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My trip to Indonesia and some of the delights

I recently got back from Indonesia, visiting family mainly and some friends. It’s a yearly trip that I try to make, to visit the grandparents, aunties and uncles, whom I haven’t seen for a while. They are not getting any younger, so it’s nice to be able to visit and spend time with them. Being brought up in Indonesia, I absolutely love Indonesian food and crave for it wherever I am. In Hong Kong, I was in search for the most authentic restaurant, and found not one, but two – Warung Malang (read review here) and Restaurant Padang (read review here). In Sydney, there are a lot more, especially if you walk down Anzac Road, Kingsford, you will encounter many many Indonesian restaurants, to name a few, Ayam Goreng 99, Pinanggsia Noodle, Bali Stick (which is more in Kensington) and many more.

I didn’t go to Jakarta this time, my family is mainly in Surabaya and Malang. Malang has great food, however, I was only there for two days and didn’t manage to eat all that I wanted! Probably a good thing, as all I did was just EAT!

You can’t go to Malang without having the following, this is a must in my books!

  • Babat, which is beef tripe: I know this is not a favourite for everyone, but definitely one of my favourites! It’s usually served with soto ayam. The tripe was tender and succulent, and eaten with a little bit of sweet soy sauce and lots of chili. It’s high in cholesterol but absolutely delicious.

  • Now if tripe is not your thing, then you can have the nasi campur (we took this home so it has all been mashed up together!). Nasi campur is a dish of rice topped with various meats, vegetables, peanuts, eggs and fried-shrimp chips. The nasi campur was incredibly spicy but incredibly tasty. All the ingredients mixed together were just awesomely good.

  • Soto ayam Lombok: now this is supposed to be one of the famous soto ayam in Malang. Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, near Bali. A great holiday destination if you haven’t been but that’s another story for next time! Now the soto ayam here is slightly different, mainly in the spices that they use. Its served with rice, bean sprouts, fried shallots, boiled and chicken of your choice (i.e. the breast of the chicken or the thigh of the chicken which is then shredded). This is also a must eat when visiting Malang, usually eaten for breakfast, but if its too heavy, then lunch or dinner.

  • Tempeh: fried soy beans. Eaten on its own it can be a little salty and bland, but eaten with sweet soy sauce and chili, absolutely delicious!

  • Tahu Goreng: fried bean curd. Can be boring, but there is something about Indonesian tahu goreng that’s different. I can’t explain it but after eating a lot of tahu in Sydney and Hong Kong, I can vouch that it is different.

  • Malang is quite famous for their bakso, which are beef balls. Again very different to Hong Kong beef balls, it’s a lot more chewy and tastier. We didn’t have time to eat at the restaurant, so take away!

  • Putu, consists of mixing rice flour with water and/or coconut milk, then steamed, usually with the addition of juice from pandan leaf as flavouring. Below is a photo of where is it cooked.

  • Usually served with grated coconut and date palm sugar – my ultimate favourite dessert in Malang.

  • Cenil, roll tapioca dessert served with grated coconut. Its deliciously sweet and deliciously tasty.

I think that’s enough of Malang for the time being. Now Surabaya…. I am making myself hungry.

  • Pisang goreng: fried bananas. Deliciously fried, and deliciously sweet.

  • Roti goreng: fried bread with little bit of sugar coating on top. Absolutely dense and filling!

  • Mie ayam: chicken noodle with boiled choy sum, celery leaves, diced chicken cooked with sweet soy sauce, mushrooms, fried / boiled wontons and fried shallots. For some reason, the mie ayam in Indonesia is SO SO SO much tastier!

  • Ayam pencet: originate from Surabaya, a popular chicken dish, marinated with various spices and herbs then smashed with a wooden headed hammer and deep fried until golden brown. Extremely flavoursome and extremely scrumptious!

  • Daging pencet: similar to that of the chicken, but with beef, also tasty and delicious. The spicier the better.

  • Sate: we all know this one, it can be sate ayam (chicken), sate babi (pork) or sate kambing (veal / lamb). The photo below is sate ayam, a little too thin for my liking but the sauce is just incredible. I am not sure why some Indonesian restaurant (not in Indonesia) can’t replicate this!

  • Burung darah: fried pigeon. A little annoying to eat, it’s not meaty, but extremely delicious if cooked properly.

  • Lontong kikil. Now lontong is compressed rice cut into small cakes. And kikil is a part of a foot animal (usually cow, goat or buffalo), and is usually rubbery but cooked until tender. I really like this, I know it sounds and looks gross but absolutely succulent and delicious! Usually served in spicy soup.

  • Tahu isi: fried stuffed tofu, a light snack made from tofu and vegetables, deep fried.

  • Tahu toler: bean curd omelette. The more egg the better, served with peanut sauce and prawn crackers.

  • Gado-gado: this one requires no explanation! Extremely authentic, and deliciously good!

  • Es koproy with durian: my gosh this was divine. Es Koproy is young coconut juice with syrup. Add durian on top, and my gosh, absolutely sinful!

