Indonesians are undaunted when it comes to satisfying food cravings. With the rainy season presenting a change in temperature that may cause changes in our palettes and food desires, here are a few guilt-free comfort foods that you can indulge in while staying on track with your fitness goals.
‘Bakso’, a staple of Indonesian cuisine, is a meal best eaten hot. The meal typically combines a noodle of your choice with a ‘bakso’ soup that includes meatballs made out of minced meat mixed together with tapioca starch. This meal can be served with the noodles and soup together, or dry with soup on the side. It is non-spicy, but can be complimented with chilli and seasonings which you can add into your bowl.
‘Bakpao’ is a meal that you can eat at any given time of your preference. This meal usually contains a minced meat of your choice (chicken, mutton, beef), or vegetarian options such as mung beans or red beans.
Another popular dish amongst Indonesians is called ‘Sop Buntut’, which is more commonly known as oxtail soup. Consisting of oxtail, carrots, potatoes, cinnamon and nutmeg, this clear soup’s flavour palette also contains hints of salt and pepper. Pair it with a plate of rice and condiment it with fresh chillies and ‘kecap manis’ (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) for a satiating and nutritious meal.
‘Sate Padang’, a variation of the common ‘Sate Ayam’ or ‘Sate Kambing’, is usually served as skewers with beef cubes, beef tongue and offal. The skewers are firstly marinated in a mixture of spices and then grilled on a charcoal fire. It is best eaten with compressed rice cakes called ‘ketupat’.
‘Nasi Padang’ is another favourite amongst Indonesians. This is because Padang food generally contains an assortment of flavours, with dishes cooked using fresh curry pastes, galangal, turmeric, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, shallots, coconut milk and a variety of other herbs. There are two methods in which ‘Nasi Padang’ is served. If you visit a food stall serving the meal, you will be typically be served rice and the dishes that you choose on a single plate (this is called ‘pesan’ in Bahasa Indonesia). If you visit a more established restaurant, the meal will be served with about 20 different plate dishes on your table, which you are allowed to pick from, paying only for what you choose (this is called ‘hidang’ in Bahasa Indonesia).
Giving in to changes in cravings can often unsettle a strict diet and fitness plans. Take comfort in knowing that you can indulge in any of these healthy options above without guilt this rainy season.