Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Rempeyek Rant


I'm not crazy about Malay kuih. But I love rempeyek. If you don't know what it is and haven't put the picture to the title together then, that's exactly what it is. The problem is that good rempeyek is hard to find. By good rempeyek, I mean the flour base should be a light and thin but not too brittle. If thinness has to be sacrificed on the altar of firmness then let it be so. A bit of cumin and what nots should go into give it some spice. Then the peanuts. Their skin should ideally be left on. And ground nuts should be used. Who the hell eats the dhall beans ones? or those with just the peanuts? These are the ones you would often find left forlornly like a lover missing her beloved just after he leaves her, but its a can of rempeyek. With no beloved.

And this is the most important for me. The ultimate deal breaker. I italicized those last words just to show you how severely this feature of the rempeyek affects me. There must be ikan bilis on it. Must. Must. Must. And there must be at least two decent sized ikan bilis on it. Not like one big one and quarter of an arse for the other. Like the picture up there. Some even have three on it. So that's a good example of an excellent rempeyek. By my book anyway.

But this is what gets my goat. So many of these producers of rempeyek usually put one ikan bilis. One. Sometimes I go through like a whole tin of it and there it is. Only one ikan bilis per rempeyek piece (ib/r rate). Why do they do this? I thought it would have thought more effort would have been spent rationing out the ikan bilis per rempeyek than it would have if they just chucked in a bunch each time and let them sort themselves out. Or would it have been so much more cost and effort to add one more ikan bilis to the damn thing.

Don't get me wrong though. The peanuts are also important. But I feel there should be enough ikan bilis to meaningfully blend and mix with them. I feverishly believe that with the right balance of ikan bilis and peanuts with the right flour base of course, a rempeyek would taste simply exquisite. But having said that, I cannot have too many of these at one go because it would make me throw up.

3 comments:

Atia said...

I'm not a die hard fan of rempeyek, but your rant makes me crave for it! Dang...

But I think you forgot one thing, the perfect ones are not oily.

Rempeyek, o so yummy...
Time to call me mummy...
To order from me aunty...
And pick it up after ngundi...

Want some?
;-)

Daef said...

You are quite right about the oiliness. And yes, I would like some. Please send some good ones to Naval Gazing ASAP. And don't be cute and send me a picture or some online icon. Yang tu tak mainssss....

Lisa said...

Love your food posts!

Have not thought of rempeyek for so many years...but believe me, after reading this, am not just thinking, am starting to obsess about it...

Where, oh where in all this sceptred isle, will one find rempeyek, for love or money?

Lisa.