Having an Indonesian meal, pawn crackers (or ‘krupuk’ as it is called in Indonesia, which name I will use in this instructable, or ‘kroepoek’ as it is called in Holland) can not be missed, but also as a snack it is delicious. If I’m in a hurry I just grab a bag in the store, if I have time then I bake dried crackers from the toko. But if I really have time (and I mean lots of time!) then I make them all by myself because it is fun to make them and because nothing can compare homemade krupuk. It cost me two days to make krupuk for it takes a lot of time. But you can do a lot of other things in between for most of the time is waiting.
Because we have banana trees in our garden I use banana leaf to steam the dough, in our region a lot of food is cooked in banana leaf, but you can also buy banana leaf in the toko or simply use foil.
The ratio pasta / tapioca flour is always 1: 1 with which you can make any amount you want. Every other ingredient is add to taste and as much needed (water)
Tapioca flour is gluten-free.
Garlic, herbs and salt are additions to taste but you can also use soy sauce or sambal; the choice is yours what to use or not.
Today I make krupuk with shrimp and seaweed, but fruit or vegetables can also, just replace the shrimp ad seaweed with what you like. I love shrimp and seaweed so let’s get started.
Step 1: What Do You Need?
Patience and 2 days
Banana leaf (or heat resistant foil)
225 gr. Shrimps
225 gr. Tapioca flour
2 Garlic cloves, preferably fresh
Water as needed, added per tablespoon.
Oil for frying
2 (roasted) Nori sheets. Tip: roast 3, then you have one to snack while you're busy!
Food processor (or blender, I use a blender but a food processor goes faster and is easier)
Wok (or deep fryer )
Cooking twine (not necessary if you use foil)
Good airtight jar, preferable made of glass and dark
Step 2: Preparing the Banana Leaf
If you use foil or banana leaf from the toko you can skip this step.
If you want to make it yourself, then cut a few banana leaves from your garden. These fresh leaves are not yet usable, they are stiff and tear quickly. To make them usable, they need to be heated by blanching or heating over a gas burner. I heat them, because I do not have big pots and I find it easier, above a gas burner. Slowly pull the leaf back and forth over the smallest burner on the lowest setting, make sure that the leaf does not burn. You will see the leaf, where it is heated, turning into a lighter green, a sign that the leaf is good. when cooling, the leaf will turn to darker green. The leaf now feels a bit like soft supple leather.
As soon as all the leaves are done the hard stem can be cut out and the leaf can be divided into squares or rectangular sheets. I always make more and kept what I don’t need in the freezer. Cut for this recipe sheets of about 25x30 centimeters, it does not listen so closely. When the leaves are cut they have to be washed, make a soapy water with liquid dishwasher and wash the leaves with a sponge. Drain the leaves and get clean water, then rinse the leaves so that they are free of soap. After this step, get clean water again and dissolve a few spoons or hand-full of salt in it. Put the leaves in for fifteen minutes, drain and pat dry with clean cloths. Store the leaves in a bag in the refrigerator till needed.
Note: if you want to blanch the leaves, you better clean them first but do this carefully as the leaf tears quickly.
Step 3: The Dough
Roast the nori sheets, this can be done in a dry frying pan or just like the banana leaf by holding it above a gas burner. The leaves turn light green as soon as it is roasted.
Grind the nori sheets into fine powder in the blender.
Clean two garlic cloves, cut roughly and add to the nori.
Then add the shrimp with the nori and garlic and grind to a smooth paste. There should be no more whole pieces in the paste. When the paste is too dry, add a spoonful of water. Add salt to taste.
Put 225 grams of tapioca flour in a large bowl.
Add the nori / shrimp pasta to the tapioca flour and stir. Now knead the mixture into a firm dough add one tablespoon of water if necessary. If the dough is still too dry, add another tablespoon of water. Do this till the dough sticks together. Do not add water too quickly: the dough must form into a ball that just does not fall apart. If it’s to wet your drying time will be longer.
Now take a banana leaf and form a roll of dough with a Ø of a US $0.25 by hand and place it on the banana leaf. Leave a few centimeters of space at both sides of the roll. This must be remain free so you can fold and closed the roll after rolling.
Roll the dough as tight as possible in the leave, fold both sides and close it tightly with the cooking twine (see photos). Roll until you have done all the dough.
If you use foil: take 2 pieces of foil (per roll) of about 40cm long and put the foil on each other. Roll the dough tightly in the foil and close the ends with a knot or twine.
Put the rolls in a steamer and steam the dough for two hours. Check regularly that the pan does not boiled dry.
Turn off the gas after two hours and let the rolls cool down completely. If you steam in banana leaves then unpack the rolls as soon as they have cooled down and dust them with tapioca flour. Store them after cooling in the refrigerator until the next day. If you steam them in foil then place them with the foil on in the fridge until the next day.
The next step of drying can take up to 10 hours or even longer and can only be made after the rolls are cooled down and cooled in the refrigerator. Because it is almost impossible to do al these steps in one day it is better to continue the next day.
Step 4: The Next Day: Cutting the Dough and Drying
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and cut into slices as thin as possible, about 1,5 or 2 mm, use a sharp knife.
As an example I made a picture of unbaked (orange) kroepoek from the toko to get an idea how thick you have to cut. Consider the thicker the cut the longer the drying time. An exact drying time can therefore not be given but it will be somewhere between 6 and 10 hours or even longer if the slices are to thick. This batch required 6.5 hours to dry.
Place the slices on a baking tray which is covered with baking paper. Discard the slices that are too thick and also the beginning and end of the roll.
Slide the baking trays into the oven and set the oven to 70° Celsius. If your oven has a grill, use only the under heating.
Check from time to time if the slices are dry. They really have to be dry throughly. Turn the slices after about 3 hours. Not properly dried krupuk is tough when you bake them. Dry slices look a bit like glass and feel and sound like hard pieces of plastic.
Tip: take the thickest slice out of the oven and break it through the middle, if it is well dried the edge will look smooth and shiny. If this edge is dull and somehow frayed then it should dry a little longer.
Store the dried krupuk after it has completely cooled down in an airtight, preferably dark, glass jar or sealed vacuum.
Dried food has a long shelf life, depending on the circumstances of how it is stored.
Step 5: Frying the Krupuk
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or in a wok to approximately 170/180 ° Celsius. No thermostat that you can set? No problem test the oil with a crust of bread when it is buzzing the oil is good. Bake a handful of dried crackers at a time. Put the unbaked krupuk carefully in the oil, they sink to the bottom and slowly rise. Push them down with a slotted spoon till they completely change color and scoop them out of the oil. Let it leak out and put on kitchen paper to remove the last oil. Serve immediately. Serve the kroepoek separately with a meal, then it stays crispy or serve as a snack.