The snacks you must try, Gorengan is (almost) always on the top list in Indonesia. Gorengan refers to fried snacks made of various ingredients coated with flour batter. These fried snacks come in sweet and savory varieties to eat alone or as side dishes (yes, Indonesians love high-calorie foods). But it seems that Indonesians cannot leave this Vitamin G.
It’s easy to find Gorengan street carts in every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, be it in between skyscrapers in metropolitan cities or in a rural village. Read here for more tips on buying Gorengan.
Here are the snacks you will typically find in a Gorengan cart:
Pisang Goreng (Banana Fritters)
Let’s start with the sweet variety of Gorengan. As its name implied, Pisang Goreng is made of banana. The common Pisang Goreng is made of plantain coated in sweet and crispy batter. Some are wrapped in flaky crust known as Pisang Molen, and some are just plain fried banana. Nowadays some creative cooks modify Pisang Goreng with crispier coating and various toppings like chocolate, cheese, and honey.
Tape Goreng (Fried Tape)
Tape or tapai is fermented cassava, one of the common Indonesian snacks. The sweet Tape is dipped in sweet flour batter and then deep fried. Tape Goreng goes well as an afternoon snack along with a cup of warm tea (and other Gorengans). Other popular name of this snack is Rondho Royal.
Cempedak is a fruit native to Southeast Asia. At a glance, it has similar shape to Jackfruit, but smaller in size. It is quite easy to find Cempedak in Indonesia, so no wonder if Cempedak Goreng also becomes one of the most favorite Gorengan. The combination of sweet, soft, fibrous Cempedak flesh and the crispy is really addictive!
Now, let’s move to the savory varieties of Gorengan; and Bakwan is one of the most favorite. There are two common varieties of Bakwan: Bakwan Sayur (assorted vegetables fritters) and Bakwan Jagung (corn fritters). Bakwan Sayur is actually meant to be eaten alone, but some people love to eat it along with rice. In the other hand, Bakwan Jagung is usually paired with Sayur Bayam (spinach clear soup).
Mendoan refers to a type of Tempe (soy cake) that has softer texture than regular Tempe. Mendoan is dipped in savory flour batter mixed with green onions and then deep fried. Mendoan is actually similar with Tempe Goreng, however Tempe Goreng is normally sliced thinner, while Mendoan is sliced thicker with thick, soft coating.
As mentioned above, Tempe Goreng is actually similar with Mendoan. However Tempe Goreng is usually sliced thinner, and the flour batter is slightly different with the one used for Mendoan. The flour batter for Tempe Goreng usually makes crispier coating.
Cireng is specialty snack from Bandung, but it is also popular in other regions of Indonesia. Made of tapioca flour and spices, the round-shaped Cireng is crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside. Usually, Cireng is served with sauce made of Petis (shrimp paste) and chili. Other variation of Cireng has smaller size (bite-sized) and served with creamy peanut dipping sauce.
Tahu (tofu) Isi (filled) is tofu filled with vegetables like carrots, cabbage, or bean sprout. Rice noodles are also sometimes added as the filling. Tahu Isi is best consumed with cabe rawit ijo (green small chilies), or with hot chili sauce. Other variations of Tahu Isi is Tahu Jeletot—it’s similar with regular Tahu Isi but with extra ‘surprise’ inside. What surprise? Well, the hint is: most Indonesians can’t eat without this ‘surprise’.
Singkong and Ubi Goreng
Singkong Goreng (fried cassava) is mostly found in Java as a company for black coffee. The original form of Singkong Goreng is just deep-fried plain cassava, while the other variation is seasoned with garlic and even parmesan cheese. The Ubi Goreng, on the other hand, is the sliced sweet potato coated in sweet flour batter.
Literally translated to village donut, Donat Kampung is also one of the common Gorengan variations. Donat Kampung has different taste and texture than the ones you find at donut shops. Donat Kampung has no fancy topping, just powdered sugar or chocolate sprinkles. They also usually have chewier texture than regular donut, but that’s what most Indonesians like. Donat Kampung also often refers to Donat Kentang or potato doughnut.
Among these Gorengans, which one is your favorite?