notes on the oven temperature and duration to bake Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels.

I presented both: steam in banana leaves parcels and baked Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels, both, father and daughter {son left the nest and now living 300 km south :( }, loved the baked Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels better.

Both unanimously commented... more flavour in the baked compared to the steam!
Could it be that the baked Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels has more custard?

If you are able to find daun kaduk/ wild pepper/ betel leaves.... give this Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels a try.
Who knows... Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels might be your favourite too :D 

Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels image

Spicy fish parcels , otak-otak, fish, spicy custard
Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcelshttps://youtu.be/iJW7Lergo2kEasy, delicious Otak-Otak /Spicy Fish Parcels.https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipNK9CD4opWPk-tJPsS0H3xxi62A9qDvsQNYUeCk/photo/AF1QipMiJXF57ZRKLYuDOabN9tuB0X9VcyHNzZzTN1VL
Yield: 4-6

Otak-otak (Spicy Fish Parcels)

Delicious Malaysian spicy fish parcels. Best served with steamed rice.


Spice Paste
  • 100g shallots
  • 15g garlic
  • 15g dried chillies - wash and soak
  • 15g galangal (I used frozen sliced galangal)
  • 20g tumeric (frozen tumeric)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass - thinly sliced
  • 20g shrimp granules (belacan)
  • 2 eggs - lightly beaten
  • 50g coconut milk in powdered form ( I used Ayam brand)
  • 200g water
  • 2 tablespoon rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves - thinly sliced
Other ingredients
  • 500 g baby shark fillet * - sliced
  • 20 daun kadok **
  • banana leaves


Prepare banana leaves parcels
  1. Soften banana leaves over the stove. Banana leaf will turn bright green and shiny.
  2. Wipe clean with kitchen paper
  3. Cut banana leaves into 18 by 20 cm rectangles
  4. Watch the video above on how to fold banana leaf to make a parcel.
Spice paste
  1. Blend all ingredients into smooth paste.
Making custard
  1. Mix water and powdered coconut milk in a jug
  2. Add rice flour to the coconut milk
  3. In a mixing bowl, big enough to add spice paste later, lightly beat the eggs.
  4. Add coconut milk, pepper, salt and sugar.
  5. Mix well
  6. Add spice chilli paste into the egg mixture. Stir to mix well.
  7. Add shrimp granules / belacan 
Making otak-otak in banana parcels
  1. Place 2 betel leaves at the bottom of the banana  leaf parcel. 
  2. top up with few slices of fish
  3. spoon few tablespoons of chilli custard into the parcels over the fish
  4. Cover with 2 betel leaves.
  5. Place in  a steamer and steam over rapid boiling water to set the custard.
  1. Line an ovenproof baking dish with banana leaves
  2. Arrange betel leaves in single layer to cover 
  3. Arrange sliced fish
  4. Add custard
  5. Arrange the remaining betel leaves
  6. Cover with banana leaves (or aluminium foil)
  7. Pre-heat oven to 160C
  8. Bake for 25 minutes and remove the cover and bake for further 10 minutes until otak-otak is cook through
  9. Serve with rice 


* Can substitute with any white flesh fish such as Burramundi

** also known Piper sarmentosum or cha phlu or wild betel leaves
Created using The Recipes Generator