It is not surprising that every community, regardless of culture, has a special staple meal that has helped to define it for thousands of years. As an illustration, the people of Papua hold the traditional dish of papeda in high regard.
Additionally, there are numerous ways to eat it, thanks to the diversity of tribes on the island. It means that we can enjoy a variety of unique papeda dishes.
Adding herbs, broth, and other expedient solutions can improve the flavor, but going the extra mile will make it taste more refined. These quick recipes will elevate a simple bowl of the sago-based dish.
1. Yellow Fish Sauce with Papeda
This side dish, which also has the literal translation “ikan kuah kuning,” is a favorite among locals. It is perfect for lunch as the refreshing gravy will brighten your day. Also, this side dish aids in masking the food’s distinct sago odor.
On the other hand, turmeric serves as the recipe’s natural colorant and contributes to the clear, golden broth. Besides, the spices eliminate the fishy seafood. When you combine them, you will obtain a flavorful and delicious soup with a pleasant kick of sting.
Interestingly, only residents of coastal regions and locations with sago crops are aware of the recipe. Therefore, it is not a thing in Papua’s hilly region. Meanwhile, tilapia, sea fish, and snakehead fish are the most commonly used fish.
2. Deep Fried Fish
Occasionally, simplicity is best. This also holds true for appropriate side dishes that go well with sago-based meals. Your dinner will be elevated by adding “ikan goreng,” or deep-fried fish. You will taste it crunchy and flavorful on the outside and soft on the inside.
The natives typically fried tuna for a side dish, but any of your favorite fish would work just as well. Best of all, it is really simple to make. Prepare your fish together with pepper, turmeric, and coriander powder, among other spices.
Before adding the fish:
- Check to see if there is enough oil in the wok.
- Avoid attempting to fit as many fish into the wok as possible.
- Pat the fish as dry as possible with a dish towel before frying.
- The general rule is that there will be less splatter in the fish’s drier.
3. Stir-Fried Melinjo Leaves
Melinjo, or Gnetum gnemon, is one of the endemic vegetation of Indonesia. Actually, the fruit is more widely consumed as a nutritious snack, and the leaves are rarely used. But these Gnetum gnemon leaves are the ideal component for a delectable side dish for Papuans.
You will need shallots, garlic, and cayenne pepper for seasoning while making stir-fried melinjo leaves. Slice the leaves very thinly and sauté them with the herbs. The ideal accompaniment is fried anchovies. The combination imparts an unforgettable flavor that instantly transports you to Papua.
Additionally, every Gnetum gnemon leaf contains protein, iron, and vitamin C, making it a healthy diet. Plus, it might boost immunity.
4. Unripe Papaya with Coconut Milk Sauce
Those who choose to go vegetarian will appreciate this quick recipe. Unripe papaya is commonly used as a food ingredient in Indonesia, and Papua is no exception. While there are many ways to enjoy unripe papaya, adding it to coconut milk is one of the best.
The hard texture of the papaya will soften once boiled. Soon, it absorbs the richness of the coconut milk, turmeric, candlenut, shallot, and garlic. Since papaya is abundant in Papua, it is also a budget-friendly side dish.
Feel free to add chili peppers to your sauce. They will give you a spiciness that you will love.
If you have papeda in your kitchen, you are already halfway to a fantastic meal. This wholesome, adaptable staple food may be transformed into a wonderful main course by adding only a few extra ingredients. Try these side dish recipes that you can make any time of the day.