Friday, February 26, 2010

Protein Power for Yummy Mummy

I hope this dish - Otak-otak Ikan Nyonya Style - will make Yummy Mummy happy...

I went to the shops with my Mama today and was so excited with what we found. Wild pepper leaves! It was quite embarrassing to see my Mama pinching and smelling the leaves to make sure it is really is daun kadok (Piper sarmentosum) and not daun sireh (betel leaves - Piper betle) that the sub-continent community over here use in their betel morsel (paan supari - areca nut and lime wrapped in betel leaves that produced a reddish juice when chewed).

My Mama said daun kadok physically looks like betel leaves but they are different in taste. Daun kadok is widely used in Malaysian Nyonya dishes such as otak-otak and perut ikan. In Thai cooking it is the main ingredient for Mieng Kam, (a starter dish consisting of dried prawns, peanuts, toasted coconut, shallots, chilli and fish sauce) in which daun kadok is used as a wrapper. It also has medicinal properties. People say the roots of daun kadok can be chewed to stop toothache.

"Hmmm...what do you think, Angelina?" Mama asked me.

"I think we should go to the fish shop and buy some mackerels," I said.

Daun kadok and mackerels - main ingredients to make one of my favourite fish concoction - Otak-otak Ikan Nyonya Style.

I'd like to dedicate this dish to Yummy Mummy aka Datin Huda aka Mamasita Mamamia. You need all the protein you can get for your aerobics marathon and what better way than to consume some yummy fishy concoction, OK. Bold

Here's the recipe:

Otak-otak Ikan (Spicy Steamed Fish Mousse) Nyonya Style - to make three ramekin portions

500g blue mackerel (options: Spanish mackerel, sardine or barramundi)

Don't these blue mackerels look handsome? hmmm....can't wait...

250ml thick coconut milk
2 small eggs
4 pieces kaffir lime leaves (daun limau purut), spines removed and leaves finely sliced
20 pieces wild pepper leaves (daun kadok)
a pinch of freshly ground white pepper
a pinch of sugar and salt to taste
Squares of aluminum foil

Paste spices
5 red chilies
1 stalk lemongrass
2 slices galangal
2.5cm piece fresh turmeric or 1 tsp turmeric powder
5 pieces candlenuts (buah keras)
1.5cm piece shrimp paste (belacan)
2 cloves garlic
5 stalks shallots

1. Prepare fish by cleaning, skinning and flaking the flesh.

The heads and bones can be used to make fish stock.

The flesh of blue mackerels. I love the sweet taste of this fish.

2. Make the spice paste in a food processor, adding the ingredients one by one as they are listed above.

This dish actually uses quite a lot of ingredients to get that complex taste.

3. In a large mixing bowl, add in the fish, spice paste, coconut milk, eggs, salt, sugar and lime leaves. Gently mix thoroughly by hand.

Best mixed by hand to ensure thorough marinating of flavours.

4. Cut aluminium foil into squares and line the ramekins.

I like the taste of daun kadok so I usually use a little bit extra.

5. Place at least 3 daun kadok overlapping in the centre of the lined ramekins, then spoon 2-3 heaped tablespoons of the fish mousse mixture on top.

Almost there patient...

6. Place steamer set on the stove, don't forget to put enough water in the bottom pot. I used a small 3-tier aluminium steamer set that Mama brought from her home country. Steamer is ready when water boils.

7. Place the ramekins in the top steamer rack and steam for approximate 20 minutes or until cooked and set. Make sure no water drips into the mixture as this will make the cooked otak-otak watery.

Best eaten while still hot. Served with salad or rice or use as sandwich spread.

The Chef - after a hard day's work in the kitchen. zzzzzz....


mamasita said... sedaap looking!I'm already drooling!
I salute you Cat!!
Thank you..

Lee said...

Hi Cat, Holy Smoke! I have not eaten this can't even remember when.
You know where I can find a nice Nyonya lady can make this? Ha ha.
Ada lagi ke?
Wow! Glad you got Black belt in cooking!
Have fun and have a nice day, Lee.

Razee Salleh said...

Hi Ange,

Interesting dish 'Brain Brain'. I wonder what the person who first saw it was thinking that led him/her to call it what it is called nowadays.

Your recipes rock! Yum yum.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Yummy Mummy,
Stop drooling! Now, go back to aerobics class, OK? the protein powder concoctions anytime. purrr....meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Uncle Lee,
If you can find daun kadok in Toronto, perhaps Mrs Lee can make this. I don't know any nice Nyonya lady but can I offer you an Aussie cat? Unfortunately this dish doesn't last long in our know, that male cat we have...the glutton... purrr....meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Uncle Razee,
Brain Brain...hahahah...lucky they didn't call it "baby poo"... you know how some stuffs are called "duck poo" and such. Come to our secret restaurant anytime. You reckon we can make money if we open a warong somewhere? purrr....meow!

kay_leeda said...

I have lots of kadok growing happily in my backyard!! Please thank your Mama for the otak-otak recipe. That's what I'll make tomorrow for lunch. Today no masak. Both girls and the boy are out on various assignments.

Angie, next time if Mama wants more kadok, just gimme a buzz. Glad to send them over :)

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Kay,
Lucky you! It's not something we get to see everyday here. Unfortunately it won't pass Customs inspection if you send it to us. Thus, Otak-otak will always be something special to us.
My Mama said the Sri Ayutthya in Damansara Heights makes one of the best Otak-otak she's ever tasted. I'm hungry again. purrr....meow!

Unknown said...

..hmm,,too complicated for this old man..think you can freeze it and me defrost it in Bachok>

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Abe Mat,
Unfortunately, it's all gone. Brad the glutton had finished them in one sitting. Sorry......purrr...meow!

Anonymous said...

ish!ish! Now you have me hankering big time for otak-otak. I love it on a slice of freshly baked French loaf. Super yummy-yummy

tireless mom said...

Hi Angie,

Not a fan of otak otak but LOVE Meng Kiam. Next time you find daun kadok, obviously not the home grown & Aussie cutoms rejected leaves from Kay's garden at Shah Alam, please make dedication of Meng Kiam for me pulak k. Purrrr...

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Andrea dear,
A trip to LIttle Penang or Sri Ayutthya would cure that hankering....purrr....meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Yatt,
My Mama said the best Meng Kiam she's ever tasted was in Phuket. Hmmm....another trip would yield a recipe we hope....purrr...meow!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Wow, what a talented kitty you are, Angelina! I think you should have your own cooking show on cable TV! Otak-otak used to be one of my favourite foods before I became vegetarian. Daun kadok is lovely. If you eat a lot of it, you get high. But judging by my own Rowdies here... cats often behave like they are intoxicated already anyway.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Hmmm...what should be the name of the show? Cat Can Cook? Wok with ANgelina? Angelina's Kitchen Rules? Perhaps we can make tofu otak=otak using the same ingredients. High on kadok...that explains Brad's weird behaviour. purrr....meow!

Naz in Norway said...

Kadok ooo Kadok....dimana engkau Kadok????

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Naz,
Pak Kadok kata sejuk sangat kat sana tu, sungai pun dah beku. Tak boleh dia nak berdayung hantar lauk. purrr....meow!

Pi Bani said...

Aisehman... lapar le pulak...

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Ughang Saghawak ada satu dish namanya sambal kadok. Penat ye naik belon? purrr....meow!