Indonesian Cooking Methods


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Indonesian Cooking Methods

The Indonesian cuisine, where the menu practically doubles as a recipe card. Most of the dishes here are so straightforward, they’re named after their main ingredients and the way they’re cooked. Take ‘ayam goreng’ for instance – it’s like the recipe creator just looked at the dish and said, “Well, it’s chicken and we’re gonna fry it. So, ayam goreng it is!” That’s fried chicken for those who don’t speak fluent menu.

Then there’s ‘mie goreng’ – or fried noodles for the noodle enthusiasts out there. ‘Ikan bakar’? Grilled fish. ‘Udang rebus’? Boiled shrimp. ‘Babi panggang’? Roasted pork. And let’s not forget ‘tumis kangkung’, the water spinach that got tossed around in a wok.

Now, when it comes to the art of cooking, Indonesians have a whole arsenal at their disposal. You’ve got ‘goreng’ for frying – you can do a light fry with just a smidge of oil, or go all out with a deep fry. Then there’s ‘tumis’ for stir-frying, ‘sangrai’ for sautéing, and when it’s time to bring out the big guns: ‘bakar’ for grilling, ‘panggang’ for roasting or baking.

Depending on the dish, you might need a blazing fire or a gentle flame for slow cooking. For a plate of nasi goreng, you’d crank up the heat, but a traditional rendang? That’s a slow dance of beef, spices, and coconut milk until everything’s caramelized and the coconut milk has pulled a disappearing act.

Let’s talk kitchen setups. In the old days, the traditional Indonesian ‘dapur’ was all about the firewood stove. Nowadays, it’s all about gas or electric. And when it comes to kitchen tools, we’ve got the works: woks, frying pans, pots, knives, spoons, forks, shredders, and the good old mortar and pestle. In the past, spices were ground with sheer muscle power using a stone mortar and pestle. Today, the blender and food processor have taken over, but some still swear by the old-school method.

Cooking wares have gotten an upgrade too. From stone, pottery, wood, and woven bamboo or rattan, we’ve moved on to iron, tin, stainless steel, aluminium, ceramics, plastics, and glass. It’s like we’ve gone from the Flintstones to the Jetsons in our kitchen! So, there you have it – a quick, and hopefully amusing, tour of the Indonesian kitchen. Enjoy your meal, or as we say in Indonesia, selamat makan!