Savor the Savory

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Most people in my country eat our meal of rice, meat and vegetables three times a day, but we are also in the habit of constantly snacking in between. We simply love snacking ……

Eating light and eating often might be the philosophy behind our culture of snacking. Even when we serve our main dishes like fried rice or chicken satay, it is seldom served in large quantity as typical in Western countries. Perhaps in order to save room for the next delicacy. We prefer smaller, snack-sized portions.

We even call snacks as “makanan kecil” literally means “small food”. For small appetites the possibilities are unlimited for satisfying any tiny craving.

There is an endless list of snacks that we can sample in between our main meals. We can also munch on these snacks whenever we are in a hurry and have no time to eat our meal.

Indonesian snacks can come in the form of appetizers, finger foods, small versions of the main meals, desserts, or tasty liquid concoctions.

In my last week post “Dessert First” I wrote about Indonesian Sweet Snacks and today is about Indonesian Savory Snacks.

Here’s a few of the so many different Indonesian Savory Snacks to Savor:

Kroket (Indonesian Potato Croquettes)

Kroket is a small fried food made of mashed potatoes and minced meat and vegetables. It is one of the popular savory snack items in Indonesia introduced during the Dutch colonial rule. The kroket is made by stuffing the mashed potatoes with meat and vegetables filling. The kroket is usually shaped into a cylinder or disk, roll in beaten eggs and dip in breadcrumbs and then deep fried.

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Here is the recipe of Kroket:


  • 500 g potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 25 g powdered milk
  • salt to taste
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • fine breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil for deep frying

Stuffing Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. margarine
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 200 g ground  beef or chicken
  • 5 carrots, peeled and finely cubed
  • 125 cc water
  • salt to taste
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs. flour

Stuffing Instructions:

  • Saute the shallots and garlic with 2 Tbs. margarine over medium heat.
  • Add the ground beef and the carrots.  Stir well for a minute or two.
  • Add water, salt and pepper.   Simmer while stirring occasionaly, until it’s done.
  • Finally add the flour that has been dissolved in a littel warer while stirring.
  • Remove and let it cool.

How to make the Kroket:

  • Blend mashed potatoes with powdered milk, salt, pepper and 1 beaten egg until smooth and set aside.
  • Take 2 Tbs. of the mashed potatoes mixture and pit it on a piece of buttered banana leaf or wax paper.  Flatten the piece of dough into an oval shaped with buttered finger.
  • Put 1½ tsp. stuffing in the middle of the oval dough.  Fold over the piece of dough and path into an oval roll.
  • Beat the remaining egg.  Dip the croquettes in turn in the breadcrumbs, egg and breadcrumbs again.
  • Deep fry the croquettes in hot oil until they are golden brown.

Pastel (Indonesian Filled Pastry)

Pastel is a name of snack or appetizer in Indonesia. It’s kind of pastry then fill with different kind of filling.

Here is the recipe:


Ingredients for the Pastry:

  • 250 gr flour
  • 60gr Butter
  • 60ml Cold Water
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Egg

To make the Filling:

  • Oil to fry
  • Boiled potatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 Carrots, finely chopped
  • 100 g minced meat
  • 3 Garlic, finely chopped
  • Vermicelli (so-un)
  • 2 Hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar


  • Make the filling first. Heat oil and fry the garlic until fragrant.
  • Add meat & carrots. Fry until meat and carrots done.
  • Then season with salt, pepper and sugar.
  • Add so-un and potatoes, then last one, add hard-boiled eggs. Mix well and leave aside to cool.

To make the Pastry:

  • Mix the flour with margarine, egg, and salt.
  • Knead well and then add water little by little. Let it rest for 1/2 hour. Then put a tablespoon of Oil and knead again until smooth.
  • Roll the dough into paper thin. Cut the dough into circles 8 cm in diameter.
  • Take a tbsp of filling and place in center.
  • Fold pastry over to make half circle and crimp at edges.
  • Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Note: Recipe adapted from Bogasari.

Lumpia Semarang (Semarang  Style  Spring Rolls)

Lumpia are pastries of Chinese origin similar to fresh popiah or fried spring rolls popular in Indonesia and the Philippines. The term lumpia derives from Hokkien lunpia.

The most popular lumpia in Indonesia is Lumpia Semarang (a city in Central Java). The wrappers are prepared traditionally by beating wheat flour and water together into a special dough which then cooked into thin sheets.

It takes 5 hours to prepare the filling. The bamboo shoots are shipped directly from Semarang, are combined with chicken, prawn and a special blend of spices and herbs to produce the unique flavors of Central Java.

They can be enjoyed fried or unfried and come with authentic condiments that are designed to enhance your snacking experience

Lemper (Indonesian Sushi Rolls)

Lemper is an Indonesian dish made of sticky rice and chicken. The chicken is rolled inside the rice, in a fashion similar to egg roll.  This is in turn rolled and wrapped inside a banana leaf or a plastic sheet to make a packet ready for serving

To get the recipe and step by step on how to make lemper please visit my older post “Lets Roll Some Lemper”

Risol (Indonesian Rissoles)

Risol is one of popular snacks in Indonesia. It looks similar with spring rolls but the how to make it is a little bit different. Also the taste. We can easily get these snacks without even bother to spend our time in the kitchen. They are sold in the market, bakery, or even along the street.

The name Risol came from the traditional Portuguese rissole. A rissole is a small croquette, enclosed in pastry or rolled in breadcrumbs, usually baked or deep fried. It is filled with sweet or savory ingredients, most often minced meat or fish, and is served as an entrée, dessert or side dish.

Here is the recipe:

For Rissoles wrapper

  • 150 g all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 200 ml milk
  • Salt

For filling

  • 150 g minced beef or  chicken
  • 3 small potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 2  carrots, cut into small cubes
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 stalk spring onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon flour mixed with a little of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 beef cube (Maggi or Knorr block)
  • Sugar to the taste
  • 1 cup water

For dipping

  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs


  • Make the wrapper: take a bowl then combine the flour, salt and egg. Gradually add the milk whisk them to make a smooth texture. When it’s done, heat up non-stick pan. Take about 2 tablespoons of the mixture, pour to the pan and make it thin (just like how you make crepes). Cook it with low heat. When the edge of the skin is dry and you can peel off easily, it means it is cooked. Set aside.
  • Make the filling: heat up the wok, then sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the meat and mix them well for few minutes. Then add carrots, pepper, salt, celery and 1 cup of water. Cover. When the carrots are half-cook, add the potatoes. Continue cooking until they are tender and add 1 tablespoon of flour mixed with water to make the filling thicker. You can add a little of sugar to adjust the taste.
  • Make the Rissoles: take one Rissoles’s wrapper then add the filling in the bottom. Leave the bottom few cm clear. Lift the wrapper over the top and tuck it in under the filling. Fold over the left side, and then the right side and roll it up to form a tube. Repeat until all the wrappers are finished.
  • Prepare the dipping: dip the rissoles into beaten egg then coat them with bread crumbs. Deep fry them with low heat, set aside and use the tissue paper to absorb the oil.
  • Serve with fresh green bird’s eyes chillies or chili sauce.



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