Recipe Pempek

Originating from Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia, Pempek is a beloved dish celebrated for its unique blend of flavors and textures. This article will guide you through crafting this exquisite dish, providing insights into its ingredients, preparation, serving suggestions, variations, and even nutritional information.


  1. 500g ground mackerel fish
  2. 150g tapioca flour
  3. 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  7. 200ml ice water
  8. Oil for frying


  1. Prepare the Fish Paste: In a large mixing bowl, combine ground mackerel fish with minced garlic, salt, sugar, and ground white pepper. Mix thoroughly until well incorporated.
  2. Incorporate Tapioca Flour: Gradually add tapioca flour into the fish mixture while continuously stirring. Ensure the mixture is evenly combined.
  3. Add Ice Water: Slowly pour ice water into the mixture while stirring. Continue mixing until the mixture becomes smooth and pliable.
  4. Shape the Pempek: Take a portion of the mixture and shape it into your desired form, such as cylinders or balls.
  5. Boil or Fry: You can either boil the shaped pempek in hot water until they float or deep fry them until golden brown and crispy.
  6. Serve: Once cooked, serve the pempek with your favorite dipping sauce, such as spicy vinegar or sweet and sour sauce.


  1. Ensure the fish paste is well-mixed to achieve the right consistency for the pempek dough.
  2. Use ice water to help maintain the firmness of the dough and prevent it from becoming too sticky.
  3. Experiment with different shapes and sizes to add visual appeal to your Pempek presentation.
  4. For a healthier option, you can opt to steam the pempek instead of frying them.
  5. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preference.


  1. Lenjer Pempek: A long, thin variant of pempek usually served with spicy vinegar.
  2. Kapurung Pempek: A variation where the fish paste is mixed with sago pearls, giving it a chewy texture.
  3. Pempek Panggang: Pempek grilled or baked in the oven, often served with a spicy chili sauce.
  4. Pempek Kulit: Pempek wrapped in a thin omelet or egg skin before frying, adding an extra layer of flavor.

Nutritional Information:

The exact nutritional content of pempek may vary depending on factors like portion size and frying method. However, on average, a serving of pempek (100g) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 250 kcal
  • Protein: 15g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fiber: 1g


Pempek is not just a dish; it's a culinary journey that encapsulates the rich flavors and cultural heritage of South Sumatra. With its versatile nature and delightful taste, pempek has captured the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts worldwide. Whether enjoyed as a snack or a main course, pempek never fails to impress with its tantalizing aroma and satisfying crunch. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on your own pempek-making adventure today!


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