- in Culinary, Culture

2006_1ITS–Pempek or Mpek-mpek is a delicacy from Palembang in South Sumatra, Indonesia. It is made of fish and sago flours and served together with a dark, rich sauce called cuko. Cuko is made from brown sugar, chilli pepper, garlic, vinegar, water, and salt.

According to some stories, Pempek had been already in Palembang by 16thcentury when Chinese travellers came to the region. Around 1617 there was an Apek (Chinese slang for an old man) who lived near Musi river. He noticed an abundance of fish caught by the local fishermen. During that period, most of the people simply just fried and grilled their fish. The old Chinese Man then tried an alternative by adding fish meat with sago flour and other spices, which he then sold around the village on his bicycle. The people referred to this old man as ‘pek-apek’.


  • 500 grams of mackerel fish meat
  • 500 grams of flour
  • 1/2  of tablespoon salt
  • 4 eggs (for submarines type)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning
  • 75 cc of water
  • 100 grams of dried shrimp
  • 250 cc of water, heated
  • 500 grams of wet noodles
  • 2 liters of water
  • 50 grams glass noodles
  • 250 cc of water, heated
  • 2 pieces of cucumber

Acid Sauce Ingredients:

  • 150 grams of acid
  • 1500 cc of water
  • 50 grams of garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons  of salt
  • 250 grams of brown sugar
  • 75 grams of cayenne pepper

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