Crunch, crunch: Crackers or kerupuk are one of the must have complements for most dishes, such as nasi goreng or soto. (Unplash/Muhammad Fawdy) (Unplash/Muhammad Fawdy)

Earlier this month The Jakarta Post food column titled TWENTIES ‘served’ readers an article describing a list of 20 different types of Indonesian crackers or ‘kerupuk.’ They can be eaten as standalone snacks or as a delicious accompaniment to your meal

As every Indonesian and Indonesian food lover will tell you as an archipelagic country, Indonesia has a variety of culinary specialties from all its many islands. However, Indonesian cuisine has one side dish that is a staple on almost all dining tables across the country—kerupuk. Generally made from tapioca flour, there are a plethora of varieties—but here are the top 20 that was compiled by The Jakarta Post:

Kerupuk Bawang (Onion)Kerupuk Udang (Prawn)Kerupuk MelinjoKerupuk BlekKerupuk Rambak
Kerupuk GendarKerupuk KemplangRengginangKerupuk MelaratKerupuk Amplang
RempeyekOpak SingkongKerupuk JengkolKerupuk KluntungKerupuk Mie
Kerupuk Orong-OrongKerupuk Ikan (Fish)Kerupuk PangsitPeletekanGurilem

Shared here are several of the descriptions to whet your appetite. For the full list of the 20 above visit here.

‘Kerupuk Bawang’

Kerupuk bawang has a savory and crunchy taste that comes from garlic, hence kerupuk bawang (garlic cracker). In addition to garlic, kerupuk bawang needs other ingredients such as flour, salt, pepper powder, sugar, baking soda and water. This cracker is available in almost all parts of Indonesia. However, the kerupuk bawang in Indragiri Hulu Riau is different because it uses coconut milk as an additional ingredient. Due to its uniqueness, kerupuk bawang has become a must-buy snack souvenir from the area.

Kerupuk Udang’

This cracker originates from Sidoarjo, East Java. The fishermen of Sidoarjo used to be perplexed by the abundance of fish and shrimp they caught, so they invented kerupuk udang (prawn cracker). The catches were used as the primary material for making the crackers. Tapioca flour and mashed shrimp are the essential ingredients in kerupuk udang. Aside from the strong shrimp flavor, kerupuk udang has a high nutritional content, including phosphorus, calcium and iron.

Kerupuk melinjo: Also known as emping, this cracker is made from melinjo seeds and has a slightly bitter taste. (Unsplash/Fikri Nyzar) (Unsplash/Fikri Nyzar)

Kerupuk Melinjo

This cracker has a slightly bitter taste and does not use tapioca flour or fish as the primary ingredients. The people of Selayar, South Sulawesi, make this cracker from melinjo seeds. As one of the traditional dishes of the province, these crackers are made traditionally by grounding the melinjo seeds one by one to produce their natural flavor. Kerupuk melinjo, frequently known as emping, is available in a variety of flavors, including salty, spicy and sweet, depending on the amount of salt or caramelized sugar added.

Kerupuk Blek 

Kerupuk blek dates back to the 19th century when cassava production was abundant in Java. Only someone called a tukang ngabalo (concoctor) can make kerupuk blek dough. After the tukang ngabalo finishes the dough, it is placed in a container resembling a large pipe and pressed with a stone by someone known as juru batu (stoneman). After the dough-making process is completed, the dough will be moved to an ebeg, which is similar to a frame booth.  The ebeg is about a meter long and half a meter wide. The dough is dried before being fried in high-temperature coconut oil. The finished product is typically stored in a blek (zinc food container), which is how it earned its name. 

Kerupuk Rambak

Kerupuk rambak (skin cracker) is made by soaking cow hide in lime water for 48 hours. In addition to the soaking, the hairs on the skin are removed with a knife. The clean skin is sun-dried, cut into size-appropriate pieces and boiled with garlic, salt and sugar. Once cooked, the skin is drained and dried before being fried again. Tulungangung, East Java, is the home of kerupuk rambak. Nonetheless, it is frequently found along with Yogyakarta’s traditional dish krecek.

The above article was published in with the title “Twenties: The crinkles and crackles of 20 Indonesian beloved crisp and crackers”. Click to read full version here.