Rempeyek is a classic crunchy Malay snack which contains nuts and anchovies that complement each other to produce a savoury snack. It is not only served during Hari Raya, but can be a snack for afternoon tea and long road trips. These crispy and crunchy crackers with peanuts are also the perfect accompaniment to any rice-based meal.
What is Rempeyek?
Rempeyek is a deep-fried traditional cracker commonly found in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is made from spices, rice flour, and coconut milk with other ingredients that are bounded or coated by crispy flour batter. Common ingredients that usually used are peanuts, anchovies, shrimps, and beans such as green beans or soybeans.
History of Rempeyek
Rempeyek is based on Javanese term, peyek which refer to the sounds of a breaking cracker that indicate its crispiness. It is believed that in the early 19th century, the large migrations of Javanese people to Malaya at that time, introduced this crunchy and savoury snack to the locals.
Nowadays, this tasty snack can be found sold in street vendors and convenience stores in Malaysia. There are various types of rempeyek that can be found due to the different variations created to adapt to the multiracial community in Malaysia.
Rempeyek is made by deep-frying the flour batter with the ingredients sprinkled at the top. The flour batter is made of rice flour, coconut milk, salt, spices, and herbs such as ketumbar (coriander), jintan manis (fennel seeds), and jintan putih (cumin). These herbs give off an aromatic and distinctive smell which stimulates appetite.
The flour batter is then deep-fried using a special metal ladle mould and is sprinkled with ingredients such as peanuts, anchovy, or shrimp. The flour batter and the toppings hardens upon frying and turn into a golden brown and crispy cracker. Typically, the traditional rempeyek does not have a standard round shape and was typically made at home for family and friends.
Today, due to the high demand for rempeyek, plenty of businesses have taken to have their own manufacturing sites with special equipment used to make rempeyek in large quantities in a short period of time.
Variety of Rempeyek
There are many different variations of rempeyek based on the types of legume used, such as peanuts, green beans, soybeans, and dhall. The most commonly made rempeyek that can be found everywhere in Malaysia is Rempeyek Kacang (peanuts). Rempeyek that are made from green beans, soybeans, or dhall is better known as tumpi in the Java community.
Besides that, the toppings can also be modified by using anchovies, dried shrimp, and small shrimp. A lesser known type of rempeyek is made with spinach and is known as Peyek Bayam (bayam means spinach in Malay). The spinach leaf is usually dipped into the flour batter and deep-fried as usual. For more unique variants, there are rempeyek that are made with insects as their toppings such as crickets and termites.
Where to find Rempeyek in Malaysia
Rempeyek can be found at any Malay restaurants, bakery and also supermarkets. There is also a widely popular online business that sell these crispy crackers for individual consumers or business purposes. You can get rempeyek that is either dhall or peanut version at Coconut Shake Gombak Indah (Batu Caves).
Find more Malay cuisine on foodpanda