Cara Buat Pempek: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kawan Mastah

Hello Kawan Mastah, are you looking to learn how to create pempek, a traditional Indonesian fishcake snack? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through every step of the process, from preparing the dough to frying and serving your delicious pempek.

What is Pempek?

Pempek is a type of fishcake from Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. It is made with a mixture of fish, tapioca starch, and spices, and typically served with a sweet and sour vinegar sauce.

What are the Different Types of Pempek?

There are several different types of pempek, each with its own unique shape and filling:

Type of Pempek
Pempek Lenjer
Pempek Kapal Selam
Oval with Filling
Boiled Egg
Pempek Adaan
Boiled Egg, Shrimp
Pempek Kulit


Before we start, let’s gather all of the ingredients we will need:

  • 500g of Fish (Mackerel, Tuna, or Spanish Mackerel)
  • 600g of Tapioca Starch
  • 2 Eggs
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 4 Teaspoons of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 750ml of Cold Water
  • Oil for Frying


Preparing the Fish

The first step is to process the fish:

  1. Clean the fish and remove the bones and skin.
  2. Cut the fish into small pieces and put it into a food processor.
  3. Add 250ml of cold water and blend until smooth.
  4. Use a sieve to strain the fish mixture and discard any solids.

Preparing the Dough

Now it’s time to make the dough:

  1. Peel and mince the garlic cloves.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the fish mixture, garlic, salt, sugar, and pepper.
  3. Add the eggs and mix well.
  4. Add the tapioca starch and baking powder and mix again.
  5. Slowly add in the remaining 500ml of cold water while stirring until the mixture is smooth and runny.

Making the Pempek

Now comes the fun part! Let’s shape the pempek:

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Take a small amount of dough and form it into the desired shape (e.g. cylinder, oval, rectangle, crackers).
  3. Drop the pempek into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.
  4. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  5. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

Serving the Pempek

Pempek is traditionally served with a sweet and sour vinegar sauce. Here’s how to make it:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine 500ml of water, 250ml of vinegar, 200g of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of salt.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add chopped chili and garlic to taste.
  4. Allow the sauce to cool before serving with the pempek.


What Type of Fish is Best for Pempek?

Mackerel, Tuna, or Spanish Mackerel are the most commonly used fish for pempek. However, you can also use other types of fish, such as cod or haddock.

Can I Freeze Pempek?

Yes, cooked pempek can be frozen and reheated in the oven or microwave. However, it is best to eat pempek fresh for the best texture and flavor.

How Long Does Pempek Last?

Fresh pempek can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cooked pempek can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you need to store pempek for longer, it is best to freeze it.

Can I Double the Recipe?

Yes, you can easily double or triple the recipe to make more pempek. Just make sure to use a larger mixing bowl and frying pan.

Can I Substitute Cornstarch for Tapioca Starch?

No, tapioca starch is essential for the texture and flavor of pempek. Cornstarch cannot be used as a substitute.


Congratulations, Kawan Mastah! You have successfully learned how to create delicious pempek from scratch. We hope you enjoy your homemade snack and impress your friends and family with your newfound cooking skills!

Cara Buat Pempek: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kawan Mastah