Kepulauan Seribu, also known as The Thousand Islands, is very popular for being a tourism destination. The archipelago has many nature’s exoticisms to offer as well as thousands of activities to do in there. It is also easy to access. Therefore, you would not need to spend much time and money to reach this place. Another thing that is great about Kepulauan Seribu is the culinary. Not many people know about this, but there are plenty of unique culinary that you can try during your vacation. So in case you are coming to The Thousand Islands, remember to bring this culinary list and try them one by one:
1. Sate Odol (Odol Satay)
Sate Odol is a local food mostly found on Tidung Island. You can also find it on Panggang Island, which is located not far from Tidung Island. Even if the name is satay, this food does not have the shape of satay at all. Satay Odol is made out of tuna fish. First, the fish is peeled without breaking the skin. The meat is taken and mixed with shredded coconut and spices. After it is properly mixed, it then is put back into the skin. After that, the fish is wrapped with banana leaf and grilled.
Sometimes, the fish skin is not used again. Instead, the mixture of fish meat and spices are wrapped directly with banana leaf before grilling it. Sate Odol has a savory and spicy taste. It is also pretty cheap. A small wrap of sate odol is sold for only $0.1 which you can get from street vendors and stalls on Tidung Island. Sometimes, people also call this food as “Sate Gepuk”.
2. Oseng-Oseng Landak Laut (Sauteed Sea Urchin)
If you are from Japan, then chances you might be familiar with the idea of eating sea urchin. But if you are from other countries, you might find it is quite strange to take sea urchin as a food. But that is what you will be able to find on Kepulauan Seribu, especially on the Pari Island. Some locals are even breeding the sea urchin in order to keep the supply for culinary purpose.
To make it cook-able, first you need to cut down all the thorns. The sea urchin is then cut with a sharp knife. Inside the shell, you will find the soft meat which is actually the eggs. This is the edible part of the sea urchin. The egg (commonly known as gonad) is seared with chili and spices to put some flavors in it. After that, you can simply fry it. Or, you can also sautéed it instead of searing and frying it. Sea Urchin has a soft texture and savory flavors. The taste is very much similar to the taste of oyster.
Tangkue is a sweet snack made from seaweed. The seaweed is first cooked until it gets soft. And then, it is mixed with sugar and is dried. The drying process is done traditionally and takes two days to make it perfect. Tangkue is also known as “Dodol Rumput Laut” or “Seaweed Dodol”. Because of the long cooking process, this snack can last long time before spoiling. They do not even use any preservatives in it. Tourists like to buy Tangkue to home as a gift or as a snack for them.
4. Keripik Sukun (Breadfruit Chips)
Pramuka Island is known for producing great breadfruits. The locals like to cook the breadfruits as chips and eat them as snack or as a condiment for tea. Keripik Sukun is also sold in a home-made plastic package. Because it is merely home business, there is no brand for the chips. They just cook it at thome, pack it at home, and sell it by themselves on the streets or stalls. A package of breadfruit chips is sold for only $0.8. The vendor who sells Keripik Sukun mostly also sells other local home-made packaged snacks such as dried fish or fish chips.
5. Ikan Kering (Dried Fish)
As simple as its name, dried fish is just a piece of fish being spiced and dried. This food can be eaten as a snack or as a condiment for meal such as rice or noodles. Ikan Kering is processed naturally and traditionally. The package is just a simple plastic packaged without a machine. Overall, it is purely home business. You can buy a package of Ikan Kering from street vendors you may see along the way on Pramuka Island. The price is just $0.4 per pack.
6. Pastel Ikan (Fried Fish Dumpling)
Pastel ikan is a savory cake similar to fried dumpling filled with fish meats. This cake is most favored for a condiment while drinking tea. People also like to eat it as an appetizer or morning snack. This food counts as tourists’ favorite. Pastel Ikan has a savory and spicy taste. It is better served when it is still warm. You can buy a warm Pastel Ikan from the street vendors or stalls on Panggang Island.
7. Fried Squid
Squids on Kepulauan Seribu are famous for having a big size. Some people call it super squid. It is one of the most favorite foods by the locals. They like to fry it in a simple way because it is already taste so good. They mostly just cut the squid into edible pieces, add some basic spices on it, and dry it. It is best to eat it with warm rice and sambal.
8. Sautéed Squid in Black Seasoning
If you first see this dish, you might think it is a kind of unappealing and unappetizing due to the dark black gravy. But who knows that this dish taste awesome? If you notice, squid always has a black tint inside its tentacles. The tint is used by them to defend their selves. This tint is what makes the black seasoning for this dish. It is perfectly not dangerous because it is not poisonous. In fact, this tint makes the squid taste way better. Sautéed Squid in Black Seasoning is the perfect dish for rice. It has a unique savory taste. Some people add chili on it while cooking it to add spicy flavors. This dish is mostly found in Panggang Island. But you can also find it on other island as well.
9. Fresh Seafood Dishes
Because the sea is everywhere, Kepulauan Seribu without a doubt has plenty of seafood. The seafoods may be cooked with traditional recipe or modern recipe. Anyway, it is always nice to eat a seafood dish which is freshly caught directly from the sea. To enjoy the traditional recipe, you can simply eat out in a food stands nearby the beaches. You can also try them on restaurant nearby your resorts. Some seafoods that you shall not miss to try are squid (especially the super squid), rajungan (a kind of crabs but smaller and has tenderer texture), and many kind of fishes.
Nothing feels better than tasting the local culinary during a vacation tour, moreover if the place is not so close from home. The taste of the foods will be so much different. Maybe you will end up liking it and maybe you will not. But that is not the problem. What matters is the feeling in trying something new, exploring a new world that you have never been before.