Pudak, the sweet Pudak

You can say, Indonesia is a small glimpse of heaven. Being an archipelago nation of more than 300 ethnics (including 15 main ethnics), 5 large main islands, 3 medium (and dense) islands and hundreds more small islands, rich in rice fields, palm oil, and fishery, made Indonesia a culinary heaven. Not only main dish, but also traditional snacks.

One of those crazy many traditional snacks is “Pudak”, a special snack of Gresik, a regency in East Java. And today, an office mate, who is a Gresik origin, came to the office with dozen of pudak. You can see how they look in the pictures below.

Chocolate pudak (left) and original flavor


Pudak is made from rice flour, sugar, brown sugar and coconut milk, wrapped with the leaf of pinang (a type of palm tree) called Ope”. The ope is stitched, so it looks neat. It tastes sweet and chewy. My friend brought the pudak in two flavors: original and chocolate. I prefer the original. Yummy..

Making pudak is not a simple business. The wrapper (pinang leaf) is pretty scarce nowadays. And you need to tan the leaf-base first, to separate its inner from outer skin. Then they will use the inner skin.

Clean them, cut them and stitch them into a dull-L shape, so it would look like a glass. Then you pour the batter (rice flour mix with sugar or brown sugar and coconut milk) into it, tie up the end with raffia string, and steam it.

There you go. Now you know something about pudak. πŸ™‚

If you, foreign readers, ever come to Indonesia and visit Gresik, try them. You would love them. πŸ˜‰


  1. The picture below shows Mas Udin (an office mate) with half dozen of pudak. Btw, the pudak was brought by Mas Hasyim, another office mate of ours. πŸ™‚
  2. FYI, “Mas” is an honorary address for a young man. If you don’t know a man’s name, you can simply call them “Mas”, or “Mbak” for female. Actually, it’s Javanese language for older brother (Mas) and older sister (Mbak).

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