Rice is the main staple food here. It’s eaten as breakfast, lunch, dinner, even snacks. We didn’t eat rice just as is. There’s a lot of different rice form. Rice flour can be made into vermicelli and snacks. Lontong is rice cooked inside banana leaf, cylindrical in form, with beautiful greenish color on the outside because of the leaf. While Ketupat or Kupat is very similar in with lontong, except it’s cooked inside plaited coconut leaf.
It is quite time consuming to make lontong or kupat. Honestly, I can’t make my own lontong and kupat. Maybe because I am too lazy to try. I can just buy some. Convenience can led to laziness.
But there are other options available to cook rice cake like kupat in easier way. Now, instant kupat is available. The rice cooked inside food-safe plastic bag. All we need to do is to boil the package of rice. It’ll be ready in 30 minutes.
Anyway… kupat tahu is eaten as breakfast in region of Sundanese people like Bogor and Bandung. It contains of kupat, tahu or tofu, bean sprout, topped with peanut sauce and kecap manis.
Make some rice cakes, if you can make like the original kupat, I admire you! For the bean sprout, boil some water and put the bean sprout in the boiling water for one minute only. We don’t want the bean sprout cooked until wilted. It gives the texture of the dish. For the tofu, just fried them. You don’t need to season the tofu. The peanut sauce will give the taste.
So simple, right?
Now for the sauce, you need peanut, fried until thoroughly cooked but be careful not to burnt them. Uncooked peanut will gives bad taste to the sauce. No matter how long you cook the sauce, the bad taste lingers. I made this mistake when I was a rookie in frying peanut. I was so afraid to burnt them and ended up not cook it enough.
You will also need chili pepper. It’ll gives nicer color to the sauce. Without chili pepper, the sauce will be very pale and unappetizing. The taste will not be so spicy, especially with the kecap manis (sweet soy sauce). Other ingredients for the sauce are garlic, brown sugar, salt, and water.
With blender or food processor, blend together peanut, garlic, brown sugar, salt, water. Cook the sauce for five minutes while stirring. We want somewhat thick sauce.. If it’s too thick, add more water.
When every component is ready, time to assemble. Diced rice cake, diced tofu, bean sprout, topped with generous peanut sauce, and kecap manis.
Kecap manis is essential for this dish. It makes the dish tasty. I also like to squeeze some lime juice to give hint of sour taste to it. And if you have some shrimp cracker, put it there too..