Absolutely! It probably sounds disgusting. But this is not a Fear Factor challenge. This is Surabaya’s salad, and it tastes delicious. Before moving to Surabaya, I had known rujak cingur. But I had no idea about its taste. There is actually Surabaya restaurant in Bandung that serves East Javanese culinary, but I had never there.
Basically, rujak is a meal made from fruits such as pineapple, mango, rose-apple, star fruit, juicy tuber, papaya, and so on. Sometimes we add some sweet potato too. Then the slices of those fruits are poured by the sauce made from brown sugar, tamarind, fried peanut, water, chili, and salt. The sauce also can be served in the different place, then we pick it with the fruits as you eat French fries with the chili sauce.
But rujak cingur is tottally different from that. First, the composition isn’t only about fruits, but also some boiled vegetables such as cucumber, krai (a kind of cucumber from East Java), water spinach, chickpea, sprouts, and bengkowang (a kind of yam). Other composition are lontong (made of rice like ketupat), fried tofu and tempeh. The most unique ingredient is cingur sapi (cartilage and meat of the nostrils and ears of cow).
Second, about the sauce. It’s made from fried peanut, water, chili, salt, brown sugar, fried garlic, petis udang (condiment of fermented fish or shrimp), and terasi (condiment made from pounded and fermented shrimp). Pulverize them all.
There are two ways to serve rujak cingur: usual or matengan. In usual way, we can find this food with complete composition as I mentioned above. While in matengan (literary: cooked) way, we just can find the ripe stuffs, like boiled vegetables, lontong, fried tofu and tempeh.
In Surabaya, we can find this culinary everywhere. The price is started from 7,000 IDR until 40,000 IDR. There are popular, expensive rujak cingur in Surabaya: Rujak Cingur Akhmad Jais a.k.a. Rujak Cingur Plampitan a.k.a. Rujak Cingur Hong Kong. The names come from the location, which is located at Plampitan street. And Surabaya citizen who lives in Hong Kong always bring this culinary when coming home.
However, Bondan Winarno, a culinary expert in Indonesia, said that it’s hard to determine the best rujak cingur in Surabaya, because there are many good quality sellers. Besides, each person has different opinion and taste. How about you? [photo from warungsekartaji.blogspot.com]