Pempek or we can called it Palembang Stuffed Fish Cake is a savoury fish cake delicacy from Palembang, capital city of South Sumatra. It is usually served with yellow noodles and a dark, rich sweet and sour sauce called kuah cuko. Pempek is one of my favourite Indonesian cuisine since I was child. I really love it. I still remember when I got my first pregnant, I ever asked my parents to bring Pempek from Pontianak just because I really want to eat Pempek that is made by my mother’s friend.
Now, I try to make it by myself. So, I don’t need to
imported it again from Pontianak, or maybe from the origin place, Palembang. I was so happy because although it was my first experiment to made it I can made it successfully 😀 But only for Pempek Lenjer, not for the Kapal Selam type, it was so hard to make it perfec.
Pempek dough is made from a mixture of boneless ground fish meat, commonly Indonesian uses Ikan Tenggiri (kind of Wahoo or Spanish macakerel) with water, salt and tapioca. But some of others uses Ikan Gabus (Snakehead fish) or Ikan Belida (Featherback fish). Many people said the best tasting pempek are made from Ikan Belida, but it is so difficult to find that fish in Malang, very rare, so I use the usual thing and easy to find, Ikan Tenggiri.
The other important part of this cuisine is Kuah Cuko. The colour of this sauce is dark brown. Just make sure you made the sauce from palm sugar (gula aren), because it will give good colour of the sauce better than if you use brown sugar/coconut sugar (gula merah). But the best thing will always gula merah Linggau, palm sugar from Palembang.
Pempek (Palembang Stuffed Fish Cake)
- 500 grams boneless ground Ikan Tenggiri (Spanish macakerel) meat
- 100 milliliter icy water
- 1 egg
- 25 grams wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 clove garlic, minced
- 100 milliliter water
- 400 grams sago flour (Tepung sagu tani)
- 3 tablespoons Tang Mien Flour (wheat starch flour)
- 250 grams palm sugar
- 50 grams tamarind
- 1 teaspoons ground dried shrimp
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 750 milliliter water
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- bird eyes chilies, ground
- In a bowl, mix boneless ground fish meat, icy water, and egg. Mix well (use your hand better than spoon). Take in chiller until thicken.
- In a bowl, mix wheat flour, sugar, salt, minced garlic, and water. Stir it while boiled in small heat. Stir continuously until thicken. Leave it cold and take in chiller after that.
- After 30 minutes, take out all the ingredients that you put in chiller. Mix all ingredients in different two bowl into one bowl. Mix well (use your hand again).
- Add sagu flour and tang mien flour gradually while you knead the dough slowly until smooth and not sticky in the hand.
- In a big pot, boil water. Add some cooking oil to make Pempek looks shiny and didn’t stick each other while boiled.
- On your work table, dust sagu flour. And also don’t forget to dust your hand also with sagu flour.
- Take a small amount of Pempek dough, shape it into ball (if you make Pempek adaan), or shape into long cylindrical (if you make Pempek lenjer), and you can also add chicken egg wrapped within the dough (Pempek kapal selam).
- Plunk Pempek into a pot of boiling water. Let pempek float. Take it and leave it cold.
- Deep fry until golden brown. Serve with kuah cuko and cucumber chopped. You can also add some noodles or ground dried shrimps to enrich the flavour.
- In a saucepan, add water, tamarind, palm sugar. Let the sugar dissolve and wait until boil.
- Add minced garlic, ground dried shrimp, ground bird eyes chilies, salt. Bring to boil. Turn off the heat. Add vinegar.
- Strain it. Ready to be served.