When I visit Indonesia, my home country, I write a list of food I want to eat as I don’t want to sit on the plane back to The Netherlands and wondering why didn’t I get certain dishes. My visit to Indonesia last summer allowed me to prove and taste various kind of cuisine. Actually Indonesian food is so diverse. The taste depends on from which part of which island the food comes from.
The country boasts 17.500sh islands. Very spicy and hot food are to find in Sumatra, Sulawesi, Lombok and East – Java. In other regions the food vary from rather sweet and mild to spicy. Well, I spare you this and want to show you pictures of food I ate. Who knows, when I have time I’d write more about Indonesian food here in another post.
I warn you, this post contains a lot of food pictures with descriptions. See it at your own risk.
Following the itinerary; here they are. First this is Soto Medan, eaten in Bukit Lawang Eco lodge. Soto Medan is chicken broth and coconut milk based soup with pulled chicken, scallion, fresh tomato in it, served with krupuk (cracker) tofu and tempe (Indonesian spelling is without -h at the end) fritter. To go with it add a splash of lime juice. I found this Soto Medan recipe in English for those who want to make it at home.
Eating fresh Markisa (passion fruit) in the jungle, my daughter loves it!
In Samosir island I ordered local specialty, Ikan Arsik. It is freshly caught carper from Toba lake in Bataknese spices (shallots, garlic, ginger, fresh turmeric root and chili) and herbs. The strong taste comes from ginger torch and szechuan pepper.
This is how ginger torch looks like, in a basket with tomatoes. In Indonesian ginger torch is called Kecombrang or Honje.
These are stinky beans or Pete (also spelled as Petai). It has an acquired taste but I love it either raw, baked, roasted or cooked in a dish. Stinky beans make the urine stink causes by the amino acid it contains.
The owner of Elios restaurant in Tuk Tuk, Samosir was so kind. She allowed me to observe in the kitchen and patiently answered my questions. This carp was from time to time basted in oil and was in no time ready on the grill.
And voila! It is on my table with andaliman pepper sambal, so spicy and hot but so good! Thank you Noni for the recommendation.
When visiting my husband’s family in Lampung, South – Sumatra, we had mostly sea food continously. Fresh sea food like this: clockwise: tenderly cooked and fried chicken, crispy fried carp and prawn.
The second day we went to a simple looking restaurant but the food was heavenly. I was in foodcoma after this. Clockwise: rauw veggies (tomato, cabagge, Asian basilicum), tempe and tofu fritter, stirfried water spinach (Kangkung), prawn in sweet soy sauce and crispy deep-fried calamari. To go with all this was the unlimited fresh and hot sambal.
Oh, this one is an all time favourite of most Indonesians. It is called Pempek. This dumpling comes originally from Palembang region but it is available everywhere. This is Pempek from Pempek 123 in Bandar Lampung. The dumpling is made from tapioca flour, fish (originally it is Tenggiri or Spanish mackerel). The dumpling is cooked and then fried or grilled, later to be garnished with mung bean noodles or egg noodles, cucumber, dried shrimp powder and eaten with cuko sauce (tangy hot sauce made from garlic, dried shrimp, chillies, tamarind, palm sugar).
Pempek knows many variations; long, round as balls and this one. This is called Kapal Selam (submarine) with an egg as filling. When you are in Indonesia, give it a try.
This is one of my favourites . It is called Clorot. I bought it in Jakarta airport in between flights from Lampung to Denpasar. Clorot is Javanese steamed cake, it is made of palm sugar, coconut milk and rice flour. When I was a child I loved to peel off the cone that is made of palm leave. I am crazy of the simple taste; sweet with a dash of savory from the coconut milk and its sticky, pudding like structure. Just as many traditional sweet snacks from the country, it is vegan.
I don’t want to write long posts so I chop the food pics and story in two. The second part consists of food in Bali, Lombok and Jakarta. Stay tuned!