Gresik’s Legendary Milkfish Cake Recipe: A Savory Delight from Indonesia’s Coast

otak-otak bandeng
otak-otak bandeng

Have you ever heard of or tasted ‘Otak-Otak Bandeng’? This is not your typical street-side fish cake that you might find at train stations or street corners.

penjual otak2
penjual otak-otak ikan yang biasa ditemui di stasiun / pinggir jalan

The ‘Otak-Otak Bandeng’ we’re discussing here is a legendary speciality from the city of Gresik. For those visiting Gresik, this is a highly recommended souvenir. It’s incredibly delicious, with fresh milkfish meat combined with the savory and spicy taste of the filling’s spices.

Gresik’s Special Milkfish Cake

Gresik is known for its high-quality milkfish. There are various milkfish dishes, including smoked milkfish, grilled milkfish, and milkfish crackers. However, the most popular milkfish dish is undoubtedly the ‘Otak-Otak Bandeng’.

Several outlets in Gresik offer ‘Otak-Otak Bandeng’, but the most famous is Bu Muzanah’s outlet located at Jalan Sindujoyo No.68, Telogopojok Satu, Lumpur, Gresik, East Java.

otak bandeng bu muzanah
Photo by Go Travelly : Muzanah’s Outlet

Several online stores also sell this delicious ‘Otak-Otak Bandeng’ from Bu Muzanah, priced at about $6 (converted from Rp87,000).

Similar Dishes in Other Cities

Interestingly, similar dishes can be found in other cities like Semarang, with ‘Otak-Otak Bandeng Semarang Primarasa’ and ‘Bandeng Otak-Otak Juwana’. Each coastal area in North Java has its unique recipe.

The minced milkfish from Juwana has a unique taste, being tender and savory, with indigenous spices like coriander and galangal enhancing its flavor. It also comes with a delicious and slightly sweet chili sauce.

the ingredients of Gresik’s Milkfish Cake

For those interested in making it at home, we share a popular recipe from the city of Pekalongan, another coastal city in North Java. The main ingredients include fresh milkfish, eggs, potatoes, and, of course, spices. Although the process seems a bit complicated and requires patience and diligence in processing the milkfish, the delicious taste you get in the end makes it all worthwhile.

otak-otak bandeng

Gresik’s Milkfish Cake Recipe

Recipe by Hani
Discover the authentic taste of Gresik’s Milkfish Cake (Otak-Otak Bandeng)
Prep Time :30 minutes
Cook Time :40 minutes
Total Time :1 hour 10 minutes
Course :Tradisional, Video Resep
Cuisine :Indonesian


Main Ingredients:
  • 1 fresh milkfish (about 1.1 pounds),
  • mashed steamed potatoes (about 2.5 ounces),
  • 1 egg.
  • 5 cloves garlic,
  • ground coriander,
  • 2.5 candlenuts,
  • table salt.


  • Clean the milkfish, removing scales, guts, and gills. Crush the fish with the blunt side of a knife to separate the flesh from the bones.
  • Make a small cut at the bottom of the fish to remove the flesh and bones.
  • Debone the milkfish flesh.
  • Grind the garlic, candlenuts, and salt into a paste.
  • Mix the fish flesh, steamed potatoes, egg, ground coriander, and the spice paste until well combined.
  • Fill the fish skin with this mixture and sew the cut part with clean thread.
  • Steam for about 20 minutes, then remove.
  • Coat the fish with beaten egg and fry in hot oil until golden brown.
  • Serve and enjoy your homemade ‘Otak-Otak Bandeng’!”


Hello, I'm Hani and I enjoy collecting recipes from various social media platforms. I've tried some of them on my blog. Hopefully, they can help mothers with cooking.