Experiences - Asia

Indonesian-Chinese Fusion Food

The blend of Chinese cooking with indigenous Indonesian ingredients created Indonesian-Chinese fusion food. Several dishes and cakes from Indochine cuisine share the styles of Singaporean and Malaysian cuisines too.

1. Chap Chai (Stir-Fry Veggies)

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Image Courtesy: Jess used under the Creative Commons Licence

Chap chai in Hokkien literally means all the vegetables are mixed together, which is what this dish is all about. Vegetables such as cauliflower, white cabbage, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, garlic, onions and capsicums are stir-fried together in soy sauce. Additionally, some seafood or minced meat such as prawn, squid, and fish balls are added to enhance the flavour of the dish. The Indonesian twist on this dish usually includes Bakso, or beef balls. It is usually savoured with a bowl of steamed white rice. Chap chai is a well-balanced, nutritious side.

2. Locupan (Short Rice Noodles)

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Image Courtesy: Alpha used under the Creative Commons Licence

Silver needle noodles is a type of short, white, semi-transparent Chinese noodles. Though different countries address it differently, in Indonesia it is known as Locupan. The noodles are made from ground rice flour with some added cornstarch to reduce breakage during frying. The noodles may be scaled, stir-fried, and flavoured with a mixture of sauces, cooked in soup or cooked dry in a clay-pot. It can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as a main course or as a rice meal supplement.

3. Mie Campur or Bakmi Campur (Fried Noodles)

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Image Courtesy: .angels. used under the Creative Commons Licence

Mie campur or bakmi campur, is an assorted meat noodle. Yellow egg wheat noodles are topped with Chinese barbecue sauce, crispy roast pork, diced garlic-seasoned chicken, sweet pork sausages, beef balls, shrimp, green onions, mushrooms and fried vegetables. It is usually served with a bowl of chicken broth.

4. Pempek (Indonesian Fish Balls)

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Image Courtesy: Chandra Marsono used under the Creative Commons Licence

Pempek is a fish cake delicacy from Palembang, Indonesia, made of fish and tapioca. It is usually served with yellow noodles and Cuko, a dark, rich, sweet and sour sauce. The sauce is made from brown sugar, chilli pepper, garlic, vinegar, and salt, which is added to hot boiling water. Different types of Pempek include Pempek Tahu, Lenjer and Adaan. A popular version includes an egg in the middle much like a Scotch Egg. They are served with a portion of noodles or rice.

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