Jakarta

From Manado bat `paniki'
to `bakwan' Malang in a
cart

Strolling around Jakarta's streets, people can find various restaurants, food stalls, and street vendors serving Javanese and Manado cuisine.

Javanese cuisine is widespread as ingredients are readily available and cheap. There is usually no pork as most Javanese are Muslim.

The food is categorized into Central and East Javanese food. Both serve simple and less spicy food. Central Javanese food is sweeter.

Gudeg Yogya is one of the most typical foods from Yogyakarta. It is made from young jackfruits and santan (coconut milk). It is often served with fried chicken, eggs, and tofu.

Nasi kuning is common all over Java. All seasonings, such as turmeric, cinnamon, onions and garlic, lemongrass, as well as lime leaves, are pounded together. They are then mixed with coconut milk.

Nasi kuning literally means yellow rice, due to the turmeric. Sweet sambal, or chilli sauce, may be added to this menu.

The yellow rice is molded into a conical shape called tumpeng during festive occasions. It is served with fried chicken, steamed eggs, tempeh and tofu, as well as raw vegetables and sambal.

Unlike Javanese cuisine, Manado cuisine is hot and spicy; it may contain pork and other animals, such as snakes and bats (paniki). However, most meals include fish.

Manado is the capital city of North Sulawesi. Most people are Protestant and Catholic.

Bubur Manado or Manado porridge, commonly called tinotuan, is very hot and spicy and contains various vegetables, such as corn, water spinach, spinach, gourd, sweet potatoes, long beans, and basil. This porridge is one of the most famous foods from North Sulawesi.

Manado also has nasi kuning. Unlike nasi kuning from Java, the one from Manado is served with skipjack fish and very hot sambal made of green and red chillies, tomatoes, lime, basil and onions.

It is often wrapped with woka leaves originally from local sugar palm plantations on cold mountains. The leaves also add more fragrance to the rice.

Jakarta's streets are also home to meals from other regions.

Many kinds of food from a wide range of regions across the archipelago are available on food stalls and carts with prices ranging from Rp 5,000 to Rp 20,000 per portion.

Siomay Bandung, sate Padang, and bakwan Malang are the most common.

Siomay is a kind of steamed ravioli filled with meat or fish. It is historically from China. But the sort sold on the streets is siomay Bandung, named after the capital of West Java.

Unlike other types of siomay, it contains a lot of pounded mackerel mixed with flour. It is served with nut sauce, and a little bit of sweet soy sauce.

Tofu with mackerel batter, potatoes, cabbage, and bitter melon will compliment the main menu.

Sate Padang from West Sumatra is mostly made of finely sliced beef and set onto palm leaf rib or bamboo sticks, and served with nut sauce mixed with lots of chillies.

Bakwan is a kind of meatball served with broth. It is usually accompanied by other kinds of snacks like pangsit or fish cakes. (nia)

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