Discover with Timothy Tye
Penang Otak-Otak 鲤鱼包

Start here
Otak OtakOtak Otak (25 March, 2018)

Otak-Otak 鲤鱼包 is a fish cake dish is common in Malaysia as well as Singapore and Indonesia. As with many local dishes, there are regional variations to the otak-otak. The Penang Otak-Otak, which has local influence, is a steamed fish cake made from a mixture of eggs, fish fillet and a whole lot of herbs including serai (lemon grass), lengkuas (galangal), ginger, kunyit hidup (fresh tumeric), dried chillies, daun mengkudu (morinda), daun limau purut (kaffir lime leaf), on a bed of daun kaduk (Piper sarmentosum, pointed pepper), and the whole thing wrapped with banana leaf. The style of wrapping otak-otak is unique and immediately recognizable - it is such that the egg and fish mix do not run out.

Penang Otak-Otak (9 August, 2008)

Penang Otak-Otak (9 August, 2008)

The wrap is held together by a lidi (coconut leaf rib) though nowadays it is simply stapled. It is commonly sold at economy rice stalls, in which case it is often simply prepared on trays - otak-otak lovers prefer those wrapped in banana leaf; there is nothing like the aroma of freshly steamed fish when the otak-otak is unwrapped.

The Otak-Otak that my wife made (28 March, 2018)

Otak-Otak Recipe

  1. Fish fillet - cut into slices
  2. Kaduk leaves
  3. Banana leaves
Ingredients for spice paste (grounded up)
  1. Dried chili - cut into smaller pieces and soaked
  2. Shallot
  3. Garlic
  4. Lemongrass
  5. Galangal
  6. Turmeric
  7. Belacan
Ingredient for the custard
  1. Thick coconut milk
  2. Egg
  3. Rice flour/ Glutinous rice flour
  4. Kaffir lime leaves - sliced finely
  5. Pepper
  6. Salt
  7. Sugar
  1. Scald the banana leaves with hot water or soften it over a medium flame. Clean and cut the banana leaves into 18x20 cm rectangles. If you plan to steam the otak-otak using a casserole dish or a bowl, just trim the leaves into desired size and line the bowl. Put aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, crack an egg and mix it with coconut milk. Whisk for one minute.
  3. Add in the spice paste and mix well.
  4. Add in sliced kaffir lime leaves, rice flour, salt, sugar and pepper.
  5. You can also roughly sliced the kaduk leaves, about 3 mm thick, and add into the mixture.
  6. Lastly, add in the fish fillet.
  7. Take one piece of banana leaf with the non-shining side facing up. Place a few pieces of kaduk leaves, and top with a ladle of otak-otak mixture.
  8. Fold the sides up to meet in the center. Slowly fold both ends and meet in the center.
  9. Secure with staples or bamboo toothpick.
  10. Steam for 20 minutes or until the otak-otak is fully cooked.
  11. If steam using the casserole dish, just line the bottom with a few pieces of kaduk leaves and pour in the mixture.
  12. Steam for 20-30 minutes or until fully cooked.
  13. Serve with rice or bread.
  1. 鱼肉- 切成条状
  2. 山捞叶- 去梗,清洗干净,备用
  3. 香蕉叶
香料 (捣碎):
  1. 辣椒干- 切成小截,浸至软
  2. 葱头
  3. 蒜头
  4. 香茅
  5. 南姜
  6. 黄姜
  7. 峇拉煎
  8. 椰浆
  9. 糯米粉/粘米粉
  10. 疯柑叶- 切成细条
  11. 胡椒粉
  1. 把香蕉叶用热水烫软或把叶子过中火,洗净,弄成18x20厘米宽。如果要用蒸盘,香蕉叶就剪成比蒸盘大一点, 铺在盘底。 备用。
  2. 拿一大碗,将蛋和椰浆完全混合,加入香料拌至均匀。
  3. 拌入疯柑叶,糯米粉,胡椒粉, 盐和糖。 你也可以将山捞叶切成粗条状,加入香料糊中。最后拌入鱼片。
  4. 拿一片香蕉叶,滑面在底。铺几片山捞叶,舀2-3大汤匙香料糊在上,再铺几片山捞叶在上面。
  5. 将叶子的两端相对,另两端小心摺到中间,再用钉子或竹签钉牢,蒸至熟。
  6. 如果要用蒸盘,就铺几片山捞叶在盘底,然后将全部材料倒入,再铺几片山捞叶在上面, 蒸至熟。
  7. 配白饭或面包。

Our homemade otak-otakOur homemade otak-otak (2 June, 2013)

There are a number of places on Penang Island where you can buy Otak Otak. The ones I have come across (and can recall), I list out on the food map below. The pins are numbered to correspond to the list below the map. I'll add some more as I continue to look for them.

View Otak Otak Stalls in Penang in a larger map

Where to find Otak-Otak

Otak-Otak is available at the following locations in Penang:
  1. Cecil Street Market Hawker Centre
  2. Restoran Hot Bowl Nyonya Delights, Aboo Sittee Lane (breakfast, lunch)
  3. Midtown Cafe, Lorong Selamat (lunch)
  4. Restoran Hai Onn, Burmah Road, facing Transfer Road
  5. Kedai Makanan Kim Lee, Macalister Lane
  6. Padang Brown Hawker Centre
  7. Hou Mei Yuen Cafe in Bukit Jambul (lunch), every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  8. Super Tanker Food Court, Lip Sin Garden

Tim & Chooi Yoke's Recipes of Homecooked Food

Let us share our recipes of homecooked food with you.


Tim & Chooi Yoke's Home Cooking

Let us share our joy of home cooking with you.


Thank you for using my website!

Hello and thank you for reading this page. My name is . I wrote this page to compile what I discover, for my own knowledge, and also to share it with people who might find it useful. It is part of three inter-connected websites: Penang Travel Tips, and Timothy Property Mart.

I am a real estate agent, food blogger, amateur historian and travel author. This website is an encyclopedia as well as a business directory. As a real estate agent, I help people buy, sell, rent and let properties. If you have a property to sell or rent in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Ipoh or Malacca, my team of realtors and I can help you. If you operate a restaurant, can write about your food and promote your restaurant. I can also help you engage other food bloggers to write about your food. And finally, if you are operating a business anywhere in Malaysia, you can add your shop to this website and be found by lots of customers. All you need to do is contact me with what you need.

contact Tim

You can do many things directly from this website. If you are visiting Penang, I can arrange for you a tour guide and/or driver to show you around. If you are traveling by bus anywhere in Malaysia or Singapore, you can book your bus ticket. If you seek accommodation, you can get hotel room rates.

As a Christian, I hope that through this website, I am able to deliver God's message to all who need it, anywhere in the world. If you are open to hearing it, please read God's Good News to You.

If you wish to contact me, please use this contact form. And don't forget to follow me on Facebook. See you!

 My Latest Updates

Copyright © 2003-2019 Timothy Tye. All Rights Reserved.