With each bite of this Indonesian Ketoprak salad, you are transported to a world of sensory delight. The delicate balance of fresh cool bean sprouts and chewy compressed rice cakes, golden tofu, and noodles, all soak up the complex flavors of the addictive dressing. Something about this particular recipe has had SUCH a positive response from all my recipe testers. People just get addicted to the peanut dressing!
The bold, spicy dressing that ties it all together is a harmonious blend of calamansi, and chilies, spices, and savory flavors. This creamy, vibrant dressing is a symphony of flavor that ignites the palate.
Every bite is a revelation, a celebration of the vibrant flavors and textures, and subtle herby aromas of Indonesian cuisine. What are you waiting for? Grab your wok and get this Ketoprak made!
- 🥰Why you are going to adore the ever-loving heck outta this recipe
- 🤯This salad doesn’t have very much salad in it…
- 🍜Notable ingredients for making Ketoprak
- 📖 How to make perfect ketoprak
- 💡Serving Ideas
- 👉Top tip
- ✌️My favey dishes to serve with this:
- The best Ketoprak (Indonesian tofu and vermicelli salad with peanut dressing)
🥰Why you are going to adore the ever-loving heck outta this recipe
👉Perfection is a dish best served cold: Ketoprak is a delicious Indonesian salad that is bursting with flavor. The combination of fresh bean sprouts, tender tofu, chewy noodles, and a bold, spicy dressing creates a complex and satisfying taste experience. It can be served cold or at room temperature, which like asinan sayur, rujak serut and urap sayur, makes it perfect for a hot summertime meal, or as a contrast to heavily cooked Indonesian dishes.
👉Easy and fast to make: While Ketoprak may seem complex, it is actually quite easy to make at home. With just a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking techniques, anyone can whip up a delicious Ketoprak salad in LESS THAN 20 MINUTES.
👉Healthy, vegan, and gluten-free: Ketoprak is a healthy and nutritious dish that is packed with fresh vegetables, steamed rice cakes and protein-rich tofu. It's also gluten-free and completely vegan. You know you gotta stop eating animals right? What’s that? You did already? I love ya, and so do the animals!
✅Tested and Approved Worldwide: Like all the recipes on my blog, this ketoprak has been meticulously fine-tuned not only by me but by a team of dedicated recipe testers around the world, including in Indonesia where the dish is from. No matter where you are on the planet, rest assured it's been tested to work everywhere!
🤯This salad doesn’t have very much salad in it…
So, while Ketoprak is a really tasty salad, it's not exactly the veggie-packed dish you might expect from a “salad”. But, no worries! If you want to add some more nourishing goodness to your Ketoprak, there are plenty of veggies you can toss in. Cucumbers and tomatoes are often found in ketoprak in Indonesian restaurants and add a nice, refreshing crunch to the salad. Some folks like to top the dish with fried shallots, and it's also quite common to see it served with puffy red crackers, which I don't do because they are made from shrimp parts.
You can also throw in some shredded carrots, sliced bell peppers, blanched green beans, or even some finely cut dark leafy greens if you're feeling it. With a colorful mix of veggies in your Ketoprak, you can create a totally satisfying and wholesome meal that'll keep you feeling relaxed and nourished all day long.
Or you can make this a more veggie-centric deal by serving it alongside Korean marinated cucumbers, this BOMB kimchi, or ensaladang talong made with char grilled eggplant and green mango.
So, don't dismay. Ketoprak doesn't have to be like straight-up fried tofu salad.
🍜Notable ingredients for making Ketoprak
Calamansi is a small citrus fruit native to the Philippines that is often used in Southeast Asian cuisine. It has a tart, acidic flavor that is similar to a cross between a lime and a mandarin orange. Calamansi juice is a popular ingredient in marinades, sauces, and drinks, and is also used as a condiment to add a zesty kick to dishes. If you can't find calamansi, you can substitute it with lime juice, or a combination of lime and mandarin orange juice.
Kecap Manis is a sweetened, thick soy sauce that is commonly used in Indonesian cuisine. It's made with palm sugar, soy sauce, and various aromatics like garlic and star anise, which give it a complex, savory-sweet flavor. Kecap Manis is used in dishes like Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng, as well as a dipping sauce for grilled meats and vegetables.
By the way, if you're looking for a very quick and easy recipe for homemade Kecap Manis, be sure to check out my blog post about Mie Goreng! I've got all the details on how to make this sweet, savory sauce from scratch.
Lontong is a traditional Indonesian compressed rice cake boiled or steamed in banana leaves. It’s a staple food in Indonesian cuisine and is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. If you want to experience the delicious taste of Lontong, I have an easy lontong recipe that you can follow to create this versatile dish right in your own kitchen.
Rice vermicelli are very thin noodles made from, you guessed it, rice! Its light and delicate texture make it an excellent choice for soaking up the flavors of broths and sauces. However, if you can’t find vermicelli, and are looking for other gluten-free substitutes, you can make this dish with sweet potato noodles, zucchini noodles, or shirataki noodles made from konjac root.
