Tuesday, December 3, 2013

otah buns

I don't know if you like otah.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, here's a description of otah, according to Wikipedia,

"Otak-otak (Chinese: 鲤鱼包) is a cake made of fish meat and spices. It is widely known across Southeast Asia, where it is traditionally served fresh, wrapped inside a banana leaf. Otak-otak is found in certain parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It is commonly known in Singapore as otah. Otak means brains in Indonesian and Malay, and the name of the dish is derived from the idea that the dish somewhat resembles brains, being grey, soft and almost squishy. It can be eaten as a snack or with bread or rice as part of a meal."

Otah buns are one of my favourite things to eat. In fact, my cousin, who is about as mental as I am about otah buns, would painstakingly warm up otah during bbq parties so we could eat them with bread.

I guess otah is one of those things that people love if they had grown up eating them. I am not sure if people actually do learn to like them. I guess they must do, although the LAM is not overly fond of them. That is okay. More for me. :)

When I finally got round to making bread from scratch, the first thing I wanted to make was otah buns. And it so happened that I had otah in my freezer, left over from the last bbq party. We were greedy and had bought way too much!

To make otah buns, you will need to make a starter dough. The recipe and instructions for that can be found here.

Once you have made the starter dough and it has rested over night in the fridge, you are ready to make the buns.

I started by tearing the dough into pieces and placing them in a mixing bowl.

To this, I added the rest of the ingredients, except the butter and otah. Using a bread hook, I mixed and kneaded the dough.

Once the dough had come together, I added the butter and continued kneading until I had an elastic dough.

I like to complete the kneading process with my hands so I can feel the dough, which should be elastic and smooth.

I shaped the dough into a ball and coated it with some oil. This was left to rise in the mixing bowl. (Cover the bowl with a piece of damp cloth.)

Once the dough had doubled in size, I divided it into ten pieces.

I rolled each piece to about 1/8-inch thick and placed 2 pieces of otah on the dough.

Then I rolled the dough and pinched the seams to seal.

The buns were placed, seams down, in an oiled 9x5-inch load pan. The pan was covered with a piece of damp cloth and set aside for about 1.5 hours for the bread to proof.

Before baking, I brushed the tops with some milk.

When baked, I transferred the buns onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Well, I waited for as long as I possibly could.

They were REALLY good freshly out of the oven.

Just take care not to burn your hand. Well, not too badly anyway.


Otah Buns (Makes 10 buns)
Loosely adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover

For the Overnight Sponge Dough:
215g high protein flour - I used bread flour
125g milk (cold)
2g instant yeast (1/2tsp)

For the otah buns:
1 quantity of above overnight sponge dough
90g high protein flour - I used bread flour
30g egg (1/2 large egg)
4g instant yeast (1tsp)
3g fine salt (1/2tsp)
60g sugar
45g butter (room temperature)
1 tbsp milk (cold)
20 pieces of otah

For the Overnight Sponge Dough:
Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients to a rough dough by hands , the dough is dry and rough and don't need to knead till pass window pane. Cover tightly with cling film and immediately store in the fridge for overnight (at least 12 hours).

For the otah buns:
1.Tear the overnight sponge dough into pieces and add all ingredients except butter in a mixing bowl, knead till smooth dough.
2. Add in the butter and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with cling film or wet towel and set aside to proof till double in size.
3. Punch down the dough to expel air, equal divide the dough to 10 portions. Shape into round balls then roll into rectangles. Wrap 2 pieces of otah in each piece of dough, roll up tightly and pinch the seams shut. Place dough in a 9x5-inch pan, seams side down. Let it proof for another 30-45 minutes.
4. Brush dough with milk. Bake at pre-heated oven at 180C for 20 minutes.


  1. Wahlaueh... its 12.22am - and I came here to take the blog link for the Philips post - and OTAH BUNS?!! OTAH BUNS?! Geez... I thought you only posted a pic of it!

    #ihatechu *sob*

    1. LOL, #youloveme *hehe* Good things must share right? And your Raspberry is sitting there, waiting, waiting, waiting :P