Indonesia is a huge country, and even the city of Jakarta itself is larger than Singapore.
Indonesia cuisine, because of it’s strategic trading geography, also sees influences from China, India and European countries which become even more distinct near the coastal cities. Hainanese origin of many dishes is also prevalent from the influx of Chinese in the past.
Some of the common food found here are:
Pisang Goreng Sambal Roa (Fried Banana with Chili)
Pisang Goreng is a deep fried batter fritter and in Indonesia, is accompanied with Sambal chili. The banana used in Jakarta is not overly ripe and sweet unlike Singapore, still retaining a starchy firm body. The sambal roa is made with fish and adds extreme spicy kick. Comes with fritters as well for added crunch and is a popular snack for many locals.
Ketoprak is another typical street food in Jakarta but has also spread across Java with its popularity. The vegetarian Ketoprak consists of tofu, lontong (compressed rice cake), beehoon, boiled egg, bean sprouts and cabbage, doused in peanut sauce and topped with fried shallots and kerupuk (deep-fried flavoured rice crackers).
You may also request for the level of spiciness you desire in each individual Ketoprak in most places, with a choice of mild, medium or burn your tongue off.
Kerak Telor (Spicy Omelette)
Kerak Telor is made from glutinious rice fried with duck egg, and topped with shredded coconut, fried shallots and dried shrimp. Duck egg is considered to be more flavorful over chicken eggs, which I have to agree.
A Betawi traditional snack, Kerak Telor vendors are most prominent during the annual Jakarta fair and considered a popular choice for visitors. In the past, Kerak Telor was also considered to be food for the wealthy and served during parties.
Bebek Goreng (Fried Duck)
Bebek Goreng can be found in many street stalls as well as fancier restaurants and is usually sold with rice. Because of this, Bebek Goreng is sometimes also sold as ‘Nasi bebek’ or duck rice. This dish is traditionally eaten with the hands only to really reach every nook and cranny of the duck. There is also a fried chicken version known as Ayam goreng.
The duck is usually marinated with a variety of spices like galangal ginger, lemongrass, bay leaves and cumin, then fried in a pan with loads of oil till its crispy brown.
Will be back with more soon..