I promised a colleague that I am going to tell the world about the piggy bank in our office. Unlike the other piggy bank, the piggy bank in our office isn’t for a good cause. It is there to support our sinful ritual: buying gorengan. Gorengan is fritter or fried snack that normally consume in the morning, afternoon or evening. Well, we eat gorengan at any time and as much as we like. A normal Indonesians (including me!) fry everything that edible including sweet potato, tempe, casava, tofu, corn (with batter), carrot (also with batter), banana, breadfruit, etc.
According to a research that was conducted in 2007, our consumption of oil per capita in is 16,5 kg. Well, that is only as small as 22 inches luggage. While in 2005, it is estimate that household in Indonesia consume 6 million ton of oil; 83.3% of which come from palm oil. The cruel palm oil that destroyed my ancestors’ land and killed thousands of orangutan.
If queen and her corgi enjoy scone with a cup of tea, we, Indonesians enjoy gorengan with bird eye chili. Conversation around gorengan can be anything from politic to the quality of the gorengan. Speaking of the quality, we prefer it less oily. Of course we are aware that it is deep fried, but the vendor has to make it less oily because we hate greasy gorengan. What we love is tasty and crispy gorengan. If abang gorengan could make delicious gorengan, we will give our loyalty and will always come back for more
tasty fatty delicious.
A well known TV station in Indonesian revealed the secret of gorengan in Indonesia. Here are the top secret tips and steps to make a good gorengan:
- Mix flour, pepper, salt and water.
- Ignore all the research on the bad effect of MSG in the body instead put as much MSG as possible in the batter mixture. Bear in mind that MSG makes food taste much better. Life is short, so you need to enjoy good food.
- Make sure the batter is thin so that your gorengan will be crunchy.
- Dip the banana, tempe, casava sweet potato or any other food in the batter.
- Before frying the snacks; mix the hot oil with a bit of plastic or used straws. (No, I am not kidding, this is the top secret that keep the gorengan crispy even after few hours)
- Now fried all your snacks then enjoy it.
Shock? Well you can only shock for few days, then go back to your regular abang gorengan (gorengan vendor) for some more gorengan. People in Indonesia have a fish memory when it comes to bad things. Indonesians also tend to ignore the consequences of consuming gorengan i.e increase the risk of obesity, high level of cholesterol and vascular diseases – the leading causes of death in Indonesia. Stupidly, people do believe that there is a good oil (companies make people believe), hello, no oil is good when it is heated! Consuming plastic may also cause cancer. But nothing will stop us from eating gorengan. For us, gorengan is like rice, without it, life is incomplete. Well, in the end straw is less dangerous that pork or lard eh?
Gorengan usually wrap in a used paper then covered with a black plastic bag. 15 pieces of gorengan only cost customer 1 USD, so fancy paper isn’t an option. The ink from the paper gives flavour to gorengan and make it more delicious. Here is a sample of tasty gorengan wrapped in used paper, not only you get gorengan, you will get extra ink from the paper:
Indonesians never worry about health (that is why most Indonesians do not have health insurance). For us, having doctor’s number in speed dial is not needed. The most important thing for Indonesians is to enjoy life. Life is short and if one ever get sick, there is always a a dukun who will be more than happy to spit water on the face to cure the disease. Hepatities, hygiene? Forget it! Life is too wonderful, let’s eat gorengan!
Can you live without gorengan?