Feasting in Asia’s alleys

Feasting in Asia’s alleys: Mad about martabak in Jakarta

Singapore may place more emphasis on hawker centres than anywhere else, but hawker food is a passion throughout the region. The Straits Times correspondents take a look at the hawker scene in three food-mad cities in the region: Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Hong Kong

A worker at Martabak 65a in Jakarta applying butter on top of a freshly cooked sweet murtabak. Rich chocolate min jiang kueh-style pancake from Martabak Markobar in Indonesia.
A worker at Martabak 65a in Jakarta applying butter on top of a freshly cooked sweet murtabak. ST PHOTO: LINDA YULISMAN
A worker at Martabak 65a in Jakarta applying butter on top of a freshly cooked sweet murtabak. Rich chocolate min jiang kueh-style pancake from Martabak Markobar in Indonesia.
Rich chocolate min jiang kueh-style pancake from Martabak Markobar in Indonesia. PHOTO: KF SEETOH
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Murtabak, better known as martabak asin (salty murtabak) in Indonesia, is a fried pancake stuffed with meat and vegetables that originated in the Middle East and South Asia.

But like many other street foods in Indonesia, it is often given a local twist, layered with beef rendang, meatballs and grilled chicken. In the past few years, some vendors have also used other ingredients, such as corned beef, tuna, sausage and mozzarella, and covered these with traditional sambal (chilli condiment).

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 02, 2018, with the headline Mad about martabak in Jakarta. Subscribe