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Ketoprak: Jakarta’s Tofu and Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce

Among the vibrant and bustling city streets of Jakarta, the aroma of a distinctive dish permeates the air, calling hungry locals and intrigued foodies to come and taste. This is no ordinary dish; it is the epitome of Indonesian street food, a lunchtime favorite affectionately known as Ketoprak. This delicious combination of tofu, noodles, bean sprouts, and a tantalizing peanut sauce is a cultural icon that encapsulates the rich and diverse culinary traditions of Jakarta. Its simplicity and ubiquitous presence make it a staple that you simply can’t miss when visiting the city.

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Ingredients

  • 200 grams of rice vermicelli
  • 200 grams of firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 100 grams of bean sprouts
  • 2 boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
  • 50 grams of chopped Chinese celery
  • 2 chopped red chillies
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 200 grams of roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed

Cooking Steps

  • Start by blanching the rice vermicelli and bean sprouts in boiling water until they are tender. Drain and set aside.
  • Fry the tofu cubes until they turn golden brown and crispy. Set them aside.
  • In a blender or mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, chillies, and roasted peanuts into a paste. Add the tamarind paste, sweet soy sauce, salt, and a little bit of water to achieve a smooth peanut sauce.
  • Arrange the noodles, tofu, bean sprouts, and sliced boiled eggs on a plate. Pour the peanut sauce over the top and garnish with chopped Chinese celery.
  • Enjoy your Ketoprak while it’s fresh and warm, ideally with a side of prawn crackers for an added crunch.

In conclusion, Ketoprak is more than just a tofu and noodle salad; it is a taste of Jakarta’s culinary heritage. This dish not only offers a satisfying mix of textures and flavors, but it also provides a good dose of protein from the tofu and peanuts, carbohydrates from the noodles, and vitamins from the bean sprouts and celery. When preparing Ketoprak, the key to a mouth-watering dish is in the freshness of the ingredients. Make sure your tofu is firm, your peanuts are perfectly roasted, and your bean sprouts are crisp. Remember, the beauty of street food lies in its simplicity and authenticity. So, embrace these qualities when you create your own Ketoprak and enjoy a piece of Jakarta at home.

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