Bakwan is an Indonesian fried meal consisting of vegetables and batter. Bakwan usually refers to a vegetable fritter snack, commonly sold by gorengan (Indonesian fritter) traveling street vendors. The ingredients are vegetables; usually beansprouts, shredded cabbages and carrots, battered and deep fried in cooking oil. In West Java bakwan is known as 'bala-bala'. It is similar to Japanese yasai tenpura (vegetable tempura).
Bakwan usually consists of vegetables, however another variation called 'bakwan udang' uses a whole shrimp on top of batter and is sold in snack stands at the marketplace. Because of its similarity, the term 'bakwan' is often interchangeable with 'perkedel'. For example, the Indonesian corn fritters are often called either 'perkedel jagung' or 'bakwan jagung'.
In East Java, bakwan refers to fried wonton with filling; served with tofu, noodles and meatballs in a soupy broth. The dough filling is a mixture of ground meat or fish with flour, wrapped in wonton skin and fried. This kind of bakwan is similar to bakso meatball soup, and commonly known as 'Bakwan Malang' or 'Bakwan Surabaya' in reference to their cities of origin; Malang and Surabaya in East Java.
Originally Bakwan comes from a Chinese recipe along with Bakpao (Meatbun), Bakso (Meatball), Bakmie (Meat Noddle), and bakpia.
Bakwan udang, seafood cake with whole shrimp
Bakwan Malang, also called Bakso Malang
- No Money, No Honey: A study of street traders and prostitutes in Jakarta by Alison Murray. Oxford University Press, 1992. Glossary page xi
- Anta (12 June 2013). "Bakwan Jagung – Corn Fritter". Daily Coking Quest.
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