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Kerak Telor: The Delicious Street Food with Historical Roots in Jakarta


Imagine a crispy, golden-brown crust, bursting with savory and slightly sweet flavors, topped with a generous helping of fluffy egg and fragrant shrimp paste. This is Kerak Telor, a beloved street food in Jakarta, Indonesia. Beyond its deliciousness, Kerak Telor holds a fascinating history and cultural significance, making it more than just a snack, but a symbol of Jakarta’s culinary heritage. This blog post delves into the world of Kerak Telor, exploring its origins, ingredients, preparation, and cultural impact. Join us as we uncover the story behind this iconic street food that tantalizes taste buds and transports you to the heart of Jakarta’s culinary scene.

Table of Contents

  1. The History of Kerak Telor
  2. Ingredients and Preparation
  3. Taste and Flavor
  4. Finding Kerak Telor in Jakarta
  5. Kerak Telor in Contemporary Culture
  6. FAQ
  7. Conclusion

The History of Kerak Telor

Kerak Telor, meaning “egg crust” in Indonesian, has roots dating back to the Dutch colonial era in Jakarta. It is believed to have originated as a simple snack enjoyed by local residents, utilizing readily available ingredients like glutinous rice flour and coconut milk. Over time, Kerak Telor evolved, adapting to local tastes and preferences, incorporating ingredients like shrimp paste (terasi) and spices to create its unique flavor profile.

The dish quickly gained popularity as a street food, becoming a cherished part of Jakarta’s culinary landscape. Kerak Telor became synonymous with traditional Indonesian cuisine, reflecting the city’s rich history and diverse culinary influences. Its presence at street stalls, markets, and festivals solidified its place as a beloved and recognizable street food staple.

Ingredients and Preparation

Kerak Telor is a relatively simple dish to prepare, requiring just a few key ingredients and a bit of patience. Here’s a breakdown of its essential components:

  • Glutinous rice flour: Provides the base for the crispy crust, giving it its characteristic chewy texture.
  • Coconut milk: Adds richness and a subtle sweetness to the batter.
  • Eggs: Provide protein and contribute to the creamy texture of the filling.
  • Shrimp paste (terasi): A key ingredient, lending a savory, umami depth and a distinct aroma to the dish.
  • Onions: Add a sweet and crunchy element to the filling, balancing the savory flavors.
  • Spices: A blend of turmeric, cumin, pepper, and other spices gives Kerak Telor its unique flavor complexity.


  1. Mix the batter: In a bowl, combine glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, and spices to create a smooth, thin batter.
  2. Heat the pan: Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  3. Pour the batter: Pour a thin layer of the batter into the hot pan, spreading it evenly to create a thin, crispy crust.
  4. Add the egg mixture: Whisk eggs with a bit of salt and pour them onto the crust, allowing the egg to set.
  5. Incorporate the shrimp paste and onions: Add chopped onions and shrimp paste to the egg, stirring gently to distribute evenly.
  6. Cook until golden brown: Continue cooking until the crust becomes golden brown and the egg is set.
  7. Add toppings (optional): Kerak Telor can be topped with various ingredients like shrimp, serundeng (sweet coconut flakes), and sliced scallions.

Taste and Flavor

Kerak Telor offers a unique sensory experience that engages multiple taste buds. The crust, made from glutinous rice flour, provides a satisfying crunch, while the coconut milk imparts a subtle sweetness. The filling, with its generous egg content, is creamy and smooth, while the shrimp paste adds a distinct, savory umami depth. The blend of spices, including turmeric, cumin, and pepper, adds a subtle warmth and complexity to the overall flavor profile.

The combination of ingredients creates a balance of textures and flavors, making Kerak Telor a truly satisfying and memorable street food. Its savory, slightly sweet, and crunchy elements are sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Finding Kerak Telor in Jakarta

Kerak Telor is widely available in Jakarta, with numerous street stalls, markets, and food vendors specializing in this beloved dish.

