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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pempek (Indonesian Fish Cake)

Pempek or Empek-Empek is a delicacy from Palembang which is made of fish and sago. Pempek is eaten together with a dark sauce called cuka or cuko. Cuko is produced from adding brown sugar, chili pepper, garlic, vinegar, and salt into hot boiling water.

There are many variety of pempeks. Each form of pempeks have different names. I made three kinds of them, pempek model or pempek tahu, that is actually tofu, wrapped together with the pempek dough and being deep fried, then with left over dough I made pempek lenjer (the form is long and oval) and pempek adaan (the form is as small balls).

There are many ways to make pempek. The recipe I have here is originally adapted from my friend Yeni's Family Blog and I adjusted here and there to match with frozen fish I had.

350 gr fish, defrosted

25o ml water
25 gr flour
4 garlics
broth powder

Tapioca powder as needed
Tofu, cut into small slices, steamed

1. Blend the fish and salt finely, put aside.
2. Cook water, flour, garlics and broth powder until boiled. Stir well until smooth and thickened.
3. Add the fish paste into the flour mix and stir well until all blended together.
4. Add tapioca powder gradually until the fish mix becoming smooth and can be kneaded.
5. Take 1 tabelspoon of the dough and make a small ball, make it flat and fill in with a piece of tofu. Do the same until the tofu finished. If the tofu finished and you still have left over dough, you can make fish balls and it's called "Pempek Adaan".
6. After all dough been filled, put them in boiling water and let them cooked until they're floating. Then you can deep fry the pempek.

To serve, put noodles, slices cumcumer, slices pempek in the deep plate and pour with dark cuko sauce.

Dark cuko sauce:
25 gr Indonesian tamarind paste or 4 tablespoons vinegar
100 gr palm sugar
1 eatspoon sugar
1/2 ltr water
4 bird's eye chili pepper
3 garlics
15 gr ebi (dried shrimp), soak in hot water, drained
1 teaspoons salts

1. Crush dried shrimp, garlics and chillies finely.

2. Cook water and add with sugar, palm sugar, salt, tamarind paste and crushed ingredients. Let them boiled then the sauce is ready to use.

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