Otak-otak is a grilled fish cake made of ground fish meat mixed with tapioca starch and spices such as garlic, shallot, coconut milk, pepper, salt and sugar. It has a reddish-orange or brown coloring acquired from chili, turmeric and curry powder. The fish used varies from mackerel fish, wahoo fish, milk fish to feather back fish.
Otak-otak is wrapped with a banana leaf. Then it is grilled or roasted over a charcoal fire to give the smoky taste to it. The Muar city in Johor is a popular destination for otak-otak. Besides just using the fish, they got creative and use cuttlefish, fish head and even chicken for variety.