Sumatra is located in Indonesia, one of the largest countries in the world. The cuisine of Sumatra is one of a kind and you can find them not only in Sumatra itself but in other regions across the nation as well. You can find many Padang restaurant across the country. The Minangkabau’s taste and business are believed to be the main reasons why Sumatran cuisine is ubiquitous. Sumatra truly has strong culinary brand that is not only famous in Indonesia but other countries as well.
Best Sumatran dishes worth travelling for
Rendang Sapi Padang is the best dish of Sumatran cuisine. It can be find all over Indonesia but you must try it in its place of origin, Padang. It is made from cubes of beef doused in stew of coconut milk and spice mix. It is cooked over a slow fire for several hours. The slow cooking helps the flavor to be more ingested into the meat. Tender beef in creamy sauce from the stew. It is best served with white rice. You don’t have to refrigerate it because the flavor will improve 24 hours after cooking. The level of spiciness can be adjusted but rendang generally is quite spicy.
Pempek is like a legendary dish from Sumatra. You can find it literally everywhere across the country. It is originally from Palembang. This is cheap, flavorful, unique snack loved by many. It is made from fish paste called surimi of a mackerel meat. It is combined with tapioka flour and various spices. Pempek is boiled and you can eat it as it is. However, it is more delicious to fry it and serve it with a dark, spicy sweet sauce. Optional sides are served including noodles, diced cucumber, or rice.
Ayam Tangkap is also a wonder food from Sumatra worth trying for. It is local chicken dish native to Aceh. Various spices are used to marinade the chicken such as aromatic pandanus, curry leaves, and lemongrass. After marinated, the chicken is chopped into morsels and deep-fried until it turns crispy. It is best paired with soy sauce and steaming white rice.
Lontong Sayur Medan is the best to serve for breakfast but you can actually eat it anytime. Lontong itself is Indonesian version of rice cake. It is served with a special soup made from coconut milk, fermented bean paste, and shrimp. Ingredients are added into the soup such as jackfruit, carrots, chayote, long beans, and hard-boiled eggs. It is even perfect to add Indonesia chips called Kerupuk.
Sate (satay) Padang is Sumatran satay dish from Padang. There are two famous satay in Padang. They are sate Padang Panjang and Sate Padang Pariaman. Both are flavorful and mouth-salivating. The former uses brownish-yellow sauce redolent of turmeric and the spiciness is in moderate level. The later has reddish-brown sauce with higher level of spiciness. Buffalo meat is used to make both dishes. Sate Padang is best served with steamy white rice, ketupat (rice cake), and some chips or Kerupuk.