Cassava and oncom have a long earned reputation as a poor man’s food. Because of their low price people asume that oncom is less nutrious food. I hardly eat oncom and was never been able to cook it because their bad appearanc, their orangey & moldy looks often scared me off.

Oncom itself is not my favorite food, I just found out about oncom in 2002 when I moved to Jakarta and to be honest I’m not fall in love with it at first sight. However for some people oncom consider as local delicacy (particularly in West Java). For some Indonesian people, specially for people wo live in isolated and poor hamlet food like tempeh, oncom and cassava has become their main source of nutrition.



  • 250 gram cassava, peeled and grated
  • 50 gram grated coconut
  • 2 scallions
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying


  • 200 gram oncom or tempeh
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 cup lime basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 shallots
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 bird eye chili
  • salt and sugar
  • 2 tablespoon oil


  • Cut oncom into a small cubes, fried it until slightly brown for about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Using mortar and pestle grind together shallots, garlic, chillies, salt and sugar. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or pan, add spices paste and gently cook for about 3 minutes, add fried oncom and sliced scallion, stir to combine and cook again for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add basil leaves and mix well.
  • Squeeze the grated cassava to slightly reduce the liquid and starch from cassava. Mix grated cassava with grated coconut, scallions and season with salt.
  • Take about 1 tablespoon of cassava mixture. Shape into ball, flatten it and put about 1 teaspoon oncom filling in the middle. Re-form into balls with filling in the centre or oval shape.
  • Heat oil and fry combro on medium heat until golden brown and cooked through. Remove and drain the excess oil on kitchen paper.


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