Note: Lanterne Rooms has been a staple of fine dining in Canberra for almost a decade. Their dishes are thoughtfully crafted using the flavours and spices of the 3 main cultures in Malaysia – Malay, Chinese and Indian. The dishes featured in this book epitomize the balance between raw ethnicity and tradition, with a little twist.
Using a mortar and pestle, grind the spice mix ingredients into a paste. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok and fry the spice mix until fragrant. Place in a large bowl and set aside to cool.
To prepare the fish paste – pound or pulse the fish and prawns in a mortar and pestle or food processor, gradually adding salted water to form a paste. Mix in the corn flour, then add to the spice mix and combine to form the otak otak. Gradually mix the coconut milk through the otak otak, then stir in the sugar, corn flour, tumeric leaf and sliced mackerel.
To cook the otak otak – preheat an oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper, then fill with the otak otak. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until firm. Leave to cool, then cut into rectangular portions.
To serve – toss the banana blossom salad ingredients together in a bowl. Pan-sear or grill the otak otak and place onto plates. Season lightly with fish sauce and finish with a handful of salad.
150ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons corn flour
250g mackerel fillet, thinly sliced
1 turmeric leaf, thinly sliced
500g snapper fillets
250g raw prawns, peeled & deveined
1 teaspoon salt, dissolved in water
½ teaspoon cornflour
8 slices galangal
1 stalk lemongrass, ends trimmed & cut into short lengths
6 slices turmeric
300g shallots, peeled
2 teaspoons roasted prawn paste (belacan)
3 tablespoons dried chilli paste
banana blossom salad
250g banana blossom
juice of 1 lemon
½ red onion, sliced
5 spring onions, thinly sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1 handful Vietnamese mint leaves
1 handful coriander leaves
1 handful Thai basil leaves
1 teaspoon fish sauce
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 Dutch carrots, halved and blanched