  • Es cau and es cau with susu: ice grass jelly, and ice grass jelly with condensed milk. I prefer it plain, with condensed milk it was just too sweet!

  • Es campur: combination of grass jelly, avocado, palm seed, cendol, jackfruit, coconut. One of my favourites amongst the ice drinks.

Whilst I was there, I was fortunate enough to have kopi luwak for breakfast every day (sometimes more than once a day!) and I have to say, I am a huge HUGE fan! It’s incredibly smooth and not bitter at all.

I think I have to stop there. I have made myself incredibly hungry and craving more Indonesian food (and I just got back two days ago!). As you can see, my trip to Indonesia was not just about family, it’s also about stuffing myself with delicious food (which I did!)! Will post more when I am not so hungry…..

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Craving for Indonesian Snacks…..

I was talking to my cousin about my up coming trip to Indonesia and when she asked “so what do you want to eat” I said “I will have a list ready for you!” On that list will of course be some Indonesian snacks! I can never really get proper Indonesian snacks unless I either go to Indonesia or someone I know can make them.  Every time I go back to Indonesia, I leave with extra baggage around the waist. Sometimes, I am utterly disgusted at how much I can eat… well, not really but those around me! I don’t go back home to Indonesia very often, maybe once a year at most, so when I am there, I indulge. I never go to Indonesia without creating a list, especially if I am there for a short period of time. I have to eat everything on that list, and believe it or not, I DO! Thanks to my beloved cousins, aunties and uncles. They will ensure I will eat everything.

So, last time I was back in Indonesia, which was just last year, I had the following snacks…

Sepiku – 3 layered of rich, sweet, delicious, creamy cake. You can never eat a huge chunk of this cake, it can get rather sickly, but my gosh… this is seriously satisfying! My mother tried making this cake, and she has almost perfected it. I kind of regret knowing what was in the cake… can you believe that it contains 10 eggs per layer… which means 30 eggs for the whole cake??! Ya… no joke… 30 eggs! It has two flavours, the top and bottom layer, vanilla and the middle, chocolate. You can get with fruits, sultanas, but I prefer the plain sepiku.

Bubur ketan item – black glutinous rice with coconut. Deliciously rich, once you take a bite you can’t stop.

Pastel tutup – deep fried with vegetables and vermicelli. Fantastic with chili and I am not talking about chili sauce, fresh chili!

Onde onde – there are many different types of onde onde, but my favourite are these – with red bean paste. It has to be fresh though – its crunchy on the outside, soft and incredibly sweet. *sigh* craving for these now!

Croquette – potato croquette – made of potato and minced chicken. A popular snack amongst the Indonesians.

Lumpiah basah – wet spring roll without frying, which consists of bean sprouts, carrots, shrimps (and or chicken) served with sweet tauco (salted soybeans) sauce. Again fantastic!

Putu malang – which consists of rice flour with water and coconut milk, steamed, usually with the addition of juice from the pandan leaf as flavouring. Eaten fresh, these are delicious. I never leave Indonesia without eating these, but I only like the ones from Malang!

Lupis – sweet cake made of glutinous rice served with shredded coconut and thick palm sugar syrup. Deliciously rich!

Martabak manis (terang bulan) which is basically thick pancakes with either cheese, chocolate, and / or crushed peanuts. I love my terang bulan with all!  You can get savoury martabak but that’s not as good as martabak manis!

Angsle, a hot soupy dessert of sago pearls, pre-cooked glutinous rice and mung beans, putu mayang (brightly coloured, noodle shaped flour cakes), fried peanuts, all drowned in hot, sweet coconut milk. A must try if you haven’t, but I do love this after dinner, or supper before going to bed!

Ronde, a hot Javanese dessert which consists of glutinous rice balls stuffed with peanut paste, floating in hot ginger and sugar soup. I am not a big fan of ginger, so I don’t enjoy this as much, but I will eat the rice balls on its own without the soup.

Other Indonesian snacks are below… yes we bought one of each and ate all of it!!!!

However, it’s not just about the food, the drinks are also fantastic!

One of my ultimate favourite drinks is juice alpokat, which is avocado juice – yes, it does exist. Avacado juice with chocolate – thick, creamy, and sweet… SO SO SO GOOD!

You can get different varieties of avocado juice, you can have it with durian – avocado / durian juice which is just heavenly!

Then there is es koproy – which contains coconut – not a favourite of mine but definitely a favourite amongst the Indonesian.

Es Teler, another favourite of mine, which consists of coconut, jack fruit, avocado, mix with condensed milk, sugar and syrup. It’s a refreshing drink on a hot summer day!

Last but not least – durian with durian icecream (read post here). *droooll*

The above snacks were consumed within 9 days. Yes, I am disgusted with myself but seriously, I can’t not go to Indonesia and not eat the above snacks. It wouldn’t be right, my trip would not be complete! I am certainly looking forward to going back there in a few  months!

Now, don’t even get me started on Indonesian food… will definitely have to post some of the food I’ve eaten in Indonesia! Real authentic Indonesian food.

Categories: Indonesian, Snacks Tags: ,