Nasi Pecel: The Must Try Food in Jogja for Veggies Lovers

A plate of pecel, tempeh, and crackers
Think of peanut sauce. Think of veggies. What if we combine both? Would it be a finger-licking dish? At this moment, right from my house in Jogja, let me introduce you to a healthy dish that I would really recommend you to try and that is…nasi pecel!

What is nasi pecel? Nasi pecel is a combination of nasi (rice) and pecel. Pecel itself is like a salad; it is a Javanese dish that consists of mixed vegetables in peanut sauce dressing. Wow! Does it taste good? Oh, absolutely! At least, in my humble opinion! Hehehe…

People have their own way to serve pecel. Many sellers here would give you a plate of veggies that consists of spinach, long beans, mung bean sprouts, and cabbage. All are boiled ones. This is seldom to find but some other sellers add bunga turi (a flower with the Latin name Sesbania grandiflora) and kecipir (winged bean) as well in their vegetable mix. 

My family mixes vegetables differently for our pecel. What we usually have with our peanut sauce are long beans, mung bean sprouts, cabbage, beans, cucumbers, and mustard greens. We don’t serve spinach at home for ages. We boil the veggies separately and we make sure they are not overcooked.

A vegetable mix with peanut sauce served on a blue plate in Jogja
This is our pecel. I like all veggies above. Do you think mung bean sprouts are veggies? 

Eunike,what about the peanut sauce? Well, this is the easy part! If you can’t make it or have no time to make it or not in the mood to make it, you can always buy it! Yay! Each time we prepare pecel at home we always buy the peanut sauce. You can find the peanut sauce in a traditional market, in a supermarket, and even you can find it in a local snacks & souvenirs store! All you have to look for is “sambal pecel”. Ingredients of sambal pecel are peanuts, palm sugar, salt, galangal, tamarind water, kaffir lime leaves, and chilies. Instant sambal pecel usually are in a solid form. To serve this sambal pecel you can put it in a bowl and pour some hot or warm water on it. Then, stir it with a spoon and voila…, within a few minutes it’s ready to serve! 

Sambal pecel has a various price. It can be less than IDR 10,000! That is so affordable, isn’t it?! Mine only costs IDR 4,000 per packet and it is a 100 grams packet. We used two packets of sambal pecel for serving 4 people.

Sambal pecel you can buy in Jogja
The IDR 4,000 sambal pecel. Yum, yum!

People enjoy pecel differently in Jogja. Some people like to eat pecel with nasi only. Other people might like to have it with side dishes such as tempeh, tofu, chicken, or a boiled egg. It’s pretty flexible, eh… For me, I like my pecel with nasi, tempeh, and some crackers. If you are on a diet, you can skip the rice and add more veggies.

A plate of tempeh and a bowl of prawn crackers to serve with nasi pecel in Jogja
Tempeh and prawn crackers. Tempeh is one of my favorite foods.

If you are interested in buying sambal pecel, make sure you check its level of spiciness. Some sambal pecel are chili free but many are spicy and its level of spiciness is not mentioned on its packet. I suggest you ask the seller to make sure you don’t upset your tummy. If you don’t want to ask, maybe your gut can give you a clue! Hehe…

Pecel the Javanese salad served with tempeh and prawn crackers in Jogja
They are so good! Don't you know that tempeh is a super food?

What do you think about nasi pecel? Will you give it a try when you are visiting Jogja? What veggies would you like to have for your pecel? Please share it in a comment section below. I’d like to read it!

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