Pempek is savoury fishcake. This delicacy is from Palembang, Indonesia.
Pempek is made of fish & tapioca.
Most of the time served with a dark rich sweet & sour sauce. It called kuah cuka (spicy palm sugar & vinegar based sauce).
The story According to local tradition long time ago, around 16th century.
There was an old Chinese immigrant who lived near the Musi river. He noticed an abundant of fish caught by the local fishermen. Most of the unsold leftover fish decayed & were wasted this before the invention of refrigeration technology. All that time most of the people simply grilled, boiled & fried their fish. The old Chinese man mixed some tapioca & other spices. He sold around the village on his cart. The people referred to this old man as pek apek, Apek in Chinese slag word to call an old man. So that’s how today the food known as Pempek or Empek Empek.
There are other story than this, some suggested Pempek is an adaptions of Ngohiong or Kekian instead served with a soup, Pempek served with spicy palm sugar.
The dough is made from a mixture of boneless ground fish meat with tapioca & species.
Most commonly fish use for Pempek is Tenggiri ( Wahoo), Gabus ( snakehead) or Mackerel .
The dough is boiled in hot water then fried just before serving. Cut in bite sizes, serve with the palm sugar- vinegar sauce, yellow noodles or rice vermicelli & sprinkled with chopped cucumber & ebi ( ground dried shrimp) powder.
The fish cake dough made in various shapes & forms. there are many varieties of Pempek. Although all are made from the same dough there are many different type of Pempek.
Here are some variants of Pempek :
Pempek Kapal Selam ( Submrine Pempek)
Pempek Telur ( Egg)
Pempek Adaan ( ball shaped )
Pempek Keriting ( Curly )
Pempek Lenjer ( long cylindrical)