pempek palembang

Pempek Palembang is known as public food. We can find it when it was offered in a restaurant nicely, peddled on a pushcart, or carried around a slum. Certainly, there is a pempek seller in a school’s canteen as weell, . As, It’s not only easy to make but also it can be enjoyed in every situation as sweet. It consists of several variations and appearances. They are pempek kapal selam, pempek lenjer, pempek ada’an, curly pempek, and pempek pistel.

Pempek Palembang

Pempek Palembang

No one knows where pempek from is exactly, because almost all regions of Sumatra Selatan popularize it as its special food. But, they say it has been in Palembang since 16th century. Title empek-empek or pempek is believed coming from title “apek”, a title for an old man Chinese generation. The folktale which spread by mouth to mouth says that a 65 year-old “apek” who lived at the bank of Musi River was apprehensive in witnessing plentiful capturing of fish. The result of the capturing was not processed well. The choice was only fried or preserved with salt without drying. The “apek” found an idea to try another alternative. He mixed grinded flesh of fish and tapioca until it results new kind of food. The apeks peddled the new food surrounding town by bike. Because the seller was called “pek…apek”, so finally it was known as empek-empek or pempek.


  • 300 g flesh of Spanish mackerels, grinded
  • 100 cc warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 g sago palm flour
  • 100 g wheat flour
  • 6 eggs, broke into a bowl


  • 750 cc water
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 chilies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 150 g sugar
  • 150 g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 cucumbers cut into cube sized pieces
  • 100 g wet noodles
  • 150 g dried shrimps, grinded


  1. Mix flesh of fish, warm water and salt. Add sago palm flour and wheat flour little by little while mixing until it is mixed.
  2. Form it oval (about 75 g); make a hole in the middle by point finger. Then turn it around while pressed until it becomes a pocket and put some broke raw egg in. Shut and close the hole tightly.
  3. Boil some water and put pempek one by one. Wait pempek until it floats at the surface. Take them out and drained.
  4. Soup: Boil some water. Put in garlic, chilies, soy sauce, sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Boil them and sugar was soluble. Filter the dregs. Add vinegar and mix it.
  5. Fry pempek in much oil enough. Take them out and drain when they are brownish.
  6. Serving: Cut fried pempek into bite sized pieces and put in a plate. Add noodles and cucumbers above them and pour the soup. Pempek kapal selam is ready to be offered.