Traditional Indonesian Recipe: Grilled Mackerel Otak-Otak

Grilled Otak-Otak by Devina Hermawan: Savory Spice Perfection from a Culinary Expert!

otak-otak bakar ikan tenggiri
otak-otak bakar ikan tenggiri

Today, I’m excited to share with you a traditional Indonesian recipe: Otak-Otak Tenggiri Bakar. This beloved snack is not only easy to make but also incredibly delicious, especially when using high-quality sago flour from Sagu Tani. Follow this step-by-step guide and tips to create the perfect Otak-Otak Tenggiri Bakar.


  • Ground Spanish Mackerel: I use premium-grade Spanish mackerel.
  • Seasonings: Salt, sugar, pepper, mushroom powder, and baking powder for a bouncy texture.
  • Additional Ingredients: Garlic, shallots, green onions, optional celery, egg whites, cold water, and thick instant coconut milk.
  • Flour: Regular flour and sago flour from Sagu Tani.
  • Sambal: We will make two types of sambal: Peanut Sambal and Tauco Sambal.

Making the Sambal

Tauco Sambal

  1. Slice garlic, red chili, and Thai chili.
  2. Fry the red chili until half-cooked, then add the garlic and Thai chili until fully cooked.
  3. Blend all ingredients with water, tauco (fermented soybean), vinegar, and sugar. Blend to your desired texture, either rough or smooth.
  4. Cook briefly to meld the flavors, then adjust the taste as needed.

Peanut Sambal

  1. Fry peanuts until half-cooked, then add the chili.
  2. Blend peanuts and chili with water, salt, and palm sugar until smooth.
  3. Cook briefly for a thicker consistency after cooling.

Making the Otak-Otak Dough

  1. Blend Spanish mackerel with salt, sugar, mushroom powder or MSG, pepper, and baking powder until sticky.
  2. Add finely chopped garlic, shallots, green onions, and optional celery.
  3. Add coconut milk and egg whites, then blend again.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large bowl, add flour and sago flour, and mix well.
  5. Add enough water to achieve the desired consistency.

Wrapping and Cooking Otak-Otak

  1. Cut banana leaves into 14-15 cm wide pieces.
  2. Spread a bit of dough on the banana leaf, roll it up, and secure with toothpicks.
  3. Grill the otak-otak on a pan without oil or on a stone grill with medium-low heat for 5 minutes on each side until cooked and fragrant.
  4. If using a charcoal grill, keep the grill slightly elevated to avoid burning the otak-otak.

Tips and Tricks

  • Using a Blender or Food Processor: Ensure the fish mixture is sticky before adding other ingredients for a bouncy texture.
  • Using Banana Leaves: Roll the banana leaves twice to prevent tearing during grilling.
  • Cooking with Medium-Low Heat: Important for even cooking and to prevent burning.


Otak-Otak Tenggiri Bakar is ready to be served with Peanut Sambal and Tauco Sambal. The texture is soft, bouncy, and flavorful with a fragrant coconut milk aroma. Enjoy this dish with your family.

otak-otak bakar ikan tenggiri

Grilled Mackerel Otak-Otak

Recipe by Devina Hermawan


Main Ingredients
  • 500 g Spanish Mackerel 100% pure fish
  • 2 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp mushroom powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp baking [powder
  • 120 ml instant coconut milk
  • 130 ml cold water
  • 2 pc egg whites
  • 120 g sago / tapioca flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 5 pc shallot
  • 1-2 pc green onion
  • 1 pc celery
  • Banana leaf to wrap
  • Toothpick/skewer cut into small pieces
Tauco Sambal ingredients:
  • 4 pc red chili
  • 3 clove garlic
  • 3 pc Thai chili
  • 3 tbsp fermented bean
  • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 150 ml water
Peanut Sambal ingredients:
  • 80 g peanut
  • 3 pc red chili
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 ml water


  • For Tauco Sambal, slice red chili, garlic, and red Thai chili. Fry red chili until half-cooked.
  • Fry the red Thai chili and garlic until cooked, then add all ingredients into a heat-proof blender. Add water, fermented beans, vinegar, and sugar. Blend until smooth.
  • Transfer into a pan. Cook shortly, then set aside.
  • For the Peanut Sambal, fry the peanuts until half-cooked. Then, add red chili and fry until cooked.
  • Transfer into a blender along with water, salt, and palm sugar. Blend until smooth, then cook again shortly. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, combine Spanish Mackerel, salt, sugar, mushroom powder, pepper, and baking powder. Blend until sticky.
  • Chop the garlic, shallots, green onions, and celery. Add into the food processor.
  • Add coconut milk and egg whites. Blend, then transfer to a bowl.
  • Add flour and sago flour. Stir, then add water. Mix well
  • Prepare banana leaves about 14-15 cm in width. Add a little bit of the dough. Roll, then secure with toothpicks.
  • Heat a pan or a stone grill. Grill the Otak-otak on medium-low heat until cooked.
  • Otak-otak is ready to serve.