Pempek Lenjer Supermarket Style

Gee, it took more 3 years to get this recipe right. I tries a lot of recipes using flour, starch, only water etc. but I was not satisfied. Making pempek, a dish from Palembang is tricky. Tricky because you have to get the texture and the taste right. The inside must be white as fish balls, the outside should be brown and crunchy, the texture soft and bouncy and the fish taste has to be mild and savory. There is many variation of pempek, Kapal selam (with eggyolk inside), adaan (fried balls), pempek keriting (fried and frizzy), pempek kulit (with skin), pempek tahu (grilled), pempek pistel (with young papaya), and more.

This is the basic recipe, usually it becomes Pempek lenjer. What I have learned is to get that crispy puffiness, use eggwhites. To keep it bounchy use only tapioca flour. For the flavor, just play around with garlic, sugar and salt, nothing else.

Now, you might ask why I name it ‘supermarket style’, the difference between those served in stalls or restaurant is the sauce is lighter and uses yellow noodle and chopped cucumber. The supermarket style sells only the pempek with heavy caramel like sauce, with no intention to dilute it. I am freakin’ happy with this recipe..hope you will enjoy too..

Pempek Lenjer:
300 gr fillet of Spanish mackerel
500 gr tapioca flour
2-3 tsp garlic paste
1-3 tsp salt
1-2 tsp sugar
75 ml ice water
2-3 egg whites

How to prepare:
-add the Spanish Mackerel fillet, 300 gr tapioca flour, garlic paste, salt, sugar ice water and egg white in a bowl and kneed with you hand
-keep kneeding and adding more tapioca flour until it doesn’t stick to your hands
-boil water
-take a small ball of the dough and shape it into 4 cm cylinder shape
-add into the boiling water until floating by itself
-take out and drain
-heat new deep fry oil
-take a small ball of the dough and shape it into 4 cm cylinder shape
-fry until it puff and turn golden brown
-take out and drain the oil

The sauce:
-1 tbs pitted tamarind
-3 tbs coconut sugar
-3 tbs sugar
-1-2 tsp salt
-3-6 small chilies
-2 garlic cloves

How to prepare:
-add all in a pan and stir gently with a wooden spoon until it becomes a thick caramel
-turn off heat and filter the sauce
-add in a jar and cool off

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