While being bewitched by the ancient Hindu temple, escaping to the striking secluded beach, as well as exploring the brand-new attractions in East Java; make sure to get a taste of its most lip-smacking culinary delight – nasi pecel. This food has been legendary for a couple of decades. Missing it is totally a loss.


Authentic Traditional Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce

If the western culture is far-famed of its garden-fresh salad full of crispness, then Indonesia (specifically East Java) comes with nasi pecel. This exceptional dish available throughout the island of Java is such a perfect combination highlighting the steamed rice and Javanese-style salad. This edible preference should be in the vegan’s what-to-bite list.

Let’s speak of the public notice – the mixed greens. At a glance, it looks like gado-gado, a type of salad-based dish accepted far and wide in the tropical archipelago. The use of fresh vegetables varying in flavor and texture is that true. The key ingredients of it include some blanched or boiled veggies like spinach, cassava leaves, mustard greens, string beans, and bean sprout. The raw ones like chopped cucumber and basil leaves might be added.

Herby Seasoning and Rough Texture of the Sauce

When the cooked greens are set on the warm steamed rice, the peanut sauce, relatively spicy, takes action. This thick, brown liquid is poured on the top of rice and veggies. Unlike the sauce found in gado-gado, this variety doesn’t allow the usage of coconut milk. Apart from the ground peanut that has been deep fried, the peanut sauce is comprised of the aromatic kencur herb (kaempferia galanga), the sour tamarind, the hot bird’s eye chilies, salt, brown sugar, garlic, as well as kaffir lime leaves.

Compared to gado-gado’s peanut sauce, the pecel assortment is prone to be rough and grainy regarding consistency. When you take the bite for the first time, you will take pleasure in the crunch sensation. What about the acquired taste of it? Broadly speaking, it’s savory, sweet, spicy, and a bit sour. The level of spiciness of the reddish-brown gravy depends on the individual’s palate.

The Best Complements of This Special Dish

To perfect the serving, a plate of nasi pecel would be best with the crispy peanut cracker better known as rempeyek or krupuk (a kind of deep fried starchy cracker made of tapioca). Aside from this crunchy and greasy companion, it matches with other additional side dishes mostly fried such as tempeh (the whole fermented soybean), tofu, bakwan jagung (batter with corn and veggies), perkedel kentang (the Indonesian-style potato fritter). The greatest beverage to quench your dry thirst after savoring this unique salad is none other than es teh manis (the sweet ice tea).

5 Famous Varieties You Should Know

Nasi pecel generally is classified into 5 sortsnasi pecel Madiun, nasi pecel Blitar, nasi pecel Kediri, nasi pecel Malang, and nasi pecel Tulung Agung. Nasi pecel Madiun gains much attention from the public not only in the city of origin but also in big cities like Jakarta and Surabaya. What makes this dish is out of the ordinary is nothing else but the green sprinkle of lead tree seeds (petai cina in Indonesian) topped on the sauce. Famous for its savory taste, the Madiun variety uniquely is served with the banana leaves instead of a plate.

Nasi pecel Blitar is the following cuisine you should include in your what-to-eat-in-East Java list. The peanut sauce of it tends to be smoother and sweeter than the rest. The seasoning highlights the use of kaffir lime leaf in a large amount. There is no surprise that it is way more aromatic. The population in the villages of Blitar occasionally adds the flowers of hummingbird tree or known as bunga turi, making the flavor so rich. It is often eaten with peanut crackers, fried tempeh, and fried tofu as well.

The taste of nasi pecel Kediri is not as strong as the rests since the locals don’t intensely use the kencur herb. This version of which taste is sugary exclusively features sambal tumpang (typical sauce made of the decayed tempeh). Nasi pecel Malang itself is highly favored due to its powerful flavor tantalizing your taste bud. It uses the big number of chilies when it comes to seasoning – that’s why this salad is spicier. And the last variety which is nasi pecel Tulung Agung comes with no exception. This guy relentlessly burns the foodies’ tongue. Additionally, it highlights the peanut sauce full of coarse texture.

Finally, the review on nasi pecel is such a helpful way to popularize Indonesian cuisine to the world. This authentic dish shows how rich the flavor is and how appetizing it is.