Thursday, April 10, 2008

Going To Pantai Kenjeran ( Kenjeran Beach )

Can you figure out what are those colorful thing at the above picture? Can you guess? Those are raw fish cracker. Indonesian people loves to eat any kind of crunchy fried fish cracker. We called them krupuk. Krupuk is a popular snack in parts of Southeast Asia. It consists of deep-fried crackers made of flour (usually tapioca flour or potato flour ) and flavoured with fish, prawns, squid, or vegetables. Now a days we even have them in fruity flavor.

When you deep-fry these raw krupuk, use a lot of oil on medium-high heat and drop several of them at a time, they will start to expand into twice of their original size. Use your spatula to press them downward so they will be submerse in the oil or you can flip them around to make sure that all side will be soaked by the oil. Then once they are done ( it's quite fast, a minute ! ) place them on newspaper or some other paper ( have to be large ) so that the paper can help to absorb some of the oil. Place them in a airtight container and they can stay crunchy for the next a week or so. There is another type of krupuk that you can "fried" them in the microwave. My mom always brought this type every time she came to visit me in Canada before because she knew I am too lazy to fried them. I rarely cook Indonesian dishes at home before since my family taste bud is more for Chinese and western food. But off course the more fat the better it taste. So the traditional deep-frying krupuk still taste better than the microwave krupuk. But in my opinion. I still chose the microwave type one because I get about 75% of the flavor of the original one but with only 20% of the guilt. I think it's worth it.

In Indonesia you can buy them still raw ( dried and hard and pretty much can last a long time ) or already fried in every stores and every Indonesian restaurants. We eat them as a snack, side dish, on a soup, on a fruit salad ( rojak/rujak ), or we grind them into almost like an almond meal consistency then sprinkle them on our soup. Or if your fridge is totally empty of anything good to eat ( shame on you! ), then you can just dip this crackers into your chili sauce ( sambal ) and eat them with rice. Sambal is another Indonesian staple food. A must have. To make sambal you will need shrimp paste ( terasi/trasi/belacan ). Another ingredient to make sambal is petis. If terasi / belacan is a staple food in Southeast Asia, petis is really indigenous food to Indonesian cuisine
only, that is why I can't find the description in English on Wikipedia.

Petis adalah komponen dalam masakan Indonesia yang dibuat dari produk sampingan pengolahan makanan berkuah (biasanya dari pindang, kupang atau udang) yang dipanasi hingga cairan kuah menjadi kental seperti saus yang lebih padat. Dalam pengolahan selanjutnya, petis ditambah karamel gula batok. Ini menyebabkan warnanya menjadi coklat pekat dan rasanya manis.
Translation :
" Petis is a component in Indonesian cuisine that is made from the by product from making another type of food, seafood soup mostly that is boiled until all the liquid almost evaporate and leaving behind a very thick ( like peanut butter but stickier and harder to handle ) sauce. Then on the next step they add caramelized palm sugar in it. That is why the color become dark brown and it taste mildly sweet. "

To buy petis you really have to go to a very specialty Indonesian grocery store or maybe you can asked your Indonesian friend to bring you some next time. I have to warn you though. It's an acquire taste to like it.

Pic: More kerupuk/krupuk

On Monday a week ago my mom brought me and my son to the dried seafood market in Kenjeran beach for 2 reasons. One is to introduce my son to our city , and second my mom wants to shop for some ingredients. You can buy all those things that I just mention, the fish crackers, petis, and terasi in this place too or at any grocery stores. It just for some thing you can find them here cheaper but in order to get them at a cheaper rate, you have to bargain and bargain and bargain like your life depend on it with those sellers !!!

Warning readers..... those sellers are not for the beginner bargainer. This is for the advance level !!! Only my mom dared to bargain with them and to be honest even my mom is at the loosing side here .....

According to the sellers most of the wet market sellers bought their goods from them. They said that their price is the lowest because they said they are the source of any dried seafood products. Don't believe that because at the end my mom paid higher price than what I paid at the Chinese wet market that I frequently visited ( Pasar Pabean ).

If you are good at bargaining you sure are welcome to buy stuff from here, I think they are not bad.

If you look more carefully you will notice that we were the only customers that day and that's because we went there on a weekdays. If you come here on a weekend, this place will be jammed by people and all of the sellers will open their stores, unlike today, only a handful of sellers open their stores. So it is harder to bargain as well.



Pic: Salted fish
Pic: Dried shrimp's skins
Pic: Salted squids
Pic: So many fried seafood crackers .

Pic: Salted baby belt fish.

Pic: Assorted of salted fishes.
Pic: Deep-fried fish skin, crunchy and ready to eat.
Pic: The pink little boxes and the one with the yellow sticker on top are the petis and terasi that I mention above.

Beside shopping for snack and all kind of salted seafood products, the other reason for me to bring my son here is to find beautiful seashells, and all kind of already treated / preserved / dried sea creatures.

What gives me the idea to come here was because I read an article about a week ago about this place have many sellers that sells beautiful seashells and even live hermit crabs that their shells were painted in many color. Today is not weekend, we couldn't find any sellers that sell that live hermit crabs. Too bad.

But even without the hermit crabs, my son still happy because he can buy a lot of many different seashells, even crabs and lobsters . It's cool. I don't know how much they cost because my mom who bargained for us. Hahaha ...

Pic: My son posed with the shell curtains


Pic: Dried baby lobsters

Pic: Dried crabs.

Pic: beautiful seashells !

Pic : For the smaller seashells, you can buy them in a bunch


If you want to see the beach itself, here are the photos ...








There are many food vendors that will open on weekend, but I strongly not recommended you to eat anything at all there !

So just do like I do. Go there, get some beautiful seashells for your children or for your craft, then get some dried or salted food and those crackers and go home.

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