Lontong Balap is one of the most popular dishes from Surabaya. The literal meaning of lontong balap is ‘racing rice cake’. There is a story behind that name and it’s rather amusing. Bottom line is, this tasty Surabaya dish is so unique.
At a glance, this dish is almost similar to kupat tahu. You can see and probably smell that this soupy dish is light. It’s not spice-heavy like many other soupy dishes from Indonesia. However, it is still a delicious food that you must try. Here is all you need to know about Lontong Balap.
History and naming
This dish wasn’t known as Lontong Balap from the beginning. However, in the ‘20s there are lots of lontong sellers from Bubutan. They often have to race to the Surabaya Zoo where customers are abundant. The race among these lontong sellers to reach the best place in the zoo gave the ‘balap’ (race) for this dish. Many of the descendants of those ‘racers’ still sell the dish nowadays.
What’s in there?
Now the question is: what in the world is lontong balap. What set it apart from other lontong dishes? Let’s starts with to contents of the dish. You can find bean sprout, tofu, lento, fried shallots, and of course lontong or rice cake. All of them completes the light soup. The sellers usually also serve clam satays to complete this dish. For those who love spicy foods, you can add sambal (chili paste). Some people also prefer adding soybean for this dish.
How to make it
The cooking process is rather straightforward. The soup is made from the beef broth. It is really simple. The beansprouts are cooked in the broth for a minute or so and then let it get cooked by the hot water. Lento is basically ground peanut. However, before being ground with spices, the peanuts are soaked in water for a night. The clam satay is pretty straightforward. Clam meats are skewered and grilled with special sauce.
Where to enjoy
There are many stalls that serve the dish, especially in Surabaya. However, some stalls are really extraordinary, it can be considered legendary. Here are some stalls where you can enjoy delicious lontong balap:
- Pak Gendut Asli at Jl. Prof. Dr. Moestopo dan Jl. Embong Malang No. 38, Surabaya.
- Cak No at Jl. Bromo No.7, Sawahan, Kec. Sawahan, Surabaya.
- Rajawali at Jl. Krembangan Timur No.32D, Krembangan Selatan, Krembangan, Surabaya.
Lontong balap is an authentic dish from Surabaya. It has a wonderful backstory, as well as legends around it. The most important thing is that it is really delicious.