The Kingdom of Peanut Sauces
By Tris Marlis - Monday, May 06, 2013
If we can give Indonesia another name, besides the already known “land of spices,” it has to be “kingdom of peanut sauces”. From the east to the west archipelago, many of their signature street food are drenched in this sweet and savoury gravy in so many renditions. For example, karedok, lotek, pecel, kupat tahu and ketoprak, which can all be vaguely translated as “Indonesian-style salad with a certain peanut sauce.”
In east Java, they have a version made strictly with fresh vegetables only, known as karedok. The addition of galangal creates tangier sauce, making it a refreshing salad. Another popular version is pecel which is the spiciest among the bunch. The sauce is also called Sambal Pecel as it is almost like a peanut chilli paste. Instead of lontong, pecel is usually enjoyed with steamed rice.
An addition of herbs and spices can make a huge difference on its name. Besides being served as salad dressing, the peanut sauce is also paired with fried and steam fish cake, such as Batagor and Siomay. Also, we must mention satay, or sate as they spell it. It also comes with slightly coarser and thick peanut sauce.