Saturday, August 13, 2011

Indonesian snacks

A few things that I usually look for when I go back to Jakarta (not in any order of urgency)

* Baso or bakso
This comes in different varieties and style. Basically it is a combo of meat balls, tofu, rice noodle/yellow noodle with beef bone broth. Everybody has preference on taste that's why you have to season according to taste. Ground chilli, sweet soy sauce, vinegar are among condiments to go with. Depends on where you go to, some baso comes with fried garlic some with fried shallot and chopped celery. Same goes with meat balls. The meat balls for baso can be meat only or meat with tendon. Some places offer thinly slices of beef tendon and tripes in the soup.

* Siomay bandung
Believed to be influenced by the Chinese shumai (hence the name). But this siomay is actually served with peanut sauce. It's made with a combination of fish, chicken and shrimp. Ground to paste and mixed with tapioca starch and seasoning. Then shaped and steamed. Some wrapped with cabbage leaves. Served with peanut sauce and side of chilli sauce.

* Pempek
It's a snack made of fish paste mixed with tapioca starch and seasoning. Shaped and boiled to cook. Depends on preference, they could also be lightly deep fried before serving with the sauce called cuka (choo kah) and sprinkler of powdered dried shrimp and cut off cucumber. Cuka in plain Indonesian means vinegar. But cuka is not just made of vinegar, it also contains brown sugar, garlic, chilli and salt. These days, some vendors actually mix vinegar with tamarind juice to give less vinegaric taste to it.

* Asinan
Asinan is almost like salad. A combination of shredded vegetables - cucumber, lettuce, bean sprout, preserved vegetable (hamchoy), carrot. Top of with crackers (kerupuk mie and regular kerupuk). Then drizzled with the dressing. The dressing is made of combination of ground peanuts, chilli, sugar, salt, and vinegar.

* Otak-otak
Otak in Indonesian means brain. But otak-otak doesn't mean lots of brain. In fact it's a yummy snack made of ground fish, salt, sugar, starch and coconut milk. The mixture is then shaped in a long shaped like a small ruler with a length of 4-5 inches and wrapped in banana leaves. This tiny package of fish is then grilled and served with peanut sauce.

* Soto mie
Mentioned soto in Indonesia and you'll be surprised to know that there multi variants of soto. Sotos are soup with tons of stuffs. Depends on which type of soto, the broth could be clear or could also has coconut milk. It could be beef based or chicken based. The one I'm talking about today is beef based clear broth. When it comes to soto mie, it is usually serves with a combination of rice stick, yellow noodle, slices of beef/beef tendon, thinly sliced tomato,potato, cabbage and risoles (snack pocket with veggies and rice stick noodle).