Guide to Indonesian School Snacks

'Telor mie' (egg noodle) a variation of 'telur gulung' (rolled fried eggs). (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha)

By : Diella Yasmine | on 6:49 PM September 07, 2018
Category : Life & Style, Food & Drink

Jakarta. If you were born in the 1990s you will definitely be familiar with these school snacks. Sold outside school grounds from roadside carts, these itty-bitty morsels of deliciousness have very little nutritional value and questionable hygiene, but we can thank our lucky stars that Jamie Oliver hasn't got his chia seed-encrusted grubby mitts on them!

School might be out forever, but you can always relive the good ole times with these delicious little snacks!

Kue Cubit

'Kue cubit' (pinch cake) made from flour, sugar, milk and eggs. (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha) 'Kue cubit' (pinch cake) made from flour, sugar, milk and eggs. (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha)

Kue cubit ("pinch cake") is a staple snack for Indonesian school students (and adults too), usually sold from roadside cards in front of school gates. They can also be found at many traditional markets.

Made from simple ingredients – flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs and milk – the tiny soft cakes are cooked in a cake mold made of cast iron.

It's called a "pinch cake" because when the underside is done it's pinched with a metal hook and flipped over.

Kue cubit cooked on a cast iron cake mold. (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha) Kue cubit cooked on a cast iron cake mold. (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha)

About the size of a madeleine, the little French butter cake, traditional kue cubit comes with chocolate sprinkles on top. But lately you can find zanier toppings on the soft cake (best ordered "setengah matang" ("half-done") so the soft dough still oozes), from green tea, red velvet, durian, taro, kit-kat to ovomaltine.

A variation of kue cubit is the kue cubit "laba-laba." As the name suggests, the dough is spread around on a flat iron until it hardens in the form of a spider web.

Wawan, a kue cubit seller in front of SDN 01 in Rawamangun, East Jakarta, said the half-done kue cubit is his best-seller. To get the soft and doughy texture, the cake is cooked on the cast iron stove for between one and a half to two minutes.

The well-done kue cubit takes about three minutes to cook.

 

Telur Gulung

'Telur gulung' (rolled fried egg), served with sweet 'n' spicy sauce or soy sauce. (JG Photo/Diella Yasmine) 'Telur gulung' (rolled fried egg), served with sweet 'n' spicy sauce or soy sauce. (JG Photo/Diella Yasmine)

Telur gulung (rolled fried egg) is another favorite of school students, usually served with a sweet 'n' spicy sauce or soy sauce.

The snack is prepared by beating egg yolks with tapioca flour and then frying the mix in hot oil. The cooked eggs are then wrapped around a satay stick to serve.

50-year-old Adung has been selling telur gulung in front of SDN 01 Rawamangun for 20 years. Everyday, he would wake up at 5 a.m. to buy the ingredients at the nearby traditional market, Pasar Rawamangun.

Adung said he buys 5 to 6 kilograms of eggs and 2 kilograms of tapioca flour everyday to make the snack.

"Telur gulung is pretty easy to make. The only thing you have to do is mix the tapioca flour with the beaten eggs and fry them in hot oil," Adung said.

Adung also adds a bit of garlic to his light-textured rolled eggs – everyone’s favorite at the school. Every 7 a.m. before the school starts, kids already line up in front of his tiny cart, waiting for their order of the oily, salty goodness on a stick.

In recent years, Adung has added noodles and a secret spice powder that he makes himself to his rolled eggs. But the price remains the same, a ridiculously cheap Rp 250 (1 cent) per stick.

 

Cakwe

'Cakwe' (Chinese-style fried dough). (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha) 'Cakwe' (Chinese-style fried dough). (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha)

Cakwe is Chinese fried dough that now comes with a variety of dipping sauce, from cheese, barbeque to sweet corn. The original sweet 'n' sour sauce made from garlic powder, chili sauce and water is still the best, though.

Cakwe costs around Rp 2,500 to Rp3,000 per serving.

In Indonesia, cakwe is also chopped or thinly sliced and then dunked into bubur ayam (chicken congee) for breakfast.

 

Batagor

'Batagor,' an acronym for 'bakso tahu goreng' ('fried meat balls and tofu'). (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha) 'Batagor,' an acronym for 'bakso tahu goreng' ('fried meat balls and tofu'). (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha)

Batagor is an acronym for "bakso tahu goreng" ("fried meat balls and tofu"). It looks more like fried dumplings, and is served either swimming in peanut sauce or in a clear soup.

The dish reportedly originated in Bandung, West Java, and is made from soft white tofu, tapioca flour and fish oil-flavored dough.

Batagor has its steamed alternative, the siomay (steamed dumplings). It's also sometime served alongside otak-otak (literally means "brains," but is actually a fish cake).

Some batagor sellers also pair the dumplings with cilok, chewy tapioca cakes with chicken meat filling.

Munawar parks his batagor cart everyday in front of SDN 01 elementary school in Rawamangun, East Jakarta. (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha) Munawar parks his batagor cart everyday in front of SDN 01 elementary school in Rawamangun, East Jakarta. (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha)

Munawar, who parks his batagor cart every morning in front of SDN 01 sells each plate of batagor for Rp 5,000.

Munawar has been selling batagor since 2011 and he freely admits his fried dumplings are not homemade. He said store-bought batagor are much easier to prepare.

After all the students have left at SDN 01, he would push his cart around housing complexes in Rawamangun and Kebon Nanas in East Jakarta. Sometimes he would also park his batagor cart at SMA 33 and Labschool high schools, also in Rawamangun.

 

Beef Burger

School snack-style beef burger. (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha) School snack-style beef burger. (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha)

School snack-style beef burgers are not as fancy as the ones you find in burger chains. The meat is not real patty, more like (very) thinly sliced, reheated meat loaf. Nevertheless, it's one of the most popular snacks among school children.

Coker parks his burger cart in front of SDN 01 Rawamangun everyday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. His cart is always surrounded by the elementary school students, especially during the lunchtime and after school is over.

Coker in front of his burger stand in East Jakarta. (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha) Coker in front of his burger stand in East Jakarta. (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha)

Coker's burger-with-the-lot (with beef bacon, fried eggs, lettuce and cucumber) costs only Rp 5,000.

Coker said he can sell more than 100 buns and 10 packs of beef bacon per day.

"Kids love beef burger. They will line up in front my cart right until the school bell rings," he said.

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