Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Unique Ways to Eat Pempek

           Empek-Empek also known as Pempek is a traditional Indonesian food that is originally coming from South Sumatra particularly in Palembang area. It is made of fish and sago and served together with a dark spicy sauce called cuko.
            According to folklore, around the 16th century there was an old Chinese immigrant who lived near the Musi river. He noticed an abundance of fish caught by the local fishermen. During that period, most of the people simply just fried, grilled, and boiled their fish. The old Chinese Man then tried other alternative by adding fish meat with sago flour and other spices, which he then sold around the village on his bicycle. The people called this old man as 'pek-apek, where apek is a Chinese slang word to call an old man. The food is known today as empek-empek or pempek.


There are many varieties of pempek. Pempek variants are :
1. Pempek kapal selam (submarine pempek)

It is filled with egg and then deep-fried. I don't know why this pempek named “kapal selam” (submarine). Maybe, it’s about the shape.

2. Pempek telur kecil (small egg pempek)

It is also filled with egg. Similar to pempek kapal selam, but smaller in size.

3. Pempek lenjer (long cylindrical pempek)

It has long log shape. Its shape is very similar to lontong (Indonesian rice cake).

4. Pempek keriting: (curly pempek)

Pempek with curlies shape. Indeed the shape of this pempek is just like curly hair.

5. Pempek pistel

Regular pempek lenjer mixture with green young papaya stuffed.

6. Pempek kulit: (skin pempek)

Kulit means skin. In which, pempek kulit is made from fish skin.

7. Pempek adaan

Bulat means round in bahasa Indonesia. From the name bulat, you can guess that pempek adaan has a round shape like a ball.

8. Pempek tahu

It is filled with tofu.



            Eating pempek is not always about taste or variants, but the way to eat it. As we know, most people from outside of Palembang don’t know how to eat pempek well because cuko is used only for dunking.
          And now, I will teach you how to eat pempek according to Palembangnese ways. Let’s check it out !

1st way

1. Put pempek on a mini bowl

2. Fill it with cuko

3. Bite pempek

4. Drink cuko

2nd way

In this way, you need a plastic bag to eat pempek
1. Put pempek in the plastic bag

2. Fill it with cuko

3. Tie the top of the plastic bag

4. Torn the bottom by using the teeth

5. Just bite pempek and drink cuko at the same time

                  Maybe these way are complicated, but there is a different sensation and much more delicious when compared to “dunking” way. So, if you are curious, just try it. You will feel the real atmosphere of Palembang.

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