Keropok Lekor: The Popular Fish Snack from Terengganu
Keropok Lekor is a popular snack originated from the state of Terengganu in Malaysia, home to the fishing industry. The origins of Keropok Lekor began over 30-40 years ago, when fishermen returning back from the seas would come home with an overabundance of fish caught during their regular fishing trips. The excess in fish led to many of the villagers living near the beach to create a new snack.
The preparation of Keropok Lekor begins by grinding fish paste together with sago flour, seasoned with a delicate blend of salt and sugar. Herring, ikan tamban, ikan kerisi, or ikan selayang are commonly used fish varieties. The ingredients are then skillfully mixed, kneaded, and shaped into long, sausage-like forms. There are several ways to savour Keropok Lekor. Frying the rolled form results in a satisfying chewy texture, while thinly sliced and fried pieces transform into crispy chips. Boiling or steaming the snack offers a soft, fish-ball-like consistency. Each variation boasts a distinct taste, despite being crafted from the same ingredients. Keropok Lekor can be enjoyed as is or accompanied by delectable chilli sauce for an extra kick.
The name “Keropok” derives from the Javanese word “krupuk,” referring to a fried side dish made of flour mixed with other ingredients. The term “lekor” originates from the Terengganu accent’s pronunciation of “lingkar,” which means “to roll” in English.
Thanks to its widespread popularity and simplicity, Keropok Lekor can now be found across Malaysia. However, to truly savour the authentic flavours of this coastal delight, a visit to the East Coast, particularly Terengganu, is highly recommended.