Cooking the World: Indonesia

I felt like it was necessary to blog about tonight’s meal, just because it was a bit of adventure to make it all come together.

Indonesia was a bit of challenge – at least in deciding what to make. It was hard to find a recipe that didn’t seem like something I had already made – noodles or satay. In the end, I went with gado gado-a salad-and a killer peanut sauce. Recipes for both can be found through the links below, which will also take you to the website that inspired this project.

Three of the ingredients I knew I wasn’t going to find at QFC, so Quinn and I headed to Uwajimaya in search of (among other things) kecap manis, candle nuts, and shrimp paste. It took a few turns of the aisles and much scrunching of the forehead as I tried to figure out what some of the products for sale were, but eventually we came away with all of our ingredients.


I have never cooked with any of the ingredients pictured above, so I was a little nervous. Especially about the shrimp paste. Especially when I opened the shrimp paste and smelled it. Maybe to some it smells like heaven, but to me, it was foul.

The shrimp paste went into the peanut sauce, along with the kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), coconut milk (I was nervous about this too, since I hate coconut), shredded candle nut, and other assorted ingredients. It was delicious, although the shrimp paste definitely hit me a bit in the nose and back of the palate. I think it is probably key to the taste, but I might leave it out next time, just to see.


The jackfruit was another interesting ingredient which went into the gado gado. The recipe I linked to asks for canned young jackfruit, but all I found was regular jackfruit. Not sure of the difference, although I think riper (older) jackfruit is sweeter. On its own, I wasn’t a fan, but mixed with the peanut sauce it was tasty.


The salad itself was an interesting blend of common (cabbage) and foreign (jackfruit, tofu) ingredients, which I thought worked together well. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this meal.



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