For the East Javanese dish lontong kupang ($7), cakes of compressed rice are paired with tiny shellfish. The kupang — sometimes identified as clams, sometimes, as mussels, and that appear minced but might very well be whole — are also an ingredient in a brownish paste that incorporates garlic, chiles, and, I'm pretty sure, sugar. With the back of a spoon, the paste was smeared partway along one inside edge of my empty bowl before being covered with broth, lontong, kupang, and lentho, or cassava cake fried till golden. The flavor of the paste, pungent yet sweet, insinuated itself slowly at first, then more quickly as I plunged my spoon to the bottom.
For more photos from multiple bazaars, see my slideshow.
Indonesian bazaar at St. James Episcopal Church
84-07 Broadway (St. James-Corona Aves.), Elmhurst, Queens