Delicious Otah in Banana Leaves: A Tasty Recipe for Fish and Prawns Lovers

Otah in banana leaves is a popular dish in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia and Singapore. It is a type of grilled or steamed seafood dish that is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked to perfection. Otah can be made with various types of seafood, such as fish or prawns, and is often seasoned with a blend of aromatic herbs and spices.

The process of making otah involves mixing a paste of ground seafood, spices, and other ingredients. This paste is then spread onto a banana leaf and folded into a pocket or parcel. The parcel is then either grilled over charcoal or steamed, allowing the flavors to infuse and the seafood to cook to a tender and succulent consistency.

Traditionally, otah was made using freshwater fish, but nowadays, it is common to find otah made with other types of seafood, such as prawns. The choice of seafood can vary depending on personal preference and availability. Regardless of the type of seafood used, otah in banana leaves is a delicious and flavorful dish that is enjoyed by many.

What is Otah?

What is Otah?


  • Fish or prawns
  • Herbs and spices (such as chili, garlic, lemongrass, and turmeric)
  • Coconut milk
  • Shallots
  • Galangal
  • Candlenuts
  • Tamarind juice
  • Banana leaves


  1. Clean and prepare the fish or prawns, removing any bones or shells.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend the fish or prawns with the herbs and spices until a smooth paste is formed.
  3. Add coconut milk, shallots, galangal, candlenuts, and tamarind juice to the mixture, and blend again until well combined.
  4. Take a piece of banana leaf and place a spoonful of the otah mixture in the center. Fold the banana leaf into a parcel, securing the edges with toothpicks or string.
  5. Grill or steam the otah parcels until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  6. Serve the otah hot, either as a main dish or as a side dish with rice or bread.

Otah is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other foods. Its spicy and fragrant flavors make it a popular choice for barbecues, street food stalls, and traditional gatherings. Whether you prefer fish or prawns, otah is a delicious and satisfying dish that showcases the vibrant flavors of Southeast Asian cuisine.

How to Make Otah with Fish

How to Make Otah with Fish

To make delicious otah with fish, you will need a few key ingredients and follow a simple step-by-step process.

Here is a list of ingredients you will need:

  • 500 grams of fish fillets
  • 5-6 dried red chilies
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of belacan (shrimp paste)
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • Banana leaves
  • Salt to taste

Now, let’s get started with the cooking process:

  1. Soak the dried red chilies in hot water for about 10 minutes, then drain the water.
  2. In a blender, combine the soaked chilies, onions, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric powder, and belacan. Blend until you get a smooth paste.
  3. Heat some oil in a pan and fry the paste until it becomes fragrant.
  4. Add the fish fillets to the pan and cook until they are fully cooked and flaky.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes.
  6. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Prepare the banana leaves by cutting them into square pieces and blanching them in boiling water for a few seconds to soften.
  8. Take a spoonful of the otah mixture and place it on a piece of banana leaf. Fold the leaf to form a parcel, securing it with toothpicks.
  9. Grill the otah parcels over medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side, or until the banana leaves are slightly charred.

Your delicious otah with fish is now ready to be served! It makes for a perfect appetizer or main course. Enjoy!

How to Make Otah with Prawns

How to Make Otah with Prawns


  • 500 grams of prawns (cleaned and deveined)
  • 200 grams of fish paste
  • 2 tablespoons of red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut milk
  • Banana leaves (cut into small pieces)


  1. Mix the fish paste, red curry paste, turmeric powder, sugar, fish sauce, and coconut milk in a bowl.
  2. Add the cleaned prawns to the mixture and mix well, ensuring that the prawns are evenly coated.
  3. Take a piece of banana leaf and spoon a portion of the prawn mixture onto it.
  4. Wrap the banana leaf tightly around the prawn mixture to form a parcel.
  5. Repeat the process for the remaining prawn mixture.
  6. Steam the parcels for about 15-20 minutes until the prawns are cooked through.
  7. Once cooked, remove the parcels from the steamer and let them cool slightly before serving.
Ingredients Amount
Prawns 500 grams
Fish paste 200 grams
Red curry paste 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder 1 tablespoon
Sugar 1 tablespoon
Fish sauce 1 tablespoon
Coconut milk 1 tablespoon
Banana leaves Cut into small pieces

Enjoy the delicious and aromatic Otah with prawns as a snack or side dish. The combination of prawns and spices wrapped in banana leaves creates a unique and mouthwatering flavor that is sure to impress your taste buds.

Add a comment