Rempeyek or peyek is a deep-fried savoury Javanese cracker made from flour (usually rice flour) with other ingredients bound or coated by crispy flour batter. The most common types of rempeyek are peyek kacang ("peanut peyek"); however, other ingredients might be used also, such as teri (dried anchovies), rebon (small shrimp) or ebi (dried shrimp). Today rempeyek is commonly found in Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as countries with considerable Indonesian migrant populations such as The Netherlands and Surinam.
Coconut milk, salt, and spices such as ground candlenut and coriander are often mixed within the flour batter. Some recipes might also add a chopped citrus leaf to add a fresh aroma and taste to it. The spiced batter, mixed or sprinkled with the granule ingredients, is deep fried in ample hot coconut oil. The flour batter acts as a binding agent for the granules (peanuts, anchovy, shrimp, etc.). This hardens upon frying and turns into a golden brown and crispy cracker.
In Indonesia, rempeyek making is traditionally a small scale home industry, yet today some rempeyek producers have reached a larger production scale and distribute widely with a rempeyek-brand trading value reaching 25 million Rupiah (around US$2,100) monthly. In Malaysia, rempeyek now is widely made using machines.
Etymology and origin
Rempeyek is derived from the Javanese onomatopoeia peyek, to denote the sound of breaking a crisp cracker. Rempeyek is often associated with Javanese cuisine, served to accompany pecel (vegetables in peanut sauce) or any meal, or as a stand-alone snack. Today, it is common throughout Indonesia, and is also popular in Malaysia following the migration of Javanese immigrants in the early 19th century.
The most common and widely distributed type of rempeyek is rempeyek kacang (peanut rempeyek); however, anchovy, small shrimp, dried shrimp, spinach (rempeyek bayam), and beans such as mung beans and soybeans are also common types. Rempeyek kacang is especially common in the Banyumas region of Central Java, while rempeyek rebon (small shrimp) is common in the Javanese port town of Cirebon. Rempeyek made with larger shrimp are commonly found in Padang restaurants.
In popular culture
A popular Javanese song, Iwak Peyek, by female dangdut group Trio Macan, describes rempeyek as a commoners' dish. It served as the rallying song for supporters of Persebaya football club from Surabaya, East Java.
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