I loved this woman and mama! Could she cook;) Tempeh and tofu that melted in the mouth and some excellent peanut relish. Sulawesi
I’d go as far as to say this. Indonesia is the best country in Asia for a vegan traveller, probably the world. There we go, I’ve said it. In black and white. Can’t take it back……Thailand is also pretty damn good too…….but Indonesia!!!! See evidence below (quick before I change me mind!) Its been a while since we were there, we left in September, but these are highly enjoyable edible memories and I just had to share them around.
We had a fairly stunning 2016, packed it full of things that sparkle and shine. We’ve been so busy that the Beach House Kitchen has taken a bit of a back seat. Battling with pants internet is a thankless task, but here we are. Finally, a sound and reasonable wifi zone. I have a long, long list of things that’d I’d love to post, so no more waffle……..first up, the wonders of Indonesia!
Typical Indonesian kitchen. Outside cities, everyone is cooking over wood and doing everything brilliantly old school, see pestle and mortar.
Travelling is a way of life that suits us very nicely. Indonesia is a land (many peices of land in fact) that we’ve always wanted to visit. We were highly undisappointed by the month we spent there. Indonesia is vast archipelago filled with some of the friendliest people and tastiest food on this beautiful planet. I was blown away by the sheer volume of vegan friendly fare. I loved the constant stream of tempeh and tofu, the buzzing and diverse street food scenes that varied from town to town. The scenery was breathtaking, we took up residence in a hut on an deserted island (with the perfect hammock), we swam with dolphins, we wandered up active volcanoes (smelling of off eggs, sulphur clouds), we threw ourselves into the mayhem of Jakarta, nearly got stuck in the jungle, stayed in traditional villages with fascinating ancient traditions, beliefs and rituals. It was a feast in more ways than one.
So here we are, some Indonesia sunshine and vibrancy that can’t help brighten any January morning. You’ve all probably heard of staples like Nasi Goreng (basically fried rice) or Mie Goreng (fried noodles) but there is so much more to Indonesian veg based (sayura) cuisine. Of course, the best food, the food that represents a country, is always found on the streets and in little, potentially shabby looking places. Fancy restaurants are all well and good, but we believe the food that matters is enjoyed by all, that’s where you’ll find us.
Salamat Maka! (Bon Appetit!)
Traditional village – Tana Toraja, Sulawesi
Gudeg. A kind of sensational meal available from a village house doubling as a restaurant. Eaten on a bench beside the road, coconut tempeh, tofu, mashed casava leaves, spicy chutney (the ever present sambal), all kinds of fascinating veggies that grow near or in rivers. Oh, and jackfruit (everyone loves it now!) Little village, somewhere in Sulawesi
Inspecting a local salad outfit. These guys used interesting irrigation and tables. Clever. Salad leaves are very fashionable in rural Sulawesi. Tomahon, Sulawesi
View from our trusty hammock. Floating in the ocean on an island in the middle of the Togean Sea. Some of the best snorkelling imageable. I swam with some friendly black porpoises. Togean Islands, Sulawesi
Fried tempeh, jack fruit stews and piles of moring glory, plus the most digusting sulphurous bean I’ve ever encountered. Rank! You even get serenaded here by local guitarists singing Indonesian folk or The Beatles. Street eats in Yogyakarta, Java
Gado gado. Just the best. These carts, hundreds of thousands of them, are doing amazing things with peanuts and veggies all over Indonesia. Cost, about 50p for dinner. This guy is one of the best if you bump into him. Sulawesi PS – Another popular dish is Ketropak, which is like Gado Gado without the amazing peanut sauce
Now this is what I’m talking about! Gado Gado served with the classic Kerupuk (cassava crackers)
Visiting tofu village (see our post here) and learning to make tofu Indonesian style. Hot and hard work. Java
One of the finest things we ate. Sticky coconut rice, made into buns, and marinaded tempeh (in cane sugar and kecap manis) for the burger. A local street food speciality in a village above Yogyakarta, Java. PS – Thats a massive hunk of marinaded smoky tofu. Delicious.
A feast at the Loving Hut in Yogyakarta. A purely vegan restaurant chain (see here) with a huge menu of fascinating items. Vegan egg yolk made of mung beans and loads of bizarre and generally a bit weird and rubbery fake meats like Seitan Satay. Still, they had lots of local delights like Kering Tempeh (dried and crunchy tempeh) and we went there everyday and sampled everything. The Thai style coconut iced tea was a highlight. Java
Breakfast. Fruit salad with things like cactus fruit and a sauce made from cane sugar and chilli. Yogyakarta, Java
So much history and culture shared over the vast islands of Indonesia. They spread over distances greater than the width of Europe. 250 million people! This is Prambanan, a massive Hindu temple complex. Indonesia is of course a Muslim country now, but has flirted with Hinduism and Buddhism in history, not to mention a myriad other more tribal belief systems (many still around). Java
Jane at a ‘cat food’ stand. Like a cafe on wheels selling hot drinks and piles of delicious deep fried nibbles and bags of sticky rice plus sambal (spicy relish). Street corner, Yogyakarta PS – No one could fully explain the ‘cat food’ thing.
Indonesians are amazing artists, musicians and pretty handy with a spray can
This was an amazing dish eaten on a Sunday morning. Mounds of greens with jackfruit, pepper, flowers, bean sprouts and delciious sauce and something like tempeh tempura. Known as Naspecel. Java
Another feast at the Loving Hut, coconut curry and some kind of heavenly ramen concoction. Yogyakarta (a very cultural city with a great old town and loads of galleries and musicians. They also still have a Hindu sultan).
The coffee in Indonesia will blow you away in more ways than one. Stunning brews. More of that to come…
Downtown Jakarta eatery (warung). You find places like this all over Indonesia. Huge range on the buffet and some very friendly taxi drivers…..
….this is what a Warung does best. Plates of cheap, fresh and delciious food. About 50ps worth here. Served with Nasi Uduk, Jakarta’s favourite coconut rice.
Helping the radiant Maria (twas a Christian town) with her chillies in a porridge joint. No ordinary porridge though…..
One of the best things we ate. Called Manado Porridge, made with pumpkin, rice, spices and greens. Bubbled in a massive steel cauldron. Served with tea (teh manis) and fried bananas. Lezat! (Delicious!) Tentena, Sulawesi
Sometimes things go wrong! Late night, nowhere open, just the random hellish Hello Kitty cafe serving packet noodle soup. Lost in Sulawesi.
Markets are always a buzzing hub and filled with vegan delights. We carry a chopping board and bowl so salads are always on the menu.
Jane and I’s preferred mode of transport. Back of rickety bus.
Thank you IndonesiaX
PS – We nearly forgot the Gorengan stalls at every corner. Fried sweet potato, banana, tempeh, cassava, breadfruit and loads of chilli sauce. Vegans will never go hungry in Indonesia!! Also if you want to get Indonesian at home, you must seek out a bottle of Kecap Manis. A sweet and sticky sauced used on everything.