Otak-Otak is a Pride of Riau

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Have you ever visited Riau? It’s a wonderful province. One of the attractions in Riau is its traditional food. The name is Otak-Otak. It’s available in Batam, Penyengat Island, and Tanjung Pinang. There are two types of Otak-Otak. First, it’s made of fish. The second one is made of squid and it’s spicier. The unique part of the food is the wrapping. Local people use a leaf to wrap the meat. The next thing to do is to grill it on fire. The taste is definitely delicious.


A Unique Taste of Otak-Otak

People in Riau serve Otak-Otak with spicy broth. The food is famous both in Indonesia and nearby countries. These include Malaysia and Singapura. If you come to Riau, you must visit Tanjungpinang. It’s the best place to look for Otak-Otak. You can even see how the food is made. As mentioned earlier, you can eat it with spicy broth. Rice is also a perfect partner for this food. You can dip it into tomatoes or spicy sauces, as well. Some people consider it as a snack. What about you?

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Otak-Otak has a soft texture. It somewhat represents brains. In Indonesia, Otak means brains. The food has squishy and soft texture. It’s just like a brain. The prime ingredient of the food is mackerel fish. It also consists of a mixture of spices. There are many sauce options. It’s even compatible with spicy peanut sauce. It’s either a snack or a part of the main course. Don’t forget to add some rice in your meal. It’s both delicious and satisfying. Many people are addicted to it. You are the next one.

Simply put, Otak-Otak is a grilled fish cake. There are different types and recipes as well. Each region even has a unique recipe. When people hear about the dish, they think about Sumatra Island. It’s a popular food in Riau and Palembang. What makes it different? People in Palembang eat such food with cuko. Today, you can find it in all regions in Indonesia. Other provinces also have a unique Otak-Otak recipe. For example, there is Makassar and Jakarta style. In Jakarta, people use spicy peanut sauce


The Varieties

Otak-Otak is also available in neighboring countries like Malaysia. The difference relies on the way Malaysian people cook the dish. They use charcoal fire to grill Otak-Otak. It’s usually drier and smokier. The color is a little bit reddish. While in Indonesia, it’s usually whitish. There are also modern versions of Otak-Otak. Instead of using mackerel, people use prawn or crab meat. Today, the world recognizes it as one of the best seafood in the world.

Which is better? Each region and country offer a unique taste. Sumatran Otak-Otak is considered better, though. The island is famous for its Empek-Empek and other foods that contain mackerel meat. It’s served using cuko. While in Jakarta, you eat it along with spicy peanut sauce. It’s a matter of preference. Each of you has a different favorite, after all. The fish-based Otak-Otak costs 5000 IDR. It will be more expensive for squid-based Otak-Otak.

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