The Jakarta Post
Tranquil scene of Mawun Beach in West Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. (Shutterstock/File)
Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) is popular among tourists for its exotic beaches and underwater beauty. However, its traditional dishes are something that one shouldn’t miss. Here are the top 10 best traditional dishes from the region.
This beef satay has a soft texture with a mix of sweet, savory and spicy flavors. The name Rembiga comes from Rembiga village in NTB.
Your trip to Lombok won’t be complete without sampling the region's most popular vegetable dish: plecing kangkung. It's made from blanched water spinach, served cold, with a dollop of special chili sauce as a topping. It's also accompanied by other vegetables such as bean sprouts, string beans and grated coconut.
Ayam Taliwang is undoubtedly the iconic Lombok cuisine, traditionally featuring grilled chicken served with sambal (chili paste). Although the original version has the chicken grilled, there are some places that offer deep-fried chicken as well. Foodie tip: Always look for ayam Taliwang places that serve free-range chicken as it is the best breed to be cooked for the menu.
Read also: The great taste of Indonesian 'ayam bakar'
Sate Bulayak is actually pretty similar to sate Madura (Maduranese chicken or meat skewers, popularly known as 'satay'). What differentiates the two lies in how the lontong (rice cakes) are served. The lontong for sate Bulayak is wrapped in spiral-shaped sugar palm leaves. The beef satay itself is cooked using a special chili paste recipe from the Sasak tribe.
Nasi Balap Puyung
Nasi Balap Puyung is steamed rice served with shredded chicken, chili paste, soybean, abon (shredded and fried meat) and fried eel.
Ares is a traditional dish made of pelepah pisang (young banana stem) cooked together with coconut milk among other spices that produce a mix of sweet and savory tastes. Ares is usually served by the Sasak tribe as an accompanying dish during a wedding ceremony.
Unlike other satay dishes that are usually made of beef or chicken meat, sate Tanjung is made of cakalang (tuna) fish that is marinated with coconut milk and other spices.
Poteng Jaje Tujak dan Iwel
This dish usually only shows up during Eid celebrations. Poteng is fermented sticky rice, while jaje tujak is actually gemblong (glutinous rice cakes glazed with palm sugar). Poteng jaje tujak is cooked with a mixture of dracaena and pandan leaves.
The main ingredient of bebalung Soup is cow ribs or sometimes buffalo ribs. These ribs are flavored with bird’s eye chili, garlic, shallot, galangal, turmeric and ginger. Once cooked, a handful of fried shallots are added to the soup. The most popular eatery that serves bebalung is at Depot Kelebet located behind NTB governor's office.
Also popularly known as 'Gado Gado Lombok', beberuk terong is usually served alongside ayam Taliwang. Its main ingredient is chopped purple eggplants mixed with tomatoes and other spices and a bit of lime juice. (asw)