The paste--also known as otak or otak-otak--is a spicy mousse, usually made with mackerel, that is wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed or grilled. It can be eaten on its own, mashed into rice or slathered onto bread for a savory lunch or breakfast.
• 1 kilogram of shallots
• 50 grams of candlenuts (macadamia nuts can be substituted)
• Two to three thick stalks of lemongrass
• 50 grams of blue ginger/galangal
• 50 grams of yellow ginger/turmeric
• 2 Tablespoons toasted, crumbled belacan
• 100 grams dried chilis, boiled in hot water for 15 minutes to soften
• 12 chili padi, also known as bird's eye chilis (Add more if you want it to be spicier)
• 1 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
• 3/4 Tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon of salt
• 1 kilogram mackerel
• 1/4 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
• 2 Tablespoons tapioca flour
• 2 Tablespoons ground coriander
• 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
• 8 eggs, beaten
• 3 1/2 cups of coconut milk
• Fresh banana leaves*, cut into eight-inch by five-inch rectangles
• Sharp toothpicks
Thinly slice lemongrass, shallots, galangal, and turmeric, and blend it together in a food processor with the crumbled belacan and candlenuts. Remove paste and transfer that to a large wok and fry over medium heat.
Blend together softened, dried chilis and chili padi in food processor with about 1/4 cup of water. Add chili mixture to the paste you're frying up in the wok. Add 3/4 tablespoon of salt.