A Beginner's Guide to Unique Indonesian Snacks
Ever wondered why your Nasi Ayam Penyet is usually served with a side of crackers? These unique Indonesian snack is called kerupuk or krupuk. It's a staple food other than a bowl of rice. So don't be surprised if you traveling to Indonesia and find that kerupuk are available everywhere, from family marts to five-star restaurants.
What's with the crispy obsession? Are crackers a cultural heritage of the Dutch East Indies? And so far, what are the types of Indonesian crackers have you tried? We has compiled all the information specially for you. Let's explore!
The Origin Of Crackers In Indonesia
The word "kerupuk", 'keropok" or "krupuk" refers to the crisp texture of the snack. In Indonesia, crackers existed before the 10th century AD and became a complementary food for the community at that time. Rambak is one of the oldest types of Indonesian crackers. Even rambak can reveal the community's social position at the time.
Crackers are also available in other Southeast Asian countries, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines. One interesting fact about crackers is that most crackers are sundried before frying. In Indonesia, the most crackers producing areas come from coastal areas and Indonesia is one of the countries that has many types of crackers.
One of the most popular Indonesian cracker is prawn crackers or kerupuk udang. Typically made of shrimp, tapioca flour, and water, these crackers are fried or even oven-baked. The benefit of oven baking the crackers is that the crackers won't be overly oily. To produce the best crispy prawn crackers, it must be dried first before frying to remove moisture. Even though they are only thought of as a snack, crackers can enhance the flavor of a meal.
YUM! Shrimp Crackers is an exclusive snack from Tasty Snack. Shaped like a stick, this crispy goodness is packaged in a premium pouch with a ziplock, it’s incredibly convenient and simple to store. Anyone who tries this prawn cracker can't stop munching on this delicious, balanced and flavorful halal snack. Do you prefer to have prawn crackers on its own or paired with your main course?
Emping, which is made from melinjo seeds (Gnetum gnemon), is popular among travelers, including former US President Barack Obama, who visited Jakarta in 2010. Emping typically eaten as a snack or as a side dish with traditional Indonesian food such as soto, oxtail soup, gado-gado, ketupat sayur, yellow rice, and laksa. Melinjo seeds are boiled first when making this snack. Emping is also available in the Netherlands, the United States and the Middle East.
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Tempeh or Tempe is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans usually consumed as a side dish with veggies. Now, Indonesians enjoy protein-rich food as a form of snack. Due to its mild nutty taste, it’s easy to pair it with other food like cheese, sambals and even your salads!
If you're looking for some healthy snacks , we highly recommend Yum's Tempe Chips. With no preservatives, high in protein and within 100 calories per servings, this flavourful snack will satisfy your cravings without hurting your diet plan! Trust us, it's one of the best tempeh chips Indonesia has to offer.
Made from tapioca flour and a mixture of garlic, these crackers have a distinctive taste and aroma with a delicious savory taste. Tempe chips can be served with nasi uduk, yellow rice, gado-gado, ketoprak, karedok and fried rice. It is a colourful and flavourful savoury treat.
In Javanese, skin crackers are called Rambak. The main ingredient of this unique Indonesian crackers is the soft inner skin of a cow or buffalo. To keep it crispy, the cooked skin crackers are put in a vacuumed plastic bag.
Fish crackers are also one of the most popular Indonesian crackers and sought after Asian snack. Made from fish, spices, and tapioca flour as the basic ingredients. The most popular type of fish crackers in Indonesia are those made from skipjack tuna. As one of the typical souvenirs of Kalimantan, this snack has many variants based on the basic ingredients, such as salmon, seaweed, crab, and many more.
According to its name, these yellow crackers are made from pasta that looks like noodles so they call it kerupuk mie. Enjoyed as a snack or added to compliment some dishes, such as pickles or asinan. Noodle crackers are also perfect to be combined with peanut sauce and are very easy to find on the roadside or traditional markets, especially in Jakarta.
Gendar is made from a mixture of rice that is pounded with herbs and spices and tapioca flour to increase the elasticity of the crackers. To make this unique side dish from Indonesia, it needs to be sundried for 2-3 days. And then, raw gendar can be directly fried and eaten as an afternoon snack.
Ever seen a blue can of white crackers in an Indonesian local shop(Warung)? Well, these crackers have many names, including white crackers, kerupuk blek and more. This cracker, which is almost always available in every restaurant, is one of the most popular authentic Indonesian crackers because of its savory and salty taste. This Indonesian cracker is made from tapioca flour and onions. Its texture is crunchy and the onion tastes really good. It’s perfect to be eaten with other Indonesian food.
Rengginang is made from glutinous rice or dry rice. Before drying, glutinous rice is added with shrimp paste or dried shrimp for a savoury taste and brown sugar for a sweet one. After being seasoned, flattened and formed into circles, it is then dried under the sun before frying. Many Indonesians use leftover rice to make rengginang, so it can be a companion to other foods.
Indonesians and crackers are almost inseparable. Without crackers, Indonesian food seems incomplete and it tastes much better with crackers. Don't you agree?
We hear your tummy grumbling now, with our top snacks from Indonesia! If you're still looking high and low for these snacks, fret not, Tasty Snack Asia brings the most delicious crackers Indonesia has to offer to our foodies in Singapore and deliver the snack box to your doorstep.