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PCL

Bandung, West Java, Indonesia

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I found myself parachuting into Bandung this morning, the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami. Work calls, and if that's the case and bread must be won, so be it. In fact, the last thing from my mind was any notion of threat to personal safety. I only wondered about what on earth was I going to eat.

To my surprise, food is good here. The local Sundanese cuisine is simple, effective, centred on fresh produce, and above all, damn tasty.

The grilled fish (ikan bakar) and ayam goreng (fried chicken) absolutely rocked. For the record, every piece of chicken I've consumed in the last 12 hours (and at last count, I've eated 8 whole chickens... more on this in a minute) were of the kampong (village) variety, meaning, organic free running must-catch-'em-with-your-hands fresh and tasting like chicken. They air dry their chooks prior to bathing them in boiling hot oil, simply seasoned with salt and the local ground black pepper.

Even the offal, consisting of grilled cow's lung, heart and what they claimed to be brain, although I'm pretty sure it came from a goat (no lambs here to speak of, funny that) was good. Lightly spiced, and easy on the palate. Not stringy or nosey at all.

Everything was washed down with fresh young coconut, straight from the 'nut.

And yes, the chickens... they're only the size of a large squab... really, they are... all that running around keeps 'em trim and healthy. and yes, I did eat 8 of the succulent little things.

Anyone else got tasty bits to share about this region of the world??


"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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A recent trip to Sumatra started me on some reading about Indonesian food. Though I haven't been to Bandung, I've read about these Bandung specialties:

bakso tahu goreng - fried tofu stuffed with meat and topped with peanut sauce

lalap/lalapan - salad of raw veg with spicy sauce; each veg is thought to have medicinal value (W Javanese/Sundanese specialty)

lotek - cooked veg with peanut sauce heavily flavored with lesser galangal

mi kocok - egg noodle soup w/ beef knuckle, leeks, chili peppers, and bean sprouts

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Tha tahu goreng was also good. Didn't mention that huh? The dipping sauces were also interesting. I had to be careful not to eat too much rice with all the superb sambals though, otherwise I would have had to have given up on all those delectable pieces of fried chicken.

I'm still dreaming about the fried chicken!!!


"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Hi PCL,

Don't miss one of the greatest additions to the Ayam Goreng, which is Ati Ampela a small bundle of delight which is the chicken liver, heart and gizzard, trussed in the chicken intestines, seasoned in a marinade and then deep fried, served with Nasi Uduk, rice cooked in coconut milk and sprinkled with crispy fried shallots or thinly sliced omelette (technically Betawi food and not Sundanese!), lalap, tahu goreng and sambal, making me dribble over the keyboard just thinking about it :biggrin: this should be accompanied by a small bowl of Sayur Asam, a delicious sour vegetable soup, varies from mild to scorchingly hot depending on who makes it.

Try some Oncom, a fermented paste of either soy bean waste or peanut, which in it natural state is covered with a delightful orange mould, can be crushed and stirfried, or my favourite, just deepfried, and eaten with the fingers after dipping into sambal goreng.

Don't forget Pepes either which is a steamed creation wrapped in a banana leaf, may be filled with fish stuffed with herbs, or mashed tahu mixed with spices and chillis.

I am luck enough to spend half my time in Indonesia and would eat Sundanese food every day, it is absolutely delightful, not as sweet as Javanese, nor as rich and spicy as Padang, but when you are hungry, but have to work after your meal there is in my opinion nothing nicer than Sundanese.

Regards,

Richard


"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Richard - is oncom anything like taucu, fermented soy beans - which we encountered saucing a whole fish on Sumatra. Where can one try oncom - stalls, the market, restaurants?

Thanks!

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What I love was the fermented soya bean , "tampeh" that is sweetened and fried, mixed with fried soya bean curd, jungle long bean call Patai (which smells like uric acid and said to be good for diabetics), sweet black soya sauce, "ketchup manis", all fried with shrimp chilli sambal. It's cooked in sunda style which is different from the other regions.

It is a sweet yet dense dish.

If you have time, drive to Sukabumi and Puncak, along the way drop by to any of the sunda warung for the huge array of food that is laid on the table and you pay for what you eat. A word of warning, every dish is incredibly spicy.

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If you have time, drive to Sukabumi and Puncak, along the way drop by to any of the sunda warung for the huge array of food that is laid on the table and you pay for what you eat. A word of warning, every dish is incredibly spicy.

Aren't you describing a Rumah Makan Padang? Which is a type of restaurant that serves Padang food which is from Western Sumatra. The dishes are laid out at the table and you only take what you want and pay for what you eat.

As far as I know, what distinguishes Sundanese food from other kinds of Indonesian cuisines is the presence of lots of fresh, raw vegetables. This is exemplified by karedok, which is sort of the Sundanese version of gado-gado, with the vegetables raw (not blanched).

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There are several Sundanese restaurants and warungs that serve dishes in the manner of West Sumatra (Padang style). Ampera and AA Laksana are warungs that are gaining popularity for laying out some of the tastiest fried and grilled chicken and fish, crisp raw vegetables (lalapan) and sambals, freshly fried tahu and tempe as well as some of the (IMVHO) best perkedel jagung I have tasted.


Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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There are several Sundanese restaurants and warungs that serve dishes in the manner of West Sumatra (Padang style).  Ampera and AA Laksana are warungs that are gaining popularity for laying out some of the tastiest fried and grilled chicken and fish, crisp raw vegetables (lalapan) and sambals, freshly fried tahu and tempe as well as some of the (IMVHO) best perkedel jagung I have tasted.

Spaghetttti, is this because the Padang restaurant model is especially successful on a pan-Indonesian scale? I guess what I want to know is, do people generally prefer the Padang style of serving food to say the nasi sets that are commonly served in Javanese food?

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Richard - is oncom anything like taucu, fermented soy beans - which we encountered saucing a whole fish on Sumatra. Where can one try oncom - stalls, the market, restaurants?

Thanks!

ecr,

My humblest apologies for missing your question, I was not monitoring the thread!

Oncom is technically decribed as 'fermented defatted soyabean, coconut or groundnut' it is basically the ground material which is leftover after extracting the milk or oil, which is them innoculated with a fungal spore and left for two days wrapped in banana leaves or plastic sheet.

An Article on Culture Foods Give a little more information as well as some pictures.

It is a dry cake as you can see from the pictures on the link and can be prepared a number of ways, I like it cut into bit sized pieces, deep fried until the outside is crisp and then accompanied with dry fried, garlic, shallot onions and hot chillies, another preparation method is to prepare 'bumbu kuning' yellow spice paste and cook the oncom in the paste, adding coconut milk at the last moment to produce a creamy sauce.

It is seldom seem for sale ready to eat but is widely available in Traditional Markets and Supermarkets, I really love it, but my wife considers it peasant food so doesn't eat it very much at all! :rolleyes:

Best Regards,

Richard


"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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