Thousand Culinary of Bangka – Part 1


Bangka is a small archipelago with thousands of unique foods. The culinary of Bangka is famous because it is very unique but impossible to find at any other places. So if you have the chance to visit the islands, it would be such a waste if you do not taste as much food as possible in Bangka because this is the perfect place to enrich your culinary experience.

On the previous articles, we have mentioned several kinds of dishes, snacks, and beverages traditionally from Bangka. Most of them use seafood as main ingredient as Bangka consists of several islands and surrounded with sea. Now, we would like to continue the list with other choices of culinary which are as great as the ones from the previous article. Needless to say more, here you go:

7. Kricu

Kricu stands for Kripik Cumi or Squid Chips. The chips do not really use the squid meat as its main ingredients. But instead, it uses the squid’s egg. It is a product of home industry that is generally traditional.

The squid’s eggs are taken from the sqid that the local fishermen caught on the sea around Bangka Islands. The cooking process is done by the women at the village using traditional technique. The ingresients are also simple. It just uses tapioca flour, salt, and chicken egg to be mixed with the squid egg.

Kricu before Packaging (Source: Credit: Nety Wulandari)
Kricu before Packaging
(Source: Credit: Nety Wulandari)

Kricu is a popular light snack that you can enjoy while hanging out or watching TV. You can buy Kricu in plastic package at food shops around the islands. The price is about $6.5 per kilogram. Sometimes, people buy Kricu and give it away as gift for friends and family who does not live in Bangka islands.


8. Mie Koba

Mie Koba or Koba Noodles is a noodle dish with fish gravy. This traditional dish of Bangka was strongly influenced by the Chinese culture. To be more specific, the influence came from Hakka Chinese who came in the islands around 18th century for tin business. For your information, Bangka has a great tin mine and factory during that time. The name Koba itself was taken from the town of Koba on Central Bangka. The town is where the dish was firstly made.

A Complete Serving of Mie Koba (Source: Flickr. Credit: Rubayyi Astari)
A Complete Serving of Mie Koba
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Rubayyi Astari)

Mie Koba has a unique combination of ingredients. It uses the gravy out of wahoo fish mixed with “key orange”. Key orange is an endemic species of orange that grows only on several places in Sumatra islands, including Bangka. It is small in shape and looks similar to a lime.

This orange is what gives unique sour taste on the serving to balance the fishy aroma of the gravy. Mie Koba is also served with hard-boiled egg.

The serving may look very simple but the taste is really special and unique. The most popular places to eat Mie Koba are:

  • Jalan Balai 83, Pangkalpinang
  • Jalan Kenanga, Koba Town
  • Mie Koba Iskandar, Sungailiat


9. Rusip

Rusip is a dish of salted and fermented small fish kept in a jar. To make a jar of Rusip, you need to mix small fish (locally known as “teri”) with salt and tapioca flour. The mixture is then put inside a jar and being kept for one week. During the week, the fermentation process will occur, resulting in a pale grey color. People who are not familiar with Rusip will find this food looks unappealing as the color is dull and the fish is fermented. But for Bangka people, Rusip is such a delicious side dish.

Rusip in Bottles (Source: Credit: potix)
Rusip in Bottles
(Source: Credit: potix)

There are several ways to consume Rusip. First, you can just eat it without processing it again. Second, you can add some sliced chili and eat it as Sambal Rusip. Sambal Rusip is the most favorite serving of Rusip as it can be combined with warm steamed rice and several other side dishes. The last way to serve Rusip is by reheating it to make it more aromatic and savory. While cooking it, you can also add several additional spices such as shallot and chili.


10. Model

Before you start wondering, the name “Model” does not come from the person who walks in a catwalk. Model is a stewed fish cake served with clear savory gravy. It is a variant of Pempek, fish cake dish originally from Palembang which is usually served with sweet and sour gravy called “cuko”. Model can be served as stand-alone dish or being combined with other variants of Pempek.

On the stand-alone serving of Model, tofu is also included on the serving of this dish. Sometimes the tofu is wrapped with the fish cake dough, instead of being prepared separately. The gravy is clear colored and has soft savory taste.

The serving also includes rice vermicelli, ear mushroom, and fried sliced shallots. Meanwhile on the Pempek serving, the model is mostly filled with tofu. The gravy (called “cuko”) is thick and has dark brown color. There are two variant of cuko; the sweet sour one and the spicy sour one.

A Stand-Alone Serving of Model (Source: Flickr. Credit: nuno92)
A Stand-Alone Serving of Model
(Source: Flickr. Credit: nuno92)

Commonly, Model in Bangka is served as stand-alone dish. You can easily get it on food stands you might encounter along the way. It is best to be eaten while it is still warm as you can smell the tasty aroma. If you like it to have spicy taste, you can add some chili stew on it.


11. Kembung Betelok

Kembung Betelok is another fish dish traditionally from Bangka. Just like its name, it commonly uses Kembung fish as the main ingredients. Kembung fish is like a mackerel that is easy to find on the sea around Bangka islands. This dish has unique cooking process and not everybody could do it well. Outside Bangka, it would be almost impossible to find this dish.

To make Kembung Betelok, first you need to take the meat out of the fish carefully so you don’t break the skin. The bones and thorns are taken out of the fish meat. After that, the fish meat is then mixed with other ingredients such as chicken egg, thick coconut milk, and several spices.

After the dough is mixed perfectly, the next step is to take it back inside its skin. This is the most difficult part as you might unintentionally break the delicate skin. After the dough is well-stuffed, the fish is then fried. Kembung Betelok is usually eaten as a dish for warm steamed rice. It is usually served along with Sambal Blacan to compliment it.

Freshly Fried Kembung Betelok (Source: Credit: ruffle ray)
Freshly Fried Kembung Betelok
(Source: Credit: ruffle ray)

12. Sambal Blacan

Sambal Blacan is a chili paste dish usually served as complement for other side dish, such as Kembung Betelok. Blacan (or Belacan) is known as “terasi” at other places in Indonesia. It is a fermented shrimp paste with dark color. The taste and aroma are incredibly strong. Bangka itself is famous for producing the best terasi/belacan in Indonesia.

Sambal Blacan (Source: Flickr. Credit: Irwandy Mazwir)
Sambal Blacan
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Irwandy Mazwir)

Sambal Blacan is made from fried blacan, chili, tomato, brown sugar, galangal, lemongrass, and salt. It is sometimes added with several drops of lime juice to neutralize the strong aroma and taste of the blacan.


Now is the list enough for your reference to have a culinary tourism to Bangka Islands? The answer is “not yet”. There are still several other culinary products of Bangka that you need to know. We will continue the list on one last article.


Thousand Culinary of Bangka – Part 3 (END)