Sumatra

Sumatra Beach

IMG_8126_web

 

Provinces of Sumatra and their Capitals

Aceh
North Sumatra
West Sumatra
Riau & Riau Islands
Jambi
South Sumatra
Bangka-Belitung
Bengkulu
Lampung

Cuisine

Traditional Malay cuisine is normally spicy, however you can always find other types of food here. Sumatra food is famous for being spicy, most of the dishes here are influenced by Malay, Chinese and Indian culture.

When you’re in town, try local dishes like Chicken Rice, Medan Kweetiaow and others. Most famous perhaps for its kare–some kind of curry–based dishes. North Sumatra offers unusual dishes including with ingredients like dog, congealed blood and pig. You can easily find those in certain restaurants, just ask around. In Palembang, South Sumatra famous fruits are the pineapple that is fresh and rather tangy, while duku tastes sweet and sometimes bland. Also fried pineapple (nanas goreng) roasted corn (jagung bakar) and Nasi Padang  Palembang also offers unique, tasty dish, mostly made of fish. This is made of ground fish, flour, and other spices, pempek is formed into several shapes, steamed then fried. It is served with a sour, rather spicy black sauce and sometimes sliced cucumber. Variants of pempek: literally means submarine, with chicken egg filling, Pempek Kulit (fish skin),  mixed Lenjer with egg and baked. Most of the food are spicy so be sure to ask around for less spicy ones if you prefer so. In Bangka Belitung,

Try gebung, the local dialect for chicken fish. Its firm and tasty flesh will delight your senses. Bengkulu has its own specific cuisine for which it is renowned, among which are:

(1) Pendap is a tasty sidedish wrapped in taro leaf, containing fresh fish,  cooked in a bed of spices, consisting of garlic, galangale (a root resembling ginger, known in Indonesia as kencur) and chilli paste, then mixed with rasped young coconut meat. Wrapped in taro leaf, pendap is boiled for no less than 8 hours.  Pendap is best eaten with steaming hot rice.

(2) Gulai Tempoyak, or more familiarly called tempoyak is a dish made of fermented fresh durians, then cooked with chilli paste and salt. Although tempoyak is also known in other parts of Indonesia, here in Bengkulu, tempoyak is mixed with shrimp, unlike fish used in other provinces.  Since tempoyak has a strong smell , it is often not served as a sidedish but used as ingredient in other dishes.

(3) Bagar kambing is goat meat, cooked in an array of spices including coriander, nutmeg, pepper, tamarind, galangale, garlic, chalots, chilli paste and fried rasped coconut.  There is also the Bagar Hiu or shark’s meat that is cooked with the same ingredients and follows the same process. In Lampung,  try sayur asam–sour vegetable soup, one of the specialties here. While in Berastagi, make sure to visit traditional markets and sample the exotic fruits. A glass of marquisa syrup will quench your thirst, and it can be consumed hot or cold. This is also a perfect souvenir for your loved ones.

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