  • Popular locations: Some popular places to find Kerak Telor include the bustling streets of Jalan Sabang, Jalan Pintu Air, and the Tanah Abang Market. These areas are known for their vibrant street food culture and offer a variety of Kerak Telor vendors. For those seeking a truly authentic experience, the area around the National Monument (Monas) offers a plethora of street food vendors, including those specializing in Kerak Telor.
  • Tips for choosing: When selecting your Kerak Telor, look for vendors with fresh ingredients and a clean preparation area. The crust should be golden brown and crispy, and the filling should be creamy and generously filled with egg. Be sure to ask for the “original” version of Kerak Telor, as some vendors may offer variations with additional toppings or ingredients.

Kerak Telor in Contemporary Culture

Kerak Telor’s popularity has transcended its traditional street food roots, becoming a symbol of Jakarta’s culinary scene and finding its way into contemporary culture.

  • Modern adaptations: While the traditional recipe remains a classic, modern interpretations have emerged, showcasing innovative uses of ingredients and presentation styles. Some vendors have experimented with incorporating different types of cheese, seafood, or even vegetables into the filling, catering to diverse palates and preferences.
  • Cultural impact: Kerak Telor has become an integral part of Jakarta’s food culture, frequently featured in food blogs, magazines, and television shows. Its unique flavor profile and historical significance have made it a popular choice for tourists and locals alike.
  • Future outlook: As Jakarta’s culinary scene continues to evolve, Kerak Telor remains a popular and enduring street food. Its potential for growth and innovation ensures that it will continue to be a beloved and recognizable staple in the city’s diverse food culture.


Where can I find the best Kerak Telor in Jakarta?

While there are numerous vendors throughout the city, some popular spots known for their exceptional Kerak Telor include:

  • Jalan Sabang: This street is renowned for its street food scene, with many vendors offering delicious Kerak Telor.
  • Jalan Pintu Air: Another popular street food destination, offering a wide variety of vendors, including those specializing in Kerak Telor.
  • Tanah Abang Market: This bustling market is a haven for food lovers, and Kerak Telor is a staple among its diverse culinary offerings.

What are some common variations of Kerak Telor?

While the traditional recipe remains a classic, variations have emerged over time, showcasing innovative uses of ingredients and flavors:

  • Kerak Telor with cheese: This variation incorporates melted cheese into the filling, adding a creamy and savory element.
  • Kerak Telor with seafood: Some vendors offer Kerak Telor with added shrimp, crab, or other seafood, enhancing the savory flavor profile.
  • Kerak Telor with vegetables: For a healthier option, some vendors incorporate vegetables like chopped onions, bell peppers, or mushrooms into the filling.

Is Kerak Telor available outside of Jakarta?

While Kerak Telor originated in Jakarta and is most popular there, it is increasingly gaining popularity in other parts of Indonesia and even internationally. You may find it at Indonesian restaurants and food stalls in cities with significant Indonesian communities.

What are the health benefits of Kerak Telor?

Kerak Telor, like many street foods, should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. The glutinous rice flour provides carbohydrates, the coconut milk offers healthy fats, and the eggs provide protein. However, it’s important to note that the shrimp paste can be high in sodium, and the dish may contain high levels of fat and calories depending on the preparation method.

How can I make Kerak Telor at home?

While Kerak Telor is most often enjoyed as a street food, you can recreate it at home with a bit of effort and the right ingredients. Online resources and cooking videos provide detailed recipes and instructions for making Kerak Telor at home.


Kerak Telor is more than just a delicious street food; it is a cultural icon that reflects Jakarta’s culinary history, diverse influences, and vibrant street food scene. From its humble origins to its modern adaptations, Kerak Telor has become an integral part of the city’s food culture, captivating taste buds and leaving a lasting impression on those who try it. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a first-time visitor, be sure to experience the unique taste and cultural significance of Kerak Telor on your next trip to Jakarta.