“The moment I opened package, I instantly flinched at the sharp aroma emanating from the mixture of terasi and ebi.”
Spend some time browsing through our website, and I bet you’ll be familiar with Asinan – both Asinan Betawi and Asinan Bogor – afterwards. However, you might not yet be clued up on Asinan Tangerang. Tangerang is located just a stone’s throw away from Jakarta, and the people there has been producing their own brand of Asinan that has a very distinctive feature: it’s made from terasi (shrimp paste).
One of the most sought-after Asinan peddlers is located within Pasar Lama Tangerang, and off I went in pursuit of it. Known as Asinan Lan Jin, the shop sits quite near to the famous Boen Tek Bio Temple. Owner Lan Jin has been selling his Asinan since 1979, and she manages the shop with her sister, which offers a variety of local titbits including bread, Juhi (dried cuttlefish), Sate Babi (pork satay), and Otak-Otak (fish cake).
The other snacks were distracting me from my mission, so I tried my darnedest to look away and ordered the Asinan Sayur. Similar to its counterparts from Bogor and Jakarta, this Asinan contains bean sprouts, salted vegetables, cabbages, and tofu. What sets Asinan Tangerang apart is its sauce, which is concocted using terasi, vinegar, and ebi (dried shrimp). The moment I opened package, I instantly flinched at the sharp aroma emanating from the mixture of terasi and ebi. The sauce was a tad light in texture, but packed a strong punch. A blend of sour and spicy flavours flooded my palate as soon as I slurped up the sauce. Eaten together with the vegetables, however, got rid of the zesty tang of the sauce, leaving a fresh aftertaste in my mouth.
After sampling all three types of Asinan, I think it’s safe to say that I’m quite the expert already in Asinan. If you’d like to challenge me for the title, introduce me to a different kind of Asinan and then we can talk.
By Jessicha Valentina
Pasar Lama, Jalan Bakti No. 26,
Open daily from 7am-5pm
Price: Rp.20,000/US$1.40 per portion