Do you love markets? We certainly do – in fact we LOVE our markets (‘pasars’) so much that we’ve written in excess of 10 posts about various markets in Jakarta.
In today’s AJB post we indulge our obsession with traditional market snacks known as, ’Jajanan Pasar’. With the expert guidance of our friend and Indonesian food expert Winny Soendaroe, we set our alarm clocks to ‘bright and early’ and head to Pasar Kue Subuh, arguably Jakarta’s most famous Jajanan Pasar market.
So grab your reusable bags, fill your wallet with rupiah, ensure your appetite is on full throttle and *Ayo ke Pasar Kue Subuh!
Ps: For quick access to our other market posts along with Jajanan Pasar recipes, head to the bottom of this story and click on the links provided.
What are Jajanan Pasar? The term ‘Jajanan Pasar’ means ‘market snacks’ or ‘market buys’. ‘Kue’ make up a large selection of Jajanan Pasar.
What are Kue?
The word ‘Kue’ in Indonesian refers to traditional snacks including cakes and some types of pastries. Derived from the Hokkien word ‘koé’, Kue are often steamed and therefore their texture and appearance is very different compared to Western cakes or pastries.
Indonesian kue are generally divided into two groups based on their level of moisture: ‘kue basah’ (‘wet cakes’) and ‘kue kering’ (‘dry cakes’).
Most traditional Indonesian Kue are kue basah. They tend to be moist and soft in texture and are cooked by steaming or frying. Often kue basah are also rich in coconut milk, palm sugar and rice flour. As a result they have a much shorter shelf life than kue kering (generally 1 – 2 days). Some well known kue basah include Klepon, Kue Ape, Kue Lapis Legit and Wajik.
In contrast, kue kering are most often what we refer to as ‘cookies’ or ‘biscuits’. Almost all kue kering are baked or fried and can be stored for weeks or even months. Kue kering are commonly seen during annual holidays and important festivities including Lebaran (Idul Fitr) and Natal (Christmas). Examples of kue kering include Kaastengaal, Kue Nastar, Kue Lidah Kucing and Kue Putri Salju.
What are Kue made from?
The basic ingredients for many of the Indonesian Kue, whether sweet or savoury, are rice flour and coconut. Traditionally Indonesian sweets use gula aren (palm sugar). Due to foreign influences, wheat flour is also now more commonly used as is butter, margarine and cheese (as well as Nutella, Toblerone and chocolate sprinkles). To impart creaminess and flavour, coconut milk is a common ingredient, and popular flavouring agents include coconut, spices (ginger and cinnamon), pandan and chocolate.
What about the Prices?
Starting at around Rp2000 (approx. 20 cents), the prices here are far more affordable than Jajanan Pasar purchased in supermarkets or kue stalls in the major malls.
What else is on offer at Pasar Kue Subuh?
Pasar Kue Subuh is not only limited to the sale of Kue. You can also find dry savoury snacks such as Krupuk and Kripik available.
Likewise, an abundance of quality food carts (known as Gerobak or Kaki-lima), as well as a cute converted van selling delicious Soto Ayam can be found in the Market area.
After securing your purchases, you can reward yourself with a tasty breakfast. What would you choose?
When the market finishes, the day is still early so be sure to continue exploring Blok M, Melawai. Here are some ideas (and yes, of course one of them involves coffee! 😉 )
With arms-full of Jajanan Pasar you’ll surely be needing a coffee! Luckily just a few blocks away you’ll find Filosofi Kopi. Be sure to arrive on foot so you can enjoy the unique architecture of the Blok M area.
If you have time, a visit to Photographic studio/gallery Soup n’ Film is a great idea. And if you’re in need of some general groceries, drop into Papaya Fresh in Melawai (the fish and seafood in particular, are excellent of quality).
About Blok M
Kebayoran Baru was the last residential area to be developed by the Dutch colonial administration.
Blok M area is marked by Jalan Melawai X to the north, Jalan Melawai to the south, Jalan Iskandarsyah Raya to the east and Jalan Panglima Polim Raya to the west. The block was exclusively designed as a middle-sized commercial area with government-owned Pasar Pusat (Central Market) at its centre.
Our Final Verdict:
A trip to Pasar Kue Subuh is a must! The vibrant atmosphere, the friendly faces and of course all the colourful and authentic Kue are a quintessential part of Jakarta which everyone should experience. As the variety of Kue on offer is vast and the quality is good, the best ones are snapped up early so be warned – you must arrive early to secure the best quality products.
And our favourite Jajanan Pasar?
Winny’s favourite: Lalampa (Manadonese version of lemper filled with spicy smoked tuna) and Babonkgo from South Kalimantan (rice flour infused with pandan, served with young coconut flesh, palm syrup and coconut milk all wrapped up in a banana leaf)
Liz’ favourite: Ketan Serundeng Pedas and Talam Padang
Jo’s favourite: Wajik, Onde-Onde, Kue Bugis, Kue Lapis Legit
What will be your favourites? We’d love to know!
For the ultimate experience, we recommend you take a guided tour of Pasar Kue Subuh. Our expert guide Ibu Winny Soendaroe can be contacted on +62 811 992 566
- pasar – market
- jajanan pasar – market snacks (both sweet and savoury)
- ayo ke – let’s go to …
- kue – snack sized cakes/pastries
- subuh – dawn
Pasar Kue Subuh
Jl. Melawai IV No.17-18
Opening hours: 4am – 7am daily
Here are our recommendations for further reading relating to today’s post… ENJOY!
A visit to Pasar Mayestik – South Jakarta’s famous fabric market
A visit to Pasar Modern – Bintaro’s fresh produce market
AJB’s Best Places to Visit in Pasar Santa right Now!
A visit to South Jakarta’s fresh produce market, Pasar Minggu
A culinary tour of Jakarta’s Chinatown district – Pasar Glodok & Petak Sembilan
Words: Jo Stevens Photography: A Journey Bespoke