Keropok lekor, anyone?
Tasty, crunchy, fishy, yummy are likely some of the words you’ll come across by Malaysians and visitors alike, in describing the popular traditional snack, keropok lekor.
Keropok lekor, a specialty of the state of Terengganu and states situated along the east coast Peninsular Malaysia is a heavenly indulgence with its crunchy, slightly fishy taste, a popular treat among locals.
It’s slightly greyish colour, ground fish mixed with sago flour, is sliced into chunky sized- bits before frying into a warm, golden hue. It is best eaten, hot off the wok.
The fragrant smell of the keropok, simmering gently in a wok, awakens the senses. For keropok lekor enthusiasts, it is a refreshing smell, and instantly makes one hungry!
De-boned fish such as ikan selayang (decapterus russellii), ikan tamban (sardine-like fish), ikan parang (herring) or ikan kerisi is used to make the keropok (crackers). Ikan selayang is popular as the fish has a sweet taste. Mixed with sago flour, it is kneaded into long dough, cut, and boiled for several hours.
There are two ways to make keropok lekor. The first is to dry the (newly) boiled dough under the sun. Once dried, it will be sliced thinly to make pre-fried keropok lekor or known as keropol lekor keeping (slices).
The other variety is to cut the boiled dough and deep-fry it into a heated wok. This is favoured by many, as this preserves the excellent taste of the keropok. (Make you sure you don’t make the mistake of washing the boiled fish, as this most certainly kills the taste!)
Eaten freshly fried from the wok with some special chilli sauce dipping, it is certainly a popular snack time choice!