7 Unique and Extreme Culinary in West Papua: Dare to Try?

Try These Unique And Extreme Culinary In West Papua Like Sea Worms, Sago Caterpillar Satay, Cheating Shrimp, Tambelo Worms, Sarang Semut, And Sagu Lempeng.

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Who hasn’t been fascinated by Papua and West Papua province, right? Tourists who have come to this beautiful island are always hungry for more. A one-time visit is never enough. Besides exploring the captivating nature of Papua and West Papua and visiting different tribes who still preserve their unique culture, why not try their culinary as well? 

Some of them are dainty, while some are eccentric. So, if you’ve prepared your empty stomach and guts, here are the unique and extreme culinary in West Papua that should be on your list.


Sea Worms


If you consider sea worms as something unappetizing and nauseating, well, these tiny animals become daily food for locals in Raja Ampat, West Papua. These Papuan sea worms are different from any worms in general. They don’t look filthy and gross. Their size are about thirty to forty centimeters, and the color is white.

Locals in Raja Ampat search for this peculiar healthy diet when the sea is receding. So, why do locals love this culinary? Sea worms are rich in protein and are believed to raise men’s stamina and strength. Getting interested? You can easily grab these unique and extreme culinary in West Papua in almost any store in town.


Sago Caterpillars Satay


Sago caterpillars’ satay is another favorite menu for people in West Papua. Similar to sea worms, sago caterpillars are rich in nutrients. One hundred grams of sago caterpillars carries 6.1 grams of protein and 13.1 grams of fat. These extreme foods also contain high essential amino acids. 

Consuming sago caterpillars can decrease the risk of asthma, depression, and rheumatism, as well as increase men’s libido. Locals in West Papua look for the caterpillars from fallen sago trees. The size of this animal is about three to four centimeters. Don’t hesitate to give it a try because it’s surprisingly tasty.


Cheating Shrimp


Funny name, right? However, this dish is very delicious. This shrimp is called cheating shrimp because it has huge chelipeds or claws similar to crab’s claws. The big claws make this shrimp look like crab instead of shrimp in general. 

Because the meat of cheating shrimp is originally mouthwatering, locals don’t add much seasoning when cooking this dish. The meat tastes soft, savory, and slightly sweet. That is why they only add salt. Besides being appetizing, this dish contains many calcium and protein. In addition, they are also rich in sodium, zinc, selenium, magnesium, and phosphorus. 


Tambelo Worms


The next unique and extreme culinary in West Papua is tambelo worms. It takes a lot of nerve for tourists to taste this food because Kamoro tribes in Timika eat them raw. It feels ticklish but unexpectedly tasty. Tambelo worms live inside weathered wood in a mangrove forest. Kamoro tribes use tambelo worms as their side dish. 

Tourists can try this dish during the Kamoro festival. Locals will bring two logs filled with many tambelo worms. Using an ax, the locals split the logs and pull out the worms, then later put them in a washbasin. Once the worms are washed cleanly and soaked in lime juice, you can grab its head, slowly put it inside your mouth, and start chewing them. 


Sarang Semut


Another Papuan local cuisine is sarang semut. In English, sarang semut means anthill. Alike its name, sarang semut looks like an anthill and can be found between rocks. Locals love them because it is soft and sweet. Sarang semut is great company during tea or coffee time. 

Besides being delicious, sarang semut is also healthy. Sarang semut is a Papuan original vegetable that can cure many illnesses, such as tumors, cancer, tuberculosis, etc. 


Sagu Lempeng


Want to test the strength of your teeth? Why not try this next unique and extreme culinary in West Papua called sagu lempeng. This is the white bread version for locals in Papua. However, this bread is hard when you try to bite them, unlike white bread that is soft and tender. 

Sagu lempeng can stand for days. The shape is square, and the color is brownish. People in Papua enjoy sagu lempeng along with a glass of hot tea. You can easily buy sagu lempeng almost in every Papua and West Papua market.


Aunu Senebre


You should not skip this tasty dish when visiting Papua and West Papua. Aunu senebre is made from anchovy served along with rice and taro leaves. The taste is savory. You can also enjoy this meal with Papua’s favorite culinary called papeda or tubers.

Aunu Senebre is rich in omega 3, which is very good for the brain and can reduce the risk of depression and stroke. You can prefer to buy it or make it yourself.

So, which unique and extreme culinary in West Papua do you wish to try first? Besides the seven dishes above, Papua and West Papua have many other delicious meals and snacks. Make sure to try them when you visit this beautiful island.