Otak On Toast
Most Peranakans have extravagant tastebuds. And I'm no different. While others eat porridge, buttered toast, a greasy fry-up, or milk and cereal for breakfast, it isn't uncommon to find members of our family dunking you tiao (fried dough fritters) in ikan assam (a spicy and sour fish curry) gravy or buah keluak gravy.
One of my favourite breakfasts is Otak on Toast, especially if the otak otak was made from scratch by my mother. Otak otak, for those who haven't heard of it, are fragrant parcels of minced fish in a spicy paste that are grilled to succulent perfection within coconut leaves. My mum's otak is yet another of her recipes that I have yet to try. I know I'm a lazy goose, but scraping the makerel's flesh off its many bones and cutting and grinding the spices and coconut milk seem like hard work. Besides, mum does it so effortlessly. Still, given that it is such hard work, I can't expect mum to whip up a batch everytime the hankering strikes me. So when I do crave the spicy creaminess of otak, I head to Lee Wee Brothers, which is the next best thing and wonderfully easy to procure (Lee Wee has stalls all over Singapore).
Usually, I consume the otah neat, in front of the TV, with a tumbler of Coke and lots of ice. But I always save a couple to spread on slices of white bread and then lob in the oven for breakfast or a light lunch. Since today is a public holiday in Singapore (Hari Raya Haji), I woke lazily and indulged in this favourite childhood breakfast. It certainly was a good start to a wonderfully cold and sleepy day.
Meanwhile, Kel from Green Olive Tree, who incidentally, recently went on a fabulous sounding trip to Paris (read about it in her blog) has asked for my Pepper Crab and Crab and Saffron Tart recipes. Now who am I to refuse? You can get them here.