While other regions in Indonesia have rice as a staple food, West Papua uses Sago as the main ingredient for staple food. Therefore, you might find West Papuan Culinary is slightly different from any other Indonesian Food.
However, West Papuan Culinary is not limited to sago, and there is seafood and any other ingredients made West Papuan Culinary. In this article, you will be exploring eight traditional West Papua foods you don’t want to miss!
The Most Iconic West Papuan Food, Papeda
Papeda is a nutrient-dense, complex carbohydrate made from sago flour to keep west Papuan energized throughout the day. Papeda is made from sago flour and cooked until it becomes white porridge. Papeda has a thick texture and tastes bland. Therefore, it can be combined with any other flavor and food!
Papeda is usually served with grilled fish, clear sauce, or yellow fish sauce. You can find Papeda almost everywhere in West Papua.
Udang Selingkuh, West Papuan Food that cheating
This shrimp dish is unique and often found in Wamena, West Papua. Using a freshwater crayfish with claws like crabs, Udang Selingkuh has a texture similar to lobster, dense, soft, fibrous, and a little sweet.
Udang Selingkuh is processed by frying or boiling, seasoned with sweet and sour sauce.
Sago Caterpillar, Who Knows a Caterpillar can be a delicious dish?
Sago Caterpillars are found abundantly in old or weathered sago stems. Believed to have a high vitamin content, Sago Caterpillar is generally grilled into sago caterpillar satay.
This extreme food from West Papua is rich in protein and can provide energy with low cholesterol levels.
However, Sago Caterpillar or manggia is used in many other dishes as an ingredient. While it may look gross, Sago Caterpillar is very delicious!
Manokwari Grilled Fish, different sauce than other grilled fish!
Manokwari Grilled Fish is different from any other Indonesian Region grilled fish. While most regions use soy sauce or peanut sauce, Manokwari Grilled Fish is eaten using coarsely ground spices. Before grilling, the fish is smeared with lime to add sourness and freshness.
Served on a banana leaf and covered with coarsely ground raw spices with chili sauces, Manokwari grilled fish is accompanied by warm rice. Sounds very delicious!
Bagea Cake, Cakes made from sago.
Unique dish made from sago flour, Bagea Cake is a snake in the form of small round cakes similar to cookies in general. Unlike most cakes, bagea cakes have a hard texture. However, when you put the bagea cake in your mouth, it melts immediately.
Bagea Cake is made from sago flour, sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and peanuts, common ingredients in West Papua. It tastes rich and unique, quite different than other types of cakes in Indonesia. I recommend you to eat bagea cake when drinking tea. Make sure to dip this sago cake in tea for easy consumption.
Mashed taro is another staple food from west Papuan, especially in the Biak region. It is simply boiled taro pounded until smooth. While it has a texture like baby porridge, soft with a bland taste, Mashed taro is often combined with other west Papua food.
Usually, mashed taro is served with a lightly smoked and spicy taste of fish, savory vegetable saute, and sour chili sauce. Yummy!
Sea Worms, is another extreme food that is unbelievably delicious!
Sea Worms or insonem is a special cuisine from Raja Ampat regions in West Papua. These sea worms are white in color and long in shape, but they will turn a darker brown color when cooked. Sea worms have a similar texture as octopus, chewy and tough.
Generally, sea worms are served with sinole coconut, boiled cassava, boiled bananas, rice, or even consumed as a snack.
Colo Colo, special sauce from chili and lime juice
Indonesia loves chili sauce and developed its sauce; West Papuan developed a special chili sauce called Colo Colo. It is unique and tastes very spicy and sour. Colo Colo can be used in any West Papuan Food to add a spicy, sour kick!