Ketoprak Jakarta is one of Indonesian street food that I always miss since I moved to the UK. I used to buy this unique salad every weekend.
In Indonesia, there are food sellers who go around the housing estates offering their food. And ketoprak is one of the most popular food items offered by those sellers in the Jakarta area. Hence, the name is Ketoprak Jakarta. I doubt you can find this special salad outside Jakarta.
Mind you, if you travel to Indonesia, you’ll find different food choices in every region. Because each area has its own traditional and popular food.
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What is Ketoprak?
Ketoprak is a traditional salad from the Jakarta area. Its main ingredients are lontong/ ketupat, beansprouts, rice vermicelli, and tofu. And its dressing is made of garlicky and spicy peanut sauce.
The difference between lontong and ketupat lies in how you wrap before you cook the rice.
Lontong uses banana leaves that are rolled into a cylinder and you put the rice in that cylinder tube. Whilst ketupat uses palm leaves that are woven into a sort of diamond shape pouch. Both lontong and ketupat are cooked by boiling in water for long hours. It normally takes 2-3 hours to boil them. It depends on how big your lontong/ ketupat is and how many lontong/ketupat you put in the pot.
So when I moved to the UK I couldn’t make my favourite ketoprak. Not only I didn’t know the recipe, but I couldn’t make lontong or ketupat either. I thought I needed at least a banana leaf to make lontong. And banana leaves are so expensive.
It was when my mom visited me several months later that I learned a way to make lontong. A sort of copycat lontong using a plastic food bag. And of course, she also taught me her ketoprak Jakarta recipe.
Since then, whenever I feel like having ketoprak I can always make it pretty much right away. Because it’s sooooo easy to make it. You’ll love it 😉.
How to make Ketoprak
Apart from boiling the lontong and frying the tofu, you don’t really have to cook to make ketoprak. To make lontong, you can check my post here.
When you have your lontong ready, you can fry your tofu that has been diced. And set it aside.
Then you soak your vermicelli in hot boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain it and set aside.
To make the peanut sauce, you can use roasted and salted peanuts – ready-made from the shop. And of course, if you want, you can use raw peanuts and fry them yourself. The taste of the sauce may differ slightly. Because the deep-fried peanuts have a distinguished smell of fried-stuff. It’s kind of rich aroma. But I’m okay with the roasted peanuts’ smell.
Anyway, you grind 200 grams of peanuts together with 1-2 bird’s eye chillies, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and ½ teaspoon of salt by using pestle and mortar, or a food processor. When the peanuts become a thick paste, add the 1-2 tablespoon of lime juice. And add the water little by little. I used about 1 cup of water. But you may want to use less or more water until you get a smooth runny sauce which is as thick as double cream.
Taste the sauce. It should taste rich, spicy, garlicky, sweet, and salty all at the same time.
The last thing you want to prepare is prawn crackers. But this one is optional. Traditionally Jakartan people use onion crackers – the crackers that are made of rice and have onion flavour. But you can use white prawn crackers. You can even use the ready-made ones from the shop!
So now you have everything ready to assemble.
Cut the lontong in small squares and arrange them on a plate. Put some vermicelli over the lontong. And add beansprouts and tofu on top of it.
Pour the peanut sauce generously over the vegetables and lontong. Then drizzle some sweet soy sauce and garnish with the crackers. Enjoy.
Thank you for reading the post. I hope you enjoy it and will try the recipe. If you do try the recipe, please leave in the comments about how you like it? Or perhaps you do some tweaks that make your ketoprak more interesting?
Do share the post and pin it on your Pinterest. And don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may equally like.
- Lontong sayur Betawi.
- Gado-gado Jakarta.
- Pakistani Dahi Baray recipe.
- Indonesian mung bean fritters: perkedel kacang hijau.
- Indonesian sweetcorn fritters: perkedel jagung.