Indonesia – Semar Mendem

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by Fauzan Anandika

Yogyakarta province in Indonesia is an iconic city with all its philosophy and artistic handicraft. When visiting Yogyakarta, tourists will have treated with various kinds of food. Bakpia and Gudeg are the most popular food served when visiting Yogyakarta. There is one more dish that tastes so delicious and needs to try when visiting Yogyakarta, this dish named Semar Mendem.

Semar Mendem’s name comes from Semar, the legendary character of the puppetry story. This culinary has a fat shape that looks similar to the Semar character. Meanwhile, mendem comes from the Javanese language means drunken. The meaning of Semar Mendem is people who eat this fatty shape food will have addicted and want to eat more. Another story said that it tells Semar’s habit of eating. He eats so much food until satiety. Semar itself symbolizes government authority. And as a ruler, Semar is not allowed to abusing his power. Every ruler must use their reign to serve the people.

Similar to the philosophy behind it, Semar Mendem also has a unique characteristic. Instead of using flour for its skin, Semar Mendem using egg omelet to make the skin roll. And it steamed, so eating Semar Mendem is healthier than other fried spring rolls.

Eating Semar Mendem will fill you both stomach and philosophical mind. The good thing is, we can make Semar Mendem with our home cooking tools. There no skilled technique to cook Semar Mendem. All you need is to follow the recipe below.

Omelet skin Ingredient

  • 150-gram flour
  • 300 ml of coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 drop yellow food coloring

Sticky rice ingredient

  • 1 kg sticky rice, soak for 2 hour
  • 200 ml of coconut milk
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 pandan leaf
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Filling Ingredient

  • 200-gram chicken
  • 100 ml of coconut milk
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 pack instant curry spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt

How to make the omelet skin

  1. Mix all omelet ingredients except cooking oil with a food processor.
  2. Strain the ingredient to remove the coarse mixture.
  3. Prepare Teflon pan, rub with cooking oil.
  4. Pour the mixture into a Teflon pan. Make it a thin layer shape.
  5. Move it to a plate when already become a solid layer.
  6. Do this until all the mixture is cooked.

Sticky rice preparation

  1. Steam sticky rice for 20 minutes.
  2. Cook coconut milk with bay leaf and pandan leaf, continuous stirring until boiling.
  3. Check and adjust the taste with salt.
  4. Put the steamed sticky rice and stir until finely blended.
  5. Steam again for 30 minutes.

Filling preparation

  1. Chopped the chicken.
  2. Cook all the ingredient until dry up
  3. Adjust the taste with salt

Semar Mendem reparation

  1. Prepare the omelet skin
  2. Add with chicken filling and sticky rice.
  3. Roll it and add some garnish.
  4. Semar Mendem ready to be served.
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