MERSING: The japanese coast of West Malaysia is commonly related to lovely seashores and a sea teeming with life. It’s not shocking then that residents alongside coastal areas are inclined to have a tradition centred across the sea.
This, after all, extends to their delicacies, and a few of Malaysia’s greatest seafood dishes hail from these components of the nation.
Amongst these delicacies is a snack most Malaysians know, provided that it’s a mainstay at most roadside snack stalls nationwide.
Whether or not boiled or fried, keropok lekor is a flexible deal with loved by many, particularly with a touch of home made chilli sauce.
Whereas the Klang Valley does have its fair proportion of well-known keropok lekor stalls, one of the best locations to snack at are positively positioned on the japanese half of the peninsular.
By the best way, ever puzzled what “lekor” means? It’s truly a Terengganu slang, that means “to roll”. It refers to how keropok is rolled into sausage-like items earlier than being boiled.
In Johor’s seaside city of Mersing, there’s a keropok manufactory that’s develop into the go-to for hungry townsfolk.
Positioned on Jalan Abdullah, Keropok Haji Putih (generally spelt Puteh) is commonly a pitstop for vacationers passing by the sleepy coastal city.
It makes good sense; the place has been round for the reason that Eighties and one can discover all types of seafood treats right here.
Therefore, vacationer buses are sometimes parked by the roadside right here as passengers snatch up as a lot keropok as attainable for the lengthy journey house.
Keropok Haji Putih is operated and owned by Osman Puteh, 67, who’s the namesake of the institution.
FMT Way of life was given the chance to see how the manufacturing facility is run and the way these sinfully scrumptious seafood snacks are made.
“Right here, we solely use prime quality sardines and herrings to make our keropok,” he informed FMT Way of life. “We don’t compromise on the standard, as a result of it’ll immediately have an effect on the style of the keropok.”
Each bit of keropok begins its life as a slightly unpleasant combination of grounded fish, with an understandably fishy scent to match.
Afterwards, the fish is coated with sago flour and blended with salt earlier than being tossed into an industrial mixer and left to churn for about 10 minutes.
“If the combination is just too gentle, we add a little bit of flour to ‘toughen’ it up,” stated Osman, including that nobody enjoys consuming a limp-looking keropok.
As soon as effectively mixed, the combination is lower into small sausage-like items, sufficiently small to slot in the palm of 1’s hand.
Afterwards, these fishy sausages are left to boil in sizzling water for a number of minutes. How do they know when the keropok lekor is cooked? “They’ll float to the highest,” stated Osman.
The boiling half is a slightly time-sensitive course of; go away the sausages within the water too lengthy and you should have a soggy mess.
Therefore, as quickly because the keropok lekor floats to the floor, they’re scooped out and held on a line to dry, with extra water dripping off every bit.
In keeping with Osman, locals love keropok lekor rebus because it has a gentle, chewy texture.
Out-of-towners and international vacationers, alternatively, desire fried keropok lekor, indulging within the deal with whereas it’s nonetheless sizzling and served with a touch of chilli sauce.
“Some individuals assume that keropok lekor rebus is difficult to maintain contemporary. Nonsense! Simply freeze it and it is best to be capable to carry it house no drawback.”
So, the following time you’re passing by Mersing, make a pitstop at Keropok Haji Putih to get your self a fishy, tasty deal with for the drive house.
Keropok Haji Putih
37, Jalan Abdullah
Johor Darul Takzim
Enterprise hours: 8am-9pm each day