Monday, August 27, 2012

The Netherlands - Indonesian Food

There are countless Indonesians in the Netherlands - why of course, we had a long lasting relationship with the Dutch! I'm too lazy to write the history of Dutch occupation because I'm not very good at memorizing historical facts and you can actually Google it.

This time I want to talk about food. As I said in the previous post, I found many different varieties of Indonesian food at the supermarket in the Netherlands, and I actually love the fact that I can find them easily at almost every groceries.

On my second last day of orientation we were served nasi goreng (Indonesian word for fried rice). They don't even call it "fried rice" here. It's actually pretty cool to have a term in your language not translated into English or Dutch.

What I find weird about this nasi goreng is the way they serve it. Aside from the shrimp crackers, everything else on the plate was not what you commonly see in Indonesia. They serve the fried rice with peanut sauce! Throughout my entire 23 years of living as an Indonesian who is still culturally strong, I've never seen anything like this. Yes, we do use peanut sauce in a lot of dishes, but they are mainly salads or grilled skewers (sate). Never on fried rice.

I was in doubt about the peanut sauce and fried rice combination, so I asked the waitress what the sauce is for, and she said "for the fried rice."

Well, I tried eating the rice with the peanut sauce. Not the best combination ever, but it didn't taste bad. I just found it weird. It's like you grew up knowing eating bread with peanut butter and then suddenly you're told to mix peanut butter with grape jam and spread the mix on your toast. A lot of Americans find peanut butter and jelly delicious, but I find it a little weird with the mix of salty, savory, and tanginess.

They also have sambal (chili sauce), which actually tastes pretty good compared to the chili sauce in Singapore (it's like eating sugar syrup with a hint of capsaicin). I feel that a lot of sambal here is mixed with trassi (fermented shrimp paste). And I don't mind it because I love trassi. It's very savory.

I'm really glad I could easily find rice at the supermarket. Nasi goreng is so easy to make, it's yummy, and it fills your tummy.

I'm looking forward to trying Indonesian food in the Netherlands, but at the same time, I want to make use of my time in Europe to try more European food. I'll try the famous Dutch tomato soup next time!


  1. DUTCH PANCAKE! HARUS MAKAN!!! sama sirupnya... yg savoury pancake jg harus dimakan pake sirup :V


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