Appetizer, One Meal, Snack
Comments 11

Empek-Empek (Lenjer & Kapal Selam)

I think I’ve mentioned this food before in one of my post. So now I’m gonna share this recipe with you. Empek-empek is very similar to fish balls (you can read the description). And this is my number 1 favourite food in the world. I mean it! Once I eat this, no way to stop me even though I’m very full already. That’s the bad side of this food. I don’t really understand why I like this so much. Maybe the taste and the sauce. Savoury, fishy, sour, sweet and spicy all in 1 bite. Hmmm…. yum yum..

But I admit that I’m not a master at making this, I keep asking here and there and try to do it my way. And I think I almost got the consistency right and the right taste.

In this post, you can make 2 types of empek-empek with the same recipe.

Kapal Selam


1 kg spanish / king mackerel fish meat (no bone or skin)

100 ml coconut milk

6 cloves of garlic

1 egg yolk

Around 200 to 300 grams tapioca flour

2 tbsp AP flour

salt and pepper

3 eggs for kapal selam


How to:

– In a food processor, blitz the fish, garlic, egg and coconut milk together. Transfer to big bowl.

– Mix flour, salt and pepper in the bowl. Mix with fish mixture. Be careful with flour, the consistency should be shape-able but still a bit sticky to your hands. That’s what you want, so I can’t tell how much flour you need.

– Boil water in a big pot and add a pinch of salt in it.

– Shape empek-empek into long cylinder for lenjer, then boil until it floats to the surface.

– For kapal selam, make a big ball then flatten it (make sure its big enough for an egg). Crack the egg into a small bowl, then transfer the egg to the flatten dough, secure the edge so the egg won’t burst.

This way is very tricky. Easy way is, you can boil the eggs first then put the egg inside of empek-empek.

– After everything is cooked, you can eat it already at this stage. But you can also fry it again until golden brown.


For sauce:

5 bird eye chilies (chopped)

3 cloves of garlic (chopped)

2 tbsp tamarind paste

200 grams palm sugar


Salt and pepper


How to:

– Bring everything to boil. You can taste it first, you should be able to taste sour, sweet and spicy at the same time.

– Strain the sauce into a bowl, so you’ll get clean sauce without chopped garlic and chilies in it.

* Put empek-empek in a bowl, pour sauce on top and sprinkle some chopped cucumber. Serve warm.



  1. Mrs. D, pake coconut milk yah? Aku baru tau niy, pertama kali aku bikin aku pake air dingin. Bedanya apa yah kalo pake santan atau pake air?

    • Mrs. D says

      Panggil Ridha aja 😀
      Klo kata orang yang ngasih resep ini (orang palembang asli) biar lebih gurih, dan lebih berasa ikan gitu. tapi emang beda sih sih, lebih gimana gitu rasanya.. coba aja sapa tau pas di lidah 🙂

    • Mrs. D says

      Lempar kesini yah klo udah jadi, pempek ga ada matinya deh. perusak diet.. hihihihi :p

      • hihihihi…. weken lalu aku nyobain resepmu lho Ridha, nggak pake food processor, cuma diaduk-aduk aja pake sendok kayu. Enak lho jadinya.. Suamiku suka 🙂
        Tapi dasarnya aku nggak pernah match ma santan jadi jumlah santannya aku kurangin banget. Santannya memang ngasih cita rasa yang lebih kuat yah! Thanks buat resepnya yah!! 🙂

      • Mrs. D says

        Horeeee.. seneng deh klo berhasil dan suka sama hasilnya 🙂
        Hooh, jadi lebih gimana gituh rasanya klo dikasih santen.. hehehe…
        makasih kembali 🙂

  2. Ridha… kalo ga punya food processor, ngancurinnya pake apa yaa?? blender gitu aja kali yaa? Aku mau cobaaa ah.. Walaupun lebih seneng kalo dikirimin langsung dari Gotenborg sih.. *ngarep*

    • Mrs. D says

      Aku juga pake blender sih (gayanya aja ngomong pake food processor :D)
      Makanya jalan2 kesini ntar aku bikinin ^^

  3. Pingback: Empek-Empek Adaan | Mrs. D's Kitchen

  4. Joanne Lock says

    H Mrs D, can I know what is AP Flour, please? Thank you in advance.

A nice comment will make my day ^^

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