Bean sprouts are a common ingredient in many Asian cuisines. II use 'em in everything from Malay mee rebus to Thai pad woon sen). They are typically made from sprouted mung bean or soybeans and have a fresh, crunchy texture and a mild, flavor. Bean sprouts are a great source of fiber, protein, and vitamins, making them a nutritious addition to any meal.
📖 How to make perfect ketoprak
You wanna see how this yummy Indonesian salad gets made? Of course you do! I will walk you through the whole process. Or you can follow along with the easy-to-print recipe card towards the bottom of this page.
To make the peanut sauce, use a blender or a food processor to blend the peanut butter, chilies, garlic, coconut sugar, calamansi (or lime juice), kecap manis, and water until it's smooth and thick. You can adjust the amount of chilies and garlic to your liking, depending on how spicy you want the sauce to be.
When dicing the tofu, make sure they are evenly sized so they cook evenly. Shallow-fry the tofu for 7-8 minutes, stirring regularly until evenly golden brown. Drain the fried tofu pieces on a paper towel to remove any excess oil and set aside. There is no need to deep fry the tofu.
Don't boil the vermicelli or it will be soggy and awful. Instead, just soak it for 10 minutes in a bowl with warm water until pliable and soft.
Slice the Lontong into bite-size pieces. To plate the dish, start by placing ⅓ of the drained vermicelli in the center of each plate. Then add ⅓ cup of bean sprouts, ⅓ of the fried tofu pieces, 3-4 slices of lontong, and 2 tablespoons of chopped dry roasted peanuts onto each serving of vermicelli.
Generously drizzle each serving with peanut sauce, making sure to cover all the ingredients. If desired, you can garnish with fresh sliced Birds Eye chilies, cilantro, minced chives, and cucumber. Serve with a lime wedge, a drizzle of nouc mam, or fresh calamansi.
This dish is a great cold option to serve alongside your favorite dishes from all over Southeast Asia. It goes amazing alongside Filipino dishes such as crispy Tofu Sisig, or Ensaladang Talong, a flavorful salad made with chargrilled eggplant and green mango. My red jujube date-laden crispy rice dumplings, and chee cheong fun make great sides for ketoprak.
And for dessert? You are def gonna want to mess with my vegan creme brûlée, kuih dadar, che ba, or martabak manis (an Indonesian street food classic dessert of thick steamed pancakes sandwiched with chocolate and peanuts).
Soak the rice noodles instead of boiling them. Boiling makes the vermicelli mushy, whereas soaking them for ten minutes in warm water, they are pliable, and fresh and do a better job of soaking up the delicious peanut dressing.
Ketoprak is a traditional Indonesian dish that originated in the capital city of Jakarta. It was created and popularized by street vendors in the city during the 1960s. Ketoprak is named after a type of Javanese puppet theater, which features brightly colored characters and lively performances.
The dish is a combination of different ingredients, including tofu, vegetables, rice cake (lontong), rice vermicelli, and a sweet and spicy peanut sauce. It's typically served as a salad or a light meal, and can be found in street food stalls and restaurants throughout Jakarta and other parts of Indonesia.
Ketoprak is essentially gluten-free, but there is one main thing to look out for. Kecap manis, the sweet Indonesian soy sauce, is only completely gluten-free when made with a soy sauce that doesn’t contain wheat (many do!). I make my kecap manis with sweetened, spiced tamari, which I cook to thicken. You can make your own too by following my method which you can find in my mie goring post.
It's always important to read ingredient labels and check with your food supplier or restaurant to confirm that all ingredients are gluten-free, especially if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
When it comes to storing Ketoprak, there are a few things to keep in mind. There are essentially two ways of storing it to eat later.
If you've already combined everything and dressed the salad, it's best to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure the dressing is evenly distributed and the container is sealed tightly to keep the salad fresh for as long as possible.
What makes the dish nicer to present, and keeps things fresher longer is if you store the ingredients separately. Please separate each element (tofu, noodles, lontong and dressing) and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble the salad.
✌️My favey dishes to serve with this:
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The best Ketoprak (Indonesian tofu and vermicelli salad with peanut dressing)
- Birds Eye chilies
- Cilantro leaves
- Minced scallions
- Using a blender or a food processor, blend or process the peanut butter, chilies, garlic, coconut sugar, calamansi (or lime juice,) kecap manis, and water until it’s smooth and thick.
- Cut the tofu and shallow-fry them for about eight minutes until the outer skin is golden. Set aside.
- Slice the Lontong into bite-size pieces.
- To plate three servings, place ⅓ of the drained vermicelli in the center of each plate. Place ⅓ cup of bean spouts, ⅓ of the fried tofu pieces, 3-4 slices of lontong, and 2 tablespoons of chopped dry roasted peanuts onto each serving of vermicelli.
- Generously drizzle each serving with peanut sauce, and optionally garnish with fresh sliced Bird’s Eye chilies, cilantro, minced scallions, and cucumber.