Pecel is a traditional dish, usually eaten for breakfast from East Java. Pecel in itself is not fulfilling so people usually eat it with rice and call it Nasi Pecel. To summarize, pecel is a dish containing vegetables (some cooked, some raw), fried tempe, rempeyek (peanut brittle), and peanut sauce.
Each region in East Java has its own variant of pecel. They differ in presentation and choices of a side dish but still has lots of similarities. Here are some of the most famous variants of pecel in East Java.
Pecel Serundeng Blitar
The distinctive feature of pecel Blitar is its use of serundeng. If you don’t know it yet, serundeng is fried grated coconut. This indeed adds another dimension to the fresh vegetables and the sweet and spicy peanut sauce. Usually, pecel Blitar is served on a banana leaves plate.
Pecel Pincuk Madiun
Pincuk means a simple plate made from banana leaves. To summarize, this was the original disposable plate. This is the traditional way to present pecel and it has been there for years. The best thing about pecel pincuk Madiun is that you can pick many side dishes such as fried tempe, salted eggs, and even satay.
Teak Leaf Pecel Ponorgo
In Ponororogo, they use teak leaves as the plate for pecel. The teak leaf is large and strong enough to hold rice and pecel. They usually make the back part of the leaves for the presentable plate. Additionally, teak leaves also gives unique aroma when containing hot rice and pecel.
Pecel Punten Tulungagung
Punten is a rice cake, similar to ketupat and lontong. It is made from rice and coconut oil and usually is square. They use water spinach, bean sprouts, and cassava leaves as the main vegetable. For the side dish, you can choose fried tempe or fried fish. The peanut sauce is almost similar to pecel from other regions.
Pecel Bledek Nganjuk
Bledek means ‘thunder’ in Javanese. At a glance, you will have a hard time differentiating this pecel with others. However, once you taste it, you will know where the ‘thunder’ part comes from. The peanut sauce in pecel bledek is really spicy. Fortunately, the side dish choices are also plenty/
Pecel Tumpang Kediri and Kertosono
The main idea behind this dish is putting the peanut sauce on top of the vegetables. Tumpang in Javanese does mean ‘on top of’. They will put the rice first, and then put the vegetable on top of ot. After that, they will put the peanut sauce on top of the vegetables. This dish is very popular in Kediri and Kertosono.
Pecel is a favorite breakfast dishes for many people. It needs quick preparation, somewhat light enough for breakfast, and definitely delicious. If you are into pecel, you should try all the variants of Pecel in East Java.