Forever Chili!

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This is the first time I’ve been to Germany, Hamburg in particular. It’s a whole new life experience. The most challenging condition for me to live here is the food. As an Indonesian, especially Padangnese, I eat something with chili every day. Spices and chili are basically main substances for a everyday meal. It is very common for us Padangnese to mix provisions with chili and spices. Quite frankly I have been dying for not being able to eat chili during my internship in Hamburg. Not that I could not find any chili in the supermarket or Asian market, the thing is that I’m just too lazy to cook since it takes some time to cook the food and I’m not really good at cooking. So, through this article I am not only willing to share Indonesian cuisine containing those substances (especially chili), but also want to console myself who has been ‘fasting’ for not eating chili’s. :)

1. Sambal Ulek
I want to start by introducing the very basic style of serving meal with chili as the main thing and it’s called Sambal Ulek’s. Instead of serving carrot and cucumber with onion cream, sambal ulek becomes the first choice and the ultimate friend for this kind of vegetable in Indonesia. To make it tastier, usually we mix the chili with shrimp paste or terasi plus serve it with a crispy snack food chip made with flour and fish or shrimp called Kerupuk. Spicy yet tasty!

2. Asam Padeh (Asam Pedas)
This food is originally from my home town, Padang. Everyone likes this spicy dish. The main ingredients (usually fish or beef meat) are cooked in the water blended with belimbing asam (tree sorrel), chilli and many other spices.

3. Sate or Satay
Who doesn’t know and doesn’t like satay? Satay is originally from Java, Indonesia. Satay is made from diced or sliced chicken, goat, beef or other meats. Originally it was served with skewers from the midrib of the coconut palm frond or bamboo skewers. The meats are grilled or barbecued over a wood or charcoal fire, then served with various spicy seasonings such as spicy sauce made from rice flour plus spices, spicy peanut gravy, fried shallots, cucumbers, and ketupat (rice cakes).

4. Rujak
Last but not least, another variant of food which is also served with spicy sauce is called rujak’s. The ingredients consist of slices of assorted tropical fruits such as jambu air (water apple), star fruit, watermelon, pineapple, raw mangos, bengkoang (jicama), cucumber, kedondong (hog plum), and papaya. Rujak sauce is made of water, gula jawa (palm sugar), asem jawa (tamarind), ground sauteed peanuts, terasi (shrimp paste), salt, and green chili. Hmm…yum yum!!


Those dishes are just few samples of very popular ‘Creme de la creme’ spicy dishes in Indonesia. I bet it is more than enough to give you the picture of how ‘crazy’ us Indonesian with all kind of spicy things. ;) Curious? Have you ever eaten any spicy food that soaked your t-shirt out of sweat? Please share with us :)


[bahasa Indonesia]

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