Friday, 20 November 2015

It's Botok Not Botox!

Psst... psst...

Let's see how many of you love botok, please raise your hands!

Now, how many of you love botox? None? Or shy to admit?
Botok is very popular in the state of Johor. According to Wikipedia, it is a traditional Javanese dish made from shredded coconut flesh which has been squeezed of its coconut milk, often mixed with other ingredients such as vegetables or fish, and wrapped in banana leaf and steamed. It is best eaten with white rice. 

Not many restaurants or warongs sell botok-botok in KL nowadays. So, sometimes, when I crave for some, I have no choice but to prepare them myself. Here’s how I do it...

As the main features, you must have pieces of seer fish (ikan tenggiri), tapioca leaves (pucuk ubi kayu) and pudding leaves (daun pudding). You may add some other types of leaves too such as daun kaduk and bebuas. Next, you need shallots, garlics, ginger, salt, sugar, fine grated coconut and fish curry powder to make the spice paste. Prepare a bowl of tamarind juice and also a few large pieces of clean, roasted banana leaves which will be used for wrapping.

Tips: For the fish to marinate better with the spice paste, it is best to use fish that is not so fresh. 
Shred all the sweet potato leaves and pudding leaves into large pieces and mix them well. Pound the spice paste ingredients – shallots, garlics, ginger, salt, sugar, fine grated coconut and fish curry powder – together until it becomes very fine and soft. Make sure you mix it well.

Smear the fish pieces with the spice paste and leave it to marinate for about 10 minutes. Spread one layer of mixed shredded leaves all over the banana leave. Then, put the marinated fish on top of the shredded leaves. Then again, cover the marinated fish with another layer of the mixed shredded leaves. Pour some tamarind juice over it before you wrap it up.
Tips: To ensure that the banana leave will not break during the process, it is better to double the layers.
 Then you steam them using a steamer for about 30 minutes (half-cooked). Store those half-cooked botok-botok inside the refrigerator for like 2 hours, overnight if possible. Before serving, steam them again for like 3 hours and eat them along with hot white rice. Botok-botok can last for 3 to 4 days if kept refrigated. You just need to keep reheating it. Selamat mencuba!

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