Delicious fish paste snack is Malaysia state's best kept secret

KEMAMAN - Visitors to the Ramadan bazaars in Terengganu really need to try the state's best kept secret - sata, a delicious snack made from fish paste.

It normally comes in small portions, with each portion wrapped in banana leaf - sometimes in pandan leaf - and skewered together.

Like the better known otak-otak that is wrapped in a coconut leaf, sata is also grilled over hot charcoal and exudes an irresistible aroma.

There are normally two variations of sata - in small conical shapes or bigger single packages.

Sabiha Anida Abdul Aziz, 18, who is helping at a stall run by a friend at a Ramadan bazaar in Kampung Geliga, said that while sata was occasionally available at other times of the year, it is most sought-after during the fasting month.

"Even before we open, customers wait in line to get their sata," she said, adding in excitement that the snacks are often sold out within two hours of the stall opening at 4pm.

"In other months, even though the snack is already ready for take-away, it would take us from the afternoon to late evening to finish our stock," said Sabiha.

"Even though I am just helping a friend, I enjoy my time at the stall," she said, adding that they would have some 30kg of fish meat every day, with 10kg for the preparation of otak-otak and the rest for sata.

Apart from these two snacks, her stall also sells two other snacks that are in strong demand - the grilled glutinous rice pulut lepo or sometimes called pulut panggang and compact rice inside a woven palm leaf pouch ketupat.