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Jakarta Post

Traditional giant milkfish dish served for Imlek in Jakarta

  • Winda A. Charmila

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, February 13 2018   /  01:01 am

Seasonal treat: A vendor offers milkfish to a potential customer in Rawa Belong, West Jakarta, on Monday. As Jakartans of Chinese descent look for milkfish to cook as part of the celebrations of Chinese New Year, milkfish vendors have started to flock to the city.(JP/Jerry Adiguna)Almost all traditions related to Chinese New Year have meaning. Decorations, fireworks and food presented ahead of the event show gratitude and hope for luck and prosperity.

In Jakarta, one of the signature dishes that residents of Chinese descent prepare is ikan bandeng, or milkfish.

The milkfish, however, are not the usual size like those that are consumed every day. The fish should weigh at least 2 kilograms to be worthy of being served at one of the year’s biggest occasions in the city.

Other than in traditional markets, the huge milkfish are sold at street stalls on Jl. Sulaeman and...