Brambang Asem, A Healthy Solo Salad with a Refresing Sambal Dressing

"At first glance it looks like pecel, fresh vegetables doused with savory chili sauce on top. However, it has different veggies, the taste of the chili sauce is also unusual. Once you taste it, you can record the spicy, sour, and sweet taste of the sambal (chili sauce mixes). Even though it's made from simple ingredients, but it tastes awesome."

Published by : Farida  -  06/10/2020 09:49 WIB

0 Minutes read.

If you live outside of Solo (Surakarta) areas, you probably did not know a menu called brambang asem. The more so, this menu is also getting difficult to find. Brambang asem is not a heavy meal, nor is it a type of side dish. Brambang asem is more accurately categorized as a kind of snack or a light food. Apart from being not very filling, a portion of the brambang asem is usually not so much. Only just enough to block a hungry stomach before you move to the main meal.



Brambang asem consists of sweet potato leaves (or the Solo people call it jeglor) with chili sauce poured on top of it. To prepare this ‘snack’, you only need to cook the sweet potato leaves brieftly, no more than three minutes or the texture is too mushy. You can also just soak it in hot water for a while until the leaves wilt.

For the sambal dressing or the hot sauce, the spices used are also quite simple. The main ingredients to make the sambal are shallots, cabe rawit (cayenne pepper), gula jawa (brown sugar), and tamarind. Each seller of brambang asem may have a different sambal chili recipe and add some ingredients according to taste. Some add shrimp paste, lime leaves, and so on.

One of the things to make brambang asem sambal unique is that the shallots are grilled first. These roasted shallots provide a taste and aroma that is not as strong as raw onions and not as fragrant as fried shallots.

Brambang asem is usually served with banana leaf pincuk. It’s incomplete if you enjoy brambang tamarind without a complement of tempe gembus bacem. Tempe gembus itself is tempeh made from tofu processing dregs.

Seen from the main ingredients, namely sweet potato leaves, brambang asem is a healthy comfort food. The main nutritional content in sweet potato leaves is vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B9, and vitamin C. Here are the benefits of sweet potato leaves for health.

  1. Maintain Digestive System Health

Sweet potato leaves contain dietary fiber as much as 8% of the daily requirement, which is useful for improving digestion and preventing constipation. Sweet potato leaf fiber is not easily absorbed by the body so it is not easy to absorb glucose and blood levels can be controlled. The magnesium in sweet potato leaves helps neutralize stomach acid for gastritis sufferers.

  1. Maintain eye health

Vitamin A in sweet potato leaves is effective in preventing eye pain, such as macular degeneration, xerophthalmia, and cataracts. In addition, the beta carotene and lutein compounds also play a role in maintaining eye health.

  1. Boost the immune system

Vitamin A and vitamin C in sweet potato leaves act as antioxidants that are useful for warding off free radicals that cause various diseases.

Along with the properties and benefits for the body, sweet potato leaves also have side effects for people with certain diseases, though. Sweet potato leaves can cause nausea and vomiting and are dangerous if consumed by people with high blood levels.