The Jakarta Post
Yellow fish soup, one of Papua's famous dishes. (Shutterstock/yohanes_setiyanto)
With high-quality ingredients and healthier ways of cooking, a food expert has praised Papua’s culinary treasures for being rich in both flavor and nutrients.
Rika Ramandey, a chef who has lived in Papua for decades, said the bountiful nature of the province provides fresh vegetables as well as an abundant supply of fish.
“Residents can benefit from their surroundings, such as by gathering plants to be processed as food,” Rika said at Papua Cultural Diversity event at Sarinah department store in Central Jakarta on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.
She mentioned taro, melinjo leaves, fern, coconuts and papaya flowers that are generally easy to find in Papua.
People who live near forests pick their ingredients from the environment, while those living by the beach can catch various kinds of fish to cook.
“Essential Papuan foods usually involve sago or fish. The most well-known dishes are yellow fish soup and stone-grilled fish,” Rika said.
She added that with the scarcity of certain ingredients, such as frying oil, Papuan dishes are significantly different from those found in other Indonesian regions.
“Along with frying oil, ingredients such as onion and salt are also rare. However, that means Papuan dishes are richer in nutrients,” she said.
With an abundance of coconut trees in Papua, Rika said the use of coconut oil is more common. But instead of cooking, it is used as hair and skin care products. (gis/wng)
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