Yes, we all grow up with these. For beginners, we train our palette eating the white, non-spicy versions and then progress to the potent, spicy ones.
Here’s my version, and they are really easy to make. Just need a really good grinder, and I do not have one, so perhaps the good old way of pounding with a pestle works better.
500g Mackerel Fish (Batang or Tenggiri fish)
1 Tbsp Oil
20 dried chilies, soaked for at least 30 minutes
20g Belachan (or prawn paste)
6 Lemon grass (white part only), cut into 0.3cm thick
8 cloves Garlic
1 Big Onion or 12 shallots
6 Kaffir leaves, remove stem
1 Tbsp Bullion powder
1 tsp Ground Coriander seeds
2 Tbsp Coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
- Grind otah spice into a fine paste, as fine as you can get.
- Heat up a pan with the tablespoon of oil to medium to high heat.
- Fry the paste until oil exudes, that's about 15 minutes.
- Scoop into a blender and let it cool.
- Grind the fish with the otah paste to a paste.
- Cut banana leaves to an appropriate size.
- Brush the rougher side with oil.
- Place 1 to 2 Tbsp of otah paste on the banana leaves, ensuring the center is higher than the rest of the otah.
- Wrap up and secure with toothpicks.
- BBQ for 5 minutes, or until the leaves burn on some spots.
- Serve